seven students seated at desks in a classroom, smiling

LEAD Program

The Legal English Advanced Development (LEAD) program is an intensive English language and legal skills program developed by the University of Minnesota Law School for students entering the LL.M. program that same school year. This program is taught by Karen Lundquist, Assistant Professor of Legal Writing and Research in the LL.M. program. Professor Lundquist specializes in teaching legal English to non-native speakers of English. To maximize your learning, enrollment is limited to 16 students.

English Skills Coursework

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.

Law Skills Coursework

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

The online portion of LEAD does not require having all participants in the same time zone - all you need is a computer and internet connection!

While you are on campus for the in-person portion, you will spend 20 hours each week reading, discussing, and visiting state and federal courts, the state Capitol, law firms and offices, or other places in the Twin Cities legal community. 

Program Details

Registration for LEAD is available to all LL.M. students entering the University of Minnesota LL.M. program. Registration opens April 1 and closes when the course is full. LEAD participants will be enrolled in both the earlier three-week online session in addition to the three-week in-person session on campus. The cost of the six-week program 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 9, 2022.

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.