I must say that I had a wonderful time at the training and I learnt a lot. Lawyers in Anglo-Saxon countries say that the English language is a tool of their trade,yet so many don't use it effectively. The training equipped me with the necessary skills to use English legal writing to communicate more effectively.
- Denis Nono, Supervisor legal affairs, Uganda Tax Authority
For sure, everybody enjoyed the training. It was very nice to hear a native speaker, specially one with such high legal drafting techniques
- Wagner Osti Pedro, Embraco, Joinville, Brazil
Excellent course. I recommend the training 'Contract Drafting and Legal Writing'. It gave to me the chance to understand the need of Plain Legal English in contracts as a way to mitigate ambiguity or misinterpretation of a clause. Also the training clarified the context in which Anglo-Saxon Legal System is inserted, since the Brazilian Legal System is in a different one.
- Rafael Mechi Nunes, Sr. Contract Lawyer, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Legal English Terms
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It is fairly obvious therefore why a knowledge and understanding of English legal terms is essential for effective legal practice. Firstly, a standard English course will not cover legal terminology. This means that a legal professional who studies such a course will still be unequipped to deal with legal words used in everyday practice. Simple tasks such as understanding and drafting legal documents will be almost impossible without any knowledge of the legal terms used within such documents. In fact, one could go as far to say that a legal professional without any knowledge of legal vocabulary is as much use to a client as someone without any legal training at all. It is clear to see that for legal professional a course in Legal English vocabulary is of much more benefit than a course in standard English.
Legal English Vocabulary
Another reason why it is important for legal professionals to have a knowledge and understanding of the skills and use of Legal English vocabulary is that there are some words in the English language that take on an entirely different meaning when used in a legal context. Therefore a legal professional who has completed a course of standard English may wrongly believe they understand the meaning of a word, causing a lot of confusion when interpreting legal documents. An obvious example is the word “consideration”. In standard English this is used in sentences such as “show him some consideration” meaning “think about him and his situation” etc. However when used in a legal context the word takes on an entirely different meaning, such as, how much money someone pays to purchase a property. This highlights just how easy confusion may arise if a legal professional does not acquire the skill of Legal English vocabulary.
There are some tools that may assist a legal professional alongside a course in Legal English. One such tool is a Legal Dictionary. This is useful as it explains the meaning of legal terms. However, it is not adequate on its own; the best way to understand legal terms is by attending a course and gaining a proper understand of Legal English vocabulary and then supplement this knowledge by using a Legal English Dictionary to occasionally check words in practice.
In conclusion it is clear that Legal English vocabulary is an essential skill for the legal professional to acquire in order to practice law successfully. Without this skill a legal professional will be unable work effectively as they will not understand legal terms. Everyday tasks such as drafting legal documents will be far more difficult. For a legal professional to be a true asset to their firm and its clients an understanding of legal terms is an obvious necessity.
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