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Anglo-American Law

The study program in Anglo-American Law (AAL) lasts three semesters.
The first course, which is held in the Summer Semester, is a general Introduction to Anglo-American Legal Language, in which students learn the basic vocabulary of the courtroom, the legislative process, legal institutions, the pre-trial and trial process, and appellate opinions. Students also receive a brief introduction to the vocabulary of some substantive areas of law such as torts, contracts, and constitutional law.
To continue in the AAL program, students must receive a passing grade on the exam at the end of the Introduction. Alternately, students may demonstrate sufficient familiarity with common-law legal terminology from another source, such as internships or a legal English course at another university.
In the Winter Semester following the legal language course, the program continues with a two-semester Introduction to Anglo-American Law, including units on torts, contracts, constitutional law, business organizations, and antitrust law. The class proceeds on the basis of extensive discussions of individual cases. Students are required to read materials before class and are expected to participate. There is one exam at the end of each of the two semesters. The student’s grade is the average of his or her grades on each of the two exams.
The AAL course is taught partially as a lecture, and partially as an interactive, discussion-oriented Socratic class. Students are encouraged to think like common-law lawyers by arguing both sides of a case, analyzing policy consequences of legal rules, and evaluating and critiquing judges’ methods and reasoning. Students who participate frequently in class discussion receive an extra point on their exams.
The Heinrich-Heine University Anglo-American Law program is challenging and intensive. Students are expected to read, analyze, and spontaneously discuss actual laws, judicial opinions, and commentary in English. At the end of the program, students who have received an overall passing grade receive a bilingual German/ English certificate reflecting their final grade in the two-semester AAL program. Students who go on to LL.M programs in common-law nations have, on a case-by-case basis, been able to use successful participation in the Heinrich-Heine University AAL program to bypass similar introductory classes during their LL.M studies.

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