Shelley Saltzman of ALP Earns Global Legal Skills Award

In May, Dr. Shelley Saltzman, Associate Director for Curriculum and Assessment and Senior Lecturer for the American Language Program (ALP), received the Global Legal Skills (GLS) Award for Outstanding Contributions to International Legal Skills Education for 25 years of innovation. The award was given at the GLS Conference at John Marshall Law School in Chicago. GLS connects linguists, legal writing faculty, and law professors, who teach international lawyers.

Saltzman coordinates and co-teaches a summer English course for incoming LLM students at Columbia Law School. She taught one of the first English language courses for international lawyers, which took place in 1989.

“It came as a shock to me,” Saltzman said of receiving the award. “I have presented [at these conferences] often, but didn’t expect to be the recipient of this award.”

How did she get her start teaching Legal English to international students? She said, “When I was asked to teach English for Business Purposes, I attended a fascinating lecture at the B School on civil litigation and thought, ‘How about if I don't teach English for business purposes but, instead, English for legal purposes?’"

She said that what interests her in law is its relevance to American culture. “If you look at the New York Times front page and such top TV shows as 'Law and Order' or 'NCIS,' many of them concern Constitution law or criminal procedure,” she said. “I think, to understand American culture, you have to understand our legal system.”