SILLC Structure

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The Institute begins with an assessment of each participant’s abilities in spoken and written English. Students then work with the Institute faculty to develop a priority list of skills and subjects to work on during the four-week program. The course combines classroom learning with experiential and tutorial methods to maximize each individual’s growth.

Participants spend an average of four hours of class time each day in lectures, tutorials, class discussions, field trips or media experiences. Preparation of research and writing assignments usually occupies another four hours each day.

SILLC students will work on developing the skills that will make their law school experience valuable, such as briefing cases and doing legal research and some introductory legal writing. Students will also visit courtrooms, interview lawyers and judges, and experience U.S. law school culture.


SILLC was an enjoyable, educational and enlightening experience. It prepared me for the LL.M program socially and mentally. I am more than glad I attended it.

Jehan Al-Saeed '14 (Saudi Arabia)
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SILLC provides students a strong foundation for beginning law school.  In addition to daily speaking practice, pronunciation work, and grammar exercises, the institute covers common law reasoning, the fundamentals of legal writing, the U.S. court structure, and an overview of law school classes and the U.S. legal culture. 

In addition to the SILLC instructors, a member of the legal writing faculty teaches students some of the foundational skills necessary to succeed in legal writing.  Students spend time learning how to brief a case, extract a rule, and organize a legal issue for a memorandum or course exam.  The daily assignments help students to not only improve grammar and writing style, they familiarize students with various legal sources and subjects. 

After the summer portion of the institute, SILLC students receive continued support in the form of small-group tutorial sessions and individual meetings.  The small-group tutorial sessions allow students to continue to work on grammar, spoken English, and other skills necessary to succeed with course work, research papers, and exams. 

Special Note

The Duke Law School International Studies Program encourages enrollment in the Institute for students who need to strengthen their English skills before entering the LLM program. The program has also proven highly effective for visiting international scholars.


For more information please contact:

Ms. Suzanne Brown
Summer Institute on Law, Language, & Culture
Duke University School of Law
210 Science Drive
Box 90365
Durham, NC 27708-0365 USA
Telephone: 919.613.7033
Fax: 919.681.6550