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Five languages that lawyers should know

Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates revealed recently that his biggest regret in life is that he has not learned a second language, while when he left office former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said that he really wanted to speak another language.  Having worked with some of the most successful lawyers on the planet, we understand that becoming fluent in another language sets these professionals apart from their rivals, and will benefit the organisation that they work for as well.  So, which languages should lawyers learn?  We take a look at the top five.


1.  Legal English/Business English

This is the number one language to know for business and law.  Aside from helping you to understand the English legal system, it will allow you to form business relationships in the UK, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand (among others).  


Bear in mind that most of the world is also learning English as a second language at the moment, and it becomes increasingly clearer that this is a language that you should develop at least some fluency in.


2.  Legal Spanish

After Legal English, our legal language training agency has a greater demand for courses in Spanish for Law than for any other language, and it is easy to understand why.  The economic potential for law firms dealing with Latin American countries such as Peru, Chile and Argentina is huge, and coupled with the existing commercial union that the UK has with Spain, it is to any lawyers' advantage that they develop a deeper understanding of Spanish legal systems as well as the legal language.


3. Portuguese

The economic potential of Brazil is huge, and the country is rich in natural resources as well as talented lawyers and businesspeople.  Brazilian lawyers study English with us on a regular basis, so we know that much of the population is looking to improve their Business English skills, but we also encourage legal practitioners looking to develop business relationships in Brazil to learn some Portuguese.


4. Russian

Despite the economic and legal uncertainties, having knowledge of a nation with huge natural resources, a strong IT sector and extending your communication skills to 300 million people seems advantageous to lawyers seeking to stand out from their competitors.  Russian people are notoriously difficult to form friendships with, so understanding their language will stand you in good stead.


5. German

Germany is the largest economy in Europe and the United Kingdom does a subsantial amount of business with the country.  Berwin Leighton and Olswang are just two of the firms in The Legal 500 which already have a presence in Germany, with many more sure to follow.  


Understanding some of the German language and its' legal system will be of enormous benefit to legal professionals looking to do business within the country.  



Legal English UK runs courses in English language for law as well as a range of foreign languages for lawyers.  Call us on 020 3566 0145, e-mail us or fill out the form on this page.  

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