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LEAD Summer Series

As a way to prepare for success as a US law student, Minnesota Law offers the Legal English Advanced Development (LEAD) Summer Series to all incoming LL.M. students. LEAD is a summer pre-LL.M. series of mini-courses 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. 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. However, the program will benefit anyone who chooses to enroll.

The LEAD Summer Series is made up of five mini-courses, specifically designed for our incoming LL.M. students. The courses will provide you with an in-depth understanding of Legal English, along with essential insights into the US legal education, the law school classroom and the Minnesota legal community. Each course is designed to address different facets of your academic journey, ensuring you are well-prepared to excel in your LL.M. program.


Each course is designed not only to enhance your academic proficiency but also to foster a deeper appreciation of the US legal system. Students can sign up for any number of mini-courses, with a LEAD Summer Series Certificate awarded to those who complete all five. The courses must be completed within the dates of the course. The online mini-courses are asynchronous (self-paced); one or two Zoom meetings will be scheduled within the two-week course once participants are confirmed.

Words of the Law: US Legal Vocabulary Unveiled (online)
Dates: June 10 - 23, 2024 (two weeks)
Mini-Course Overview: This mini-course demystifies the complex terminology used in US law. Through engaging lectures and interactive exercises, you will become proficient in Legal English, enhancing your ability to comprehend and articulate legal concepts effectively. The course covers a broad spectrum of legal terms and phrases, crucial for navigating your LL.M. studies and future legal practice.

The Law Unpacked: US Common Law vs. Civil Law (online)
Dates: June 24 - July 7, 2024 (two weeks)
Mini-Course Overview: Understanding the intricacies of US common law is vital for any LL.M. student. This mini-course offers a comparative analysis between common law and civil law systems, providing a clear understanding of their historical development, principles, and application in the legal world. Through case studies and discussions, you’ll gain insights into the nuances that define the US legal landscape.

Strategies for Success: Legal Boot Camp for LL.M. Students (online)
Dates: July 8 - 21, 2024 (two weeks)
Mini-Course Overview: Tailored to jumpstart your LL.M. journey, this intensive boot camp equips you with the skills and strategies needed for academic success in US law schools. Topics include effective law school study habits, exam preparation techniques, legal writing and research methods, and adapting to the law school classroom culture. This online course is a must for acclimating quickly and efficiently to your new academic environment.

Case Mastery: Core Strategies for Reading and Briefing Cases (in person)
Dates: July 22 - 26, 2024 (one week)
Mini-Course Overview: Delve into the art of case analysis, a cornerstone of US legal education. This course teaches you how to efficiently read, understand, and brief legal cases. You will learn to identify key legal issues, extract pertinent facts, and discern the rationale behind judicial decisions. The skills gained here are essential for law school classroom discussions, final exams, and legal practice.

Minnesota Law in Motion: Field Trips of Key Legal Sites in the Twin Cities (in person)
Dates: July 29 - August 2, 2024 (one week)
Mini-Course Overview: Experience law in action with guided field trips to significant legal sites in the Twin Cities! This immersive course offers a unique opportunity to visit courts, law firms, and legal institutions, providing a real-world perspective of the legal landscape in Minnesota. Engage with legal professionals, observe courtroom proceedings, and deepen your understanding of the practical aspects of law in the US.

Program Details

The cost of each mini-course is $450. Students who complete all five mini-courses will receive an official LEAD Summer Series Certificate of Completion, as well as a $250 discount. The discount will be in the form of a $250 refund upon completion of the final course.

Registration opens the first week of April on a first come, first served basis. 

For questions about the mini-courses, please contact Professor Karen Lundquist at For questions about the registration process, please contact Hannah Logan at

Note: for LL.M. students entering the U.S. on an F-1 visa, the earliest date to enter the U.S. is July 6, 2024.

Housing and Living

Students are responsible for arranging their own housing while they are in Minnesota. Spaces are available in International Early Arrival Housing temporarily, during July and August, as a place to stay while seeking a permanent lease. Please note that reservations cannot be made until after June 1 of the year you will enroll. Students living in International Early Arrival Housing may purchase meals in the dormitory cafeteria. In addition, there are many restaurants and shops near the university.