In an increasingly global world, it’s paramount for highly skilled professionals to be well-versed in legal matters and practices beyond the scope of their country. It’s also an opportunity for students to learn more about U.S. legal education. For Southwest University of Political Science and Law student, Wei Shi, the Foundations of U.S. Law and Practice Summer Program, formerly known as the American Law and Language Program (ALLP), at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, was a fantastic opportunity to get acclimated to the academic culture in the United States before starting her exchange program at Moritz.
“Before the beginning of the term, I was worried about whether I could adapt to the formal courses since I didn’t have any relevant experience. When I learned about the Foundations program, I realized that it was a good opportunity to get used to studying and living in a foreign country in advance,” Shi said. She added that participating in the Foundations program “completely eliminated any worries I had before I came to the United States.”
The Foundations program, which is now in its fifth year, is a full-time, three-week intensive program designed to provide individuals who have studied or are currently studying law outside of the U.S. with a broad exposure to major concepts in U.S. law and American legal training. Through approximately 70 hours of instruction, participants are enriched academically and culturally through four intertwined modules: a survey of legal English and U.S. law school culture, exposure to the foundations of U.S. law and the legal system, an overview of U.S. corporate law and the legal practice of international business and practical, hands-on lawyering skills development. Every year, several Chinese students participate in the program, including students from partner schools throughout China.
Shi enjoyed the curriculum because it provided an opportunity to learn more about some of her favorite legal topics. When asked what her favorite course was, she explained, “Professor Garvin's contracts class, of course.” She was drawn to Professor Garvin’s “profound professional knowledge” and because of this experience, she decided to take his contracts courses for the next two semesters. Shi had originally been an exchange student for just the fall semester at Moritz, but soon after starting the semester, she enjoyed her time so much, that she decided to stay for the full academic year to earn her Master of Laws degree.
In addition to lectures, Shi was able to visit the Common Pleas Court, the Federal Court to meet various federal and state judges, attend a networking event with a prominent Columbus law firm and participated in a trial simulation. She also enjoyed social activities, such as a visit to the local North Market to try food from around the globe. The Foundations program is a valuable resource for current law students, practicing attorneys, judges, business law professionals and those preparing to join any Master of Laws program in a U.S. law school. It’s also the perfect opportunity to explore one of the largest universities in the U.S., explore the campus and facilities and meet people from around the world.
For more information about the program and how to apply, please visit go.osu.edu/uslawandpractice.