Silence filled the room as the judge sat down. The attorneys went through their notes one last time as the jury prepared to hear the criminal actions of a man who had fled the state of Florida.
Olga Oganesyan, deputy director of academic programs at the English Language Institute, smiled as she watched her students navigate the courtroom with confidence and poise.
The mock trial was about to begin.
Now in its ninth year, the English for Lawyers cohort concluded its summer program with a mock trial on August 10 after six weeks of classes. Hosted by Syracuse University’s English Language Institute, English for Lawyers is a program designed to provide a foundation in legal terminology and language use in various fields for non-native English speakers. who intend to pursue an LL.M. degree in the United States.
“Through English for Lawyers, we can help students prepare for their program and make the transition as seamless as possible,” Oganesyan said.
Working in conjunction with the University’s College of Law, the program is divided into three streams to provide a personalized and targeted approach to student needs. Textual communication, oral communication and grammar lessons provide a structured environment for immediate feedback. During class, students work on various projects related to their field and are encouraged to write essays and prepare presentations in a legal context.
Ludmilla Cardoso, an English for Lawyers student, discovered the program when she applied to law school and values the foundational learning needed to navigate the American legal system.
“When I started law school, I realized how important this course was and is to my American journey,” Cardoso said. “[English for Lawyers] prepared us to have confidence in our background and the new knowledge learned in the classroom.”
Additionally, the program offers engaging opportunities to network with guest lecturers and attend field trips related to the legal field. Interactive events offer students a chance to adapt to life in the United States
This summer, English for Lawyers welcomed Deborah Moore, Senior Legal Associate to the Honorable Frederick Scullin; Judge Therese Dancks, United States Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of New York; and Richard Risman and Shannon Gardner of the College of Law.
“In addition to learning courses, the ELI team helps a lot to adapt to the city. This factor is very important, because it allows you to start the master’s degree with prior knowledge of the city and American culture,” explains Glauciane Alves Macedo, student of English for lawyers.
With English for Lawyers, international students can establish a community before beginning their studies in the United States. After completing their studies, they are connected to a global network.
“Living in another place is not easy. This is the start of a new story. However, this experience is worth it. The English Language Institute prepares us to overcome challenges,” says Cardoso. “When I return to my job, I will be able to serve the citizens with even more care.”
Learn more about English for Lawyers.
About the English Language Institute
The English Language Institute, a department of Syracuse University’s College of Professional Studies, is a pre-degree program that prepares international students for success in their undergraduate and graduate programs. Established in 1979, this immersive, year-round program allows international students to learn English and culture in the heart of New York State.