44(0) 20 3573 0182
Before you start our course in Legal English, it is vital that you know what to expect. We work with a mixture of international lawyers, barristers, legal secretaries and law students and are often struck by their lack of English or low knowledge of English law.
Our language courses are designed to rectify this and our tutors are trained to spot the weak points of our students and turn them into strengths, but it remains a continual shock that lawyers actually know very little of the English Legal System or even how to write a good legal letter.
HOW CAN I IMPROVE MY LEGAL ENGLISH SKILLS?
Law firms in the UK seem to be operating under the mistaken belief that lawyers from outside the UK already have a good knowledge of English. Unfortunately, we have found that this assumption is far from correct.
Legal English is vastly different from the English that we speak to each other in the street and carries with it its own vocabulary, set of expressions and style. If law firms believe that university law faculties and law schools are teaching this type of language effectively then they are mistaken.
HELPING LEGAL PROFESSIONALS TO COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY
It appears to be the case that law students are taught letter-writing and document-writing skills on campus. However, as far as conversational skills, grammar and vocabulary are concerned, there is an unwillingness to teach it, which is where organisations such as ours come in.
WHAT IS MY LEGAL ENGLISH LEVEL?
If a law firm intends to hire a candidate, we ask them to look at their TOLES (Test of Legal English Skills) or ILEC (International Legal English Certificate) score. These tests focus on language, grammar, expressions, collocations and drafting abilities and can show some evidence to law firms that a candidate has a good base knowledge of Legal English.
HOW DO I UNDERSTAND THE NEEDS OF MY CLIENTS?
Law firms working with international clients will need to employ lawyers with English conversational skills, an understanding of English law and a latent knowledge of Legal English. The reluctance that we see from law firms to spend money on training continues to surprise us and we hope that budgets alter in the future.
For further information on Legal English courses, ILEC courses or TOLES courses, contact us on [email protected], by telephoning 020 3566 0145 or by filling out the short form on this page.