The Summer Institute in Transnational Law and Practice

Get a great foundation in the structure, culture, and thinking of the U.S. legal system and practice in just two weeks.

The Summer Institute in Transnational Law and Practice was developed by the University of Washington School of Law - one of the world's leading centers for innovative teaching and research on international, comparative, and U.S. law. Our extensive experience in teaching and researching global and cross-jurisdictional issues translates into two notable strengths of the Summer Institute:

  • For International Practitioners and Legal Scholars
    With the interdisciplinary and global legal practice and legal policy of today, lawyers and legal scholars need a sophisticated understanding of legal and regulatory systems beyond their own. For international practitioners and scholars seeking short term professional development, the Summer Institute provides an excellent overview of the American Legal System and Practice.
  • For International LL.M./J.D. Candidates*
    For international students planning to undertake a LL.M./J.D. program in the United States at the University of Washington or at another law school, the Summer Institute provides the skills needed to successfully complete their studies in a competitive U.S. law school environment. Students trained in a Civil Law legal system will particularly benefit from the introduction to the structure of legal reasoning in the U.S. Common Law System, while refining both oral and written communication skills in English within the U.S. legal context.

The Summer Institute program focuses on three areas--Introduction to the American Legal System and Practice, Legal Skills and Methodology, and Legal English. Sample topics include the U.S. Constitution; branches of government and sources of law; criminal and civil court systems and procedures; alternative dispute resolution; the common law system and introduction to contracts, property and torts; how to read and brief case law; and persuasive legal writing and argumentation.

Using both traditional U.S. law school-style instruction and small group tutorials and practice sessions, participants will familiarize themselves with the methods of legal analysis and argumentation practiced in the United States in core legal areas. All Summer Institute sessions are taught by law faculty and practitioners who are experienced in cross-cultural communication.

Institute registrants will also have the opportunity to visit a courthouse and one of Seattle's largest transnational law firms, as well as enjoy social events in the beautiful University of Washington campus and around Seattle.

The Institute program is a full time two week program. Regular attendance is expected.

Download a sample program schedule.

* Incoming foreign-trained LL.M. candidates in the University of Washington LL.M. programs, especially those planning to take a Bar exam, should attend the Summer Institute, as part of meeting Bar eligibility requirements. The LL.M. programs will not duplicate material covered in the Summer Institute. Tuition for the Summer Institute is separate from and in addition to the LL.M. program Tuition.


All Summer Institute sessions will be held in William H. Gates Hall, the new building housing the University of Washington School of Law, centrally located on campus near downtown Seattle. Gates Hall and the Law Library provide ample study space and complete wireless access, as well as several available computer stations.

Both Seattle and the Pacific Northwest region enjoy mild summer climate and extended daylight, and provide numerous attractions and recreational opportunities within easy reach.

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