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LEAD Program

As a way to prepare for success as a US law student, Minnesota Law offers the Legal English Advanced Development (LEAD) program to all incoming LL.M. students. LEAD is a summer pre-LL.M. course led by Professor Karen Lundquist, Minnesota Law’s expert instructor of legal English and US legal skills for non-native English speakers. 

All LL.M. students are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to solidify their legal English and master some key US law school success strategies before the LL.M. program officially begins – the program will benefit anyone who chooses to enroll. To bolster readiness for the LL.M. program, it is highly recommended that students with a TOEFL score below 100 or an IELTS score below 7 enroll.

Participants in LEAD not only have the chance to hone important legal English and academic skills, but also visit several important sites in our legal community as a class with Professor Lundquist as your tour guide. Past field trip destinations include the State Capitol and the Federal Reserve Bank.

Another advantage of enrolling in LEAD is arriving in Minneapolis four weeks earlier and having extra time to acclimate to new surroundings: explore the Twin Cities, practice using the public transportation system, and overcome jet lag. LEAD participants begin the LL.M. program in August confident, prepared, and well-rested.

Legal English Preparation and Practice

The English skills portion of LEAD focuses on increasing your ability to effectively use language patterns often found in legal reading and writing. Through focus on writing, vocabulary, grammar, note taking, and listening, you will grow your comprehension abilities to help maximize your legal study experience. Excursions to local legal sites provide an incredible opportunity to practice speaking and listening skills in real-world settings.

Skills for Success in US Law School

This section of LEAD prepares you for a better understanding of legal course content. Highlights include:

  • Interactive exercises that integrate English skills into the law skills coursework
  • Mock interviews, mock negotiations and mock trials to help you learn by doing
  • Study case files, with correspondence, contracts and pleadings
  • Exercises covering a range of legal topics including contract law, employment law and intellectual property law
  • Case law, legal analysis and other building blocks of U.S. legal education

Course Structure

Participants will spend 20-25 hours each week in the classroom reading and discussing legal texts. The group may also visit state and federal courts, the state Capitol, law firms and offices, or other places in the Twin Cities legal community.

Program Details

Tuesday, July 11 - Friday, August 4, 2023

Registration opens April 1 on a first come, first served basis. Enrollment is limited and closes when the course is full. LEAD participants are expected to be present in person, on campus for the entirety of the program. The cost of the four-week course is $2,950 total.

Note: for LL.M. students entering the U.S. on an F-1 visa, the earliest date to enter the U.S. is July 8, 2023.

Housing and Living

Students are responsible for arranging their own housing while they are in Minnesota. Spaces are available in the International Reception Center (university dormitory) during the summer. Check the International Early Arrival Housing website for details. Please note that reservations cannot be made until after June 1 of the year you will enroll. Each student is responsible for all meals. Students living in the International Reception Center may purchase meals in the dormitory cafeteria. In addition, there are many restaurants and shops near the university.