Presentation of New English Legal Language Course for Law Schools supported by USAID

A model syllabus of the Legal English Course developed by a team of Ukrainian and international teachers with support from the USAID New Justice Program was presented on September 2, 2021. This is the third training program intended to develop the language skills of legal professionals. Earlier this year in April, two other model syllabi were presented, namely, Legal Research and Writing in Ukrainian for first-year students and Legal Writing in English Course for third- and fourth-year students.

The Legal English Course aims to improve the teaching of first- and second-year undergraduate students in the English legal language. Besides, the program is intended to assist Ukrainian law schools with implementing national standards of legal education and modernizing their syllabi to allow for the actual needs of the globalized labor market.

The online event brought together representatives of law school administrations, lecturers, student leaders, and other people interested in strengthening the capacities of Ukrainian higher education institutions to teach the English legal language.

Andriy Boyko, Head of the Ministry of Education Methodological and Academic Council’s Sub-Committee on Legal Education Standards welcomed the participants of the event.

International legal systems today have a significant impact on national systems. Therefore, there is no doubt that proper knowledge of legal English is extremely important for lawyers. I sincerely hope that this course will help Ukrainian law schools to significantly improve the quality of students’ training,” pointed out Mr. Boyko.

Participants discussed how students would gain up-to-date academic and practical knowledge using the English legal language and how law schools could be encouraged to implement the Legal English course in the context of the Innovative plan for training a legal professional.

The development team presented the course itself. Christopher R. Kelley, Associate Professor, University of Arkansas School of Law and Nonresident Professor, Law Institute, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, and Maria Stolbova, Senior Lecturer, School of Law at the National University “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”, familiarized participants with their vision of why a good knowledge of English legal language is a key component of training legal professionals in the modern global world. Following, Tеtiana Mikhaylina, Professor of the Department of Theory, History of State and Law and Philosophy of Law, Vasyl Stus Donetsk National University; Liliia Amelicheva, Associate Professor, Department of Civil Law and Procedure, Faculty of Law, Vasyl Stus Donetsk National University; Svitlana Mykytiuk and Olga Zelinska, Associate Professors at Department of Foreign Languages №1, Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University; and Olga Grishyna, lawyer-linguist, TOLES and EULETA Representative in Ukraine covered major elements and benefits of the course.

At the conclusion, Legal Advisor to the USAID New Justice Program Artem Shaipov expressed a hope that very soon the model syllabus of the Legal English Course will become an integral part of training law students in leading Ukrainian law schools.