Legal English Terms
Legal English is an essential skill for a legal professional, particularly one working in an area of law requiring communication between different countries. It is important not to confuse Legal English with standard English; Legal English is an entirely different skill. A legal professional with knowledge of and even fluent in standard English will still struggle to comprehend Legal English. This is because there are words used in Legal English that will not be covered during a standard English course and also some standard English words have different meanings when used as legal terms.
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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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