The course caters particularly to law students from abroad (especially those preparing to spend a period of time studying at a German law faculty) and for future translators and interpreters with an interest in acquiring a fundamental grounding in German law and expanding their legal vocabulary.
The "Introduction to German Law and German Legal Language" specialist course consists of 25 hours of teaching per week. The course introduces students to the law of the Federal Republic of Germany through short lectures on various areas of law (max. 45 minutes per topic) that are flanked by legal exercises. The course content is based on the topics dealt with in the course instructor's book, "Deutsche Rechtssprache – Ein Studien- und Arbeitsbuch mit Einführung in das deutsche Recht" (C.H. Beck, 6th edition, Munich), but it also includes newer exercises based on recent court rulings. All participants receive a set of notes and exercises.
Teaching is geared to giving students a chance to bring in their own prior knowledge from their home legal systems and to make oral contributions in class. Small group work, student presentations, films on legal topics adapted for instruction purposes and typical legal texts (penal orders, judgements, court orders) are all part of the programme.
Students also attend one civil and one criminal court case in Bayreuth, take part in a Q&A session with German law students and are afforded opportunities to meet a court interpreter and practitioners from various legal professions ("Notar", "Rechtsanwältin", etc.).
Heike Simon, the course instructor, practises in Bayreuth as a lawyer ("Rechtsanwältin") and is a publicly appointed and sworn translator and interpreter for the English language. She has taught German law and German legal language to foreign students since 1992.
This specialist law course also contains teaching units focussing on German legal language. The total teaching hours are approximately 75 hours in the whole course period.