DATES: JUL 27 - AUG 7, 2020    
VENUE: ILI Headquarters, Washington, D.C., USA      
TUITION: $4200    







In its 50th consecutive year, the Orientation in the U.S. Legal System and Business Law seminar is the first and longest running program of its kind. This seminar introduces participants to the American common law, including the fundamental American laws and regulations affecting international business with U.S. counterparts. This seminar is ideal for foreign lawyers and professionals, arbitrators, law students, for those preparing for a U.S. LL.M., or for anyone who deals with American and international clients and partners.

Course Outline

Strategic Benefits

  • Basic knowledge of the institutions of the American legal system
  • The use of case law and judicial precedent. Exposure to major judicial doctrines central to American law  
  • Enhancement of analytical and research skills needed in the study of law
  • Better understanding of the role of the legal profession in the U.S.
  • Opportunities to meet lawyers from the private and public sectors and the chance to observe the practice of law in court

Class Topics

  • The American Court System
  • Arbitration and American Courts: Enforcement
  • The American Court System: Civil Litigation and Jurisdiction of Courts
  • International Litigation: Extraterritorial Application of U.S. Law; U.S. Civil Procedure Abroad; Other Proceedings
  • Commercial Contracts: Negotiation of Contracts with American Lawyers
  • American Torts in the International Setting
  • Products Liability Law in the U.S. Legal System
  • The U.S. Insurance System and Its Impact on Business Claims
  • SEC, Sarbanes-Oxley and Other Recent Legislation with International Effects on Corporations
  • Corporate Governance
  • Investor-State Arbitration
  • Intellectual Property

Course Advisor

Professor Charles F. Abernathy of the Georgetown University Law Center has directed the Orientation program for the past seventeen years. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, Professor Abernathy was a co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center in 1971. He has written casebooks on civil rights, constitutional litigation and on the law of equal employment opportunity. One of his more recent works is Law in the United States: Cases and Materials, which also serves as the basic text of the Orientation seminar.

See also:  Combination course: Legal English & Writing and Orientation in the U.S. Legal System, and Business Law

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:  The International Law Institute is grateful to the following organizations for their support of the Orientation in the U.S. Legal System: 


A. Menadini Pharmaceutical Company
Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld
Asahi Chemical Co.
Asia Foundation
Baker & McKenzie
Bank of Indonesia
Bryan, Cave, McPheeters & McRoberts
China National Offshore Oil Corp.
C. Itoh & Co.
Council for the International Exchange of Scholars
Environmental Protection Agency, Govt. of Japan
Export-Import Bank of Japan
Ford Foundation
Fuji Electric Co.
Fujitsu, Ltd.
Fulbright Foundation
Fulbright South African Fellowship Program
Government of Korea
Government of Zhejiang Province, China
Government of Thailand
    Harvard Institute for International Development
Institute of International Education
Japanese Legislative Society
Kansai Electric Power Company
Konrad Adenauer Stiftung
Mitsui Bank, Ltd.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius
NGK Insulators, Ltd.
Nippon Lyle Insurance Co.
Nippon Fire & Marine Insurance Co.
Sanwa Bank
Sumitomo Corporation
Swiss Bank Corporation
Swiss National Science Foundation
Takeda Chemical Industries, Ltd.
Union Bank of Switzerland