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New online course offers training in language skills

A new online course at Penn State Law offers lawyers trained outside of the U.S. the opportunity to read, analyze, and discuss U.S. case law in English. Introduction to Common Law Analysis and Language begins in January. Class work includes analyzing legal problems, writing typical legal documents, and making oral presentations.

“This course can help a civil law-trained lawyer understand the common law system, and how U.S. case law works. The course is very practically focused, and is driven by client problems that students solve by using common law reasoning. In the course, students build important communication skills including effective case reading, writing/legal analysis, and oral presentations, all helpful in day-to-day legal practice,” said Karen Bysiewicz, Associate Dean for Graduate and International Programs at Penn State Law. Instruction is provided by a law professor and applied linguistics expert. “In addition to judges and lawyers who want to better understand common law case analysis, this class can be a great way to test out a U.S. LL.M. experience.” Students who complete the course will receive two credits and a certificate of completion.

The course was developed in conjunction with Penn State’s World Campus and is delivered online. It can typically can be completed in 13 weeks; sample lesson excerpts are available online. To learn more visit or send an email to

Penn State Law trains international lawyers for the global marketplace. For more than forty years, LL.M. students from around the world have chosen to advance their careers by studying with our distinguished faculty. Profiles of LL.M. students can be found here.


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