Legal English for Lawyers

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Legal English Language Training in 2017

In this article, we analyse that very specific area of learning English as a Foreign Language:  Legal English.  It is classed as being an ESP (English for Specific Purposes) course.  This is an area of English language teaching that is more tailored, partly because of the language involved and partly because of the specific demands of the people who study it.  With this in mind, it is important that you choose a tutor who is both an EFL specialist as well as somebody with significant experience in the law.

 

It has been recognised that as English is the lingua franca for international business and is considered the legal language of the European Union that a simple English as a Foreign Language course is insufficient for the purposes of working actively as a lawyer using the English language.  Hence, we have created a series of courses in English for legal professionals.  

 

The need for English

Any international applicants wishing to work as lawyers in the UK will need to show that their English language skills are of B2 (advanced) level.  This can be done by various means; with the most likely being through successfully completing certain tests of English, including IELTS and the Cambridge exams.  

 

EU lawyers do not need to prove their English language skills to join the Law Society's list of registered lawyers, but law firms will demand some proof of your English language skills, which brings us to the two major tests of Legal English.  

 

Tests of Legal English Proficiency

There are two major examinations of Legal English:  The Examination of Legal English and TOLES  Both of these tests are recognised by major law firms and academic institutions and passing either will enhance your CV as well as your chances of gaining employment.  You can find out more about either test using the links to your right.  

 

The specifics

The laws of England and Wales and the English political and legal system are such broad subject matters that they require focused tuition from skilled trainers.  Group classes can cover the basics of both but if you are looking for deep knowledge of these areas, you will need private lessons.

 

Legal English differs from standard English in many ways; particularly in the form of how to write letters and reports and the composition of legal documents.  

 

Legal English contains unusual expressions, particular legal terms, a lack of punctuation and the frequent use of certain phrasal verbs.  In some cases, a native speaker of English might struggle to comprehend some legal documents and as a consequence, a non-native speaker needs to adapt fast to this new strand of English.

 

If you would like to learn Legal English in London, Dubai, Berlin Paris or online with us then please telephone 020 3566 0145, e-mail us or fill in the form on this page.  

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