USC Gould School of Law Launches Certificate in U.S. Legal Studies, English Proficiency

Two-year program helps Middle East students develop English skills

LOS ANGELES, April 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — USC Gould School of Law is launching a new certificate in U.S. Legal Studies, a two-year program that allows Middle East students to spend one year developing English skills before beginning their LL.M. program.

USC Gould School of Law.

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USC is the first school in California and the third top 20 law school to offer a two-year program designed to bolster students’ English proficiency in a legal setting. For more information on the certificate in U.S. Legal Studies, please visit

USC is currently accepting applications to the new program, which launches in August, 2016. Between 30 and 40 students are expected to enroll in the program.

During the first year of the U.S. Legal Studies program, students will develop:

  • Legal reading and comprehension skills
  • Case briefing skills, legal analysis and synthesis skills in the U.S. common law system.
  • Basic research and citation skills.
  • Exam-writing skills
  • English skills

Students will be grouped with the same cohort throughout the year.

“This is a unique program that allows students to master the skills they need to succeed in both our LL.M. program as well as in their legal careers after graduation,” said Misa Shimotsu-Kim, director of USC Gould Graduate & International Programs. “We created these courses based on our understanding of the LL.M. program as well as the skills and tools that lawyers use in their day-to-day practice. Students will have the opportunity to learn a variety of practical skills, such as client communication and oral advocacy alongside foundational U.S. law.”

The new certificate is the latest innovation conceived by USC Gould Dean Andrew Guzman.

“We recognize that the practice of law is becoming increasingly international. Through our programs, we seek to share our knowledge of U.S. law, as well as gain insight into the laws and cultures of other countries,” said Guzman. “At USC Gould, students have the opportunity to interact with future practitioners from around the world, and develop an international perspective that span the globe.”

For more information on the certificate in U.S. Legal Studies, please visit or contact the Graduate & International Programs office at or 213-821-5916.