A Day in the Life...
Michael Davies is a Legal English language trainer with London's best school of English for lawyers. In this article, he explains about his typical day.
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I studied law at the University of Wales in Aberystwyth and then worked for a few years as a legal assistant and paralegal for several law firms in South Wales. I then took a break to teach EFL (English as a Foreign Language) in Japan and realised that I wanted to combine my twin passions of law and language.
The chance to work for the London School of Legal English was too good an opportunity to miss. It allowed me to live and work in London and teach within a field of English that allowed me to put my academic and professional background to good use.
My first assignment was for a law firm in the City of London called Taylor Rose. I taught a Spanish lawyer for several mornings per week with a mixture of Business English, Legal English and some IELTS preparation. It was challenging work but the course was designed well and the student was excellent so I sought more assignments.
Since then, I have worked for barristers' chambers such as Hardwicke, solicitors such as Baker & McKenzie, the corporate legal departments of Anglo-American, BAT, BDB Limited, Cisco Systems and Google and hundreds of individual lawyers and law students. My advice to English for Law trainers who are just beginning their careers is to treat each student as an individual. Mastering legal English requires an even greater focus and dedication than any other aspects of the English language and a teacher who can motivate their students well and keep them motivated throughout the course is rare.
One of the unique advantages of working for Legal English Language Training is that no day is ever the same. Students come from a range of nations and specialise in various fields of law, so teachers have to keep up-to-date with all aspects of law and the language.
I typically wake up at around 7am and check my schedule for the day. Once a week, there is a short meeting of the tutors and staff to discuss any issues and exchange teaching ideas. Tutors are scattered across the world so it is always useful for picking up some tips on new teaching ideas.
Teaching Legal English Online
There will usually be at least one online class during the day. I like to run these lessons in the mornings so I am able to teach lawyers from Milan, Madrid, Florence and several other cities before many Londoners have even arrived at work.
After that, classes will either be at my home office or at various law firms and legal departments around the city. Currently, my work takes me to Wimbledon, Liverpool Street, Hampstead and near Heathrow Airport. Days can be busy but thoroughly rewarding. I also teach TOLES preparation classes so some lessons may cover this.
In the time between lessons, I will catch up on the latest developments in law, legal English and the English language. Legal English UK is well-resourced so tutors have access to a wide range of material. It helps make the lessons better if the tutors know the latest developments.
A typical day finishes at around 7pm. I will usually relax during the early evening by watching a film or a football game. I might then spend an hour or so preparing for the next day with colleagues.
Michael Davies is the lead Legal English language trainer for the London School of Legal English and Legal English UK. For more information on courses, e-mail us or fill in the form on this page.