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English for Advanced Legal Study

Available in Summer

This four-week intensive program has been designed in collaboration with Columbia Law School (CLS) and is intended to prepare international LL.M candidates entering an accredited U.S. law school in the Fall for the demands of their graduate coursework.

This course will address all language skills, with emphasis on spoken interaction and basic legal vocabulary. Students will learn to speak more fluently, accurately, and intelligibly and thus be better equipped to participate actively and skillfully in their law school classes. They will also enhance their writing skills, practicing various formats typical of graduate legal study. 

The Program will Include:

  • Multi-skill language instruction in a legal context
  • Lectures by legal professionals and/or law professors
  • Private meetings with judges and/or assistant district attorneys

Participants will:

  • Participate actively in discussions, debates, & simulations
  • Deliver impromptu speeches and prepared presentations on legal matters
  • Receive extensive feedback on their oral and written skills
  • Learn common legal vocabulary and collocations as well as key legal concepts
  • Take notes on law-themed lectures and talks
  • Become familiar with common law school practices such as cold calling
  • Practice the IRAC method of academic legal writing
  • Learn American email etiquette
  • Receive targeted pronunciation help

Testimonials from participants:

"The course surpassed my expectations in every aspect. The progress achieved in 4 weeks is simply incredible...I cannot imagine any other place where I could get this experience."

Having a chance to visit the impressive U.S. Court of Appeals and hear an insightful lecture by the Honorable Denny Chin was one of my many precious moments in the EALS course" 

"Apart from being interesting, the course significantly facilitated the transition to the L.LM."

The strength of this course is a synergy of studying English and studying law. This course focuses on acquiring the basic legal concepts in the U.S., but at the same time requires us to use English correctly and fluently and provides many opportunities for interaction.”

Blog posts from former participants of our course

Rachel, from the Dominican Republic, and Marlene, from Mexico both took the course and wrote blog posts describing their experiences. Click below for an inside perspective on what it's like to take the course. 

Rachel's post

Marlene's post

Our aim is to help students to truly thrive, not just survive, in the law school environment”


The program is open only to incoming LL.M. students at accredited U.S. law school.

Proof of fall admission must be provided at the time of application. 

Dates and Prices

Tuition and fees are subject to Board of Trustee approval and may change.

For a full explanation of fees, see below.

Application Materials

Applicants must apply online. Only applications submitted from the ALP Web site are accepted.

  1. Completed online application form.

    In general, an F-1 (student visa) is required for study in the US. International applicants are required to request an I-20 for the American Language Program (not their LL.M. program) in order to obtain the F-1 visa and must enroll in a full-time program (18 hours or more per week).

    All international students taking EALS must have an I-20 issued by the ALP. At the end of the summer, we will transfer your I-20 from the ALP to your Law School.

    If you are already holding an F-1 visa and attending another school you must also transfer your SEVIS record from your current school to the ALP. Please speak to your Advisor at your current school.

    To receive an I-20, please upload your ALP admission letter with the following documents (see below) to the online I-20 application page (Compass). You will receive your admission letter and I-20 instructions after you are admitted to the program.
  2. Bank statement: this document must be in English and dated within the last three months. It must be from a checking or savings account and must show sufficient available funds to pay the estimated tuition, fees and living expenses.

    • To see required balance for I-20, please see the "Total" amount for your program, above.

    For ALP purposes, we need to see sufficient funds for the ALP I-20 only. However, when you have your visa appointment at the US Embassy in your country, we strongly recommend that you show financial documents with sufficient funds to also cover one year of your L.L.M program. When we transfer your record from the ALP to your law school at the end of the summer you must again show financial documents with sufficient funds to cover one year of your L.L.M program.
  3. Sponsor letter: the letter must be in English and dated within the last three months. It must also be signed by the sponsor. If you are sending your own bank statement you are not required to submit a sponsor letter. The sponsor letter is necessary only if a bank statement will be submitted on your behalf by another person. The person whose bank statement you will submit is your sponsor.

    Your sponsor must submit a letter (sponsor letter) stating that s/he will provide you with full financial support during the period of your study in the ALP. The sponsor letter must be in English and dated within the last three months. It must also be signed by the sponsor.
  4. Photocopy of your passport’s identification page.

    • The page in your passport that shows your photograph, your name and your date of birth.
  5. Copy of your Fall Law School Admission Letter

Once your completed application and accompanying materials and fees have been received and processed, you will receive a U.S. government I-20 A-B form. Bring the I-20 A-B form, along with your letter of acceptance and original financial documents, to a U.S. embassy or consulate in your country to apply for a student (F-1) visa.

Students must apply online. Please select English for Advanced Legal Study as your program. If you have any questions regarding your I-20, SEVIS, transfers, or immigration in general, please contact ALPvisa [[at]] columbia [[dot]] edu.

At the completion of the English for Advanced Legal Study course, you will work with the ALP Visa Office to transfer your I-20 to your law school for the completion of your L.L.M. program.

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