Most people think this means only solicitors and barristers, but in fact there are a range of other professionals who also work in the law, such as paralegals or legal secretaries. There are also students or professors who may be studying or lecturing on the more academic aspects of law.

As each country in the world has a different legal system based on either a common law or codified system, we might ask why legal English is important for international law professionals. The answer lies in the fact that English (for better or worse) has become the language of international business, and international business is big business. As a result, working with English-speaking clients, who may well be non-native English speakers themselves, is an essential part of the work of an international lawyer or law professional today.

What exactly is Legal English?

The language used in a strict legal context is different from the more general English often used in everyday social communication. Precise familiarity of specific legal terms is important, together with the knowledge of the level of formality expected in various legal situations.

Above all, a command of the style of English that is used when writing or drafting legal documents is vital. Today’s international commercial contracts, licences or correspondence require a formal style which is unequivocal yet clear, simple and direct.

How will a course of Legal English help?

An effective course of Legal English will teach you how to use English accurately and appropriately in your professional working life. This is not only by learning legal English vocabulary but also by developing the relevant skills of negotiating, dealing with English-speaking business clients and writing.

Where can I do a small group Legal English course for professional adults?

ECS Scotland provides Legal English courses in Edinburgh to a variety of international clients throughout the year. Courses are held as a Combination Course, which means combining a small group general English class in the mornings, with 1-to-1 Legal English classes in the afternoons. Clients are sent a Needs Analysis form before arrival and are asked to tell us exactly what type of legal context they work in and what they would like to cover on the course. A visit to the Scottish Parliament and/or the City Chambers can also be arranged on request as part of the course. A visit to watch the Court in progress is also a popular request.

Our teachers are professional English teachers with many years of experience in teaching Specific English courses to adults from all over the world. Teachers have also taken specific Legal English training courses to gain knowledge of the sector and learn how best to adapt their teaching style to the legal world.

Legal English Combination Courses are available to start any Monday and can last for one week or more. Courses can be for 25 or 30 hours per week.

August Intensive General & Legal English courses or 5-day Legal English courses are also available

Legal English Courses