Importance of Legal English
By: Anjali Tiwari
We are aware of the fact that Legal English is an important part of our profession (Lawyer). We are going to be future lawyers, so it is very important for us to know the words which are used in the courts, to do drafting, to assist clients, to plead, litigate, to fight the case in the court, to interact with the judges, because Legal English is used here. It is a form of English which has been used in our profession ‘Law’. We can also say that this language is specifically for the legal professionals such as lawyers, attorneys, solicitors, judges, legal assistants. Legal English is different from the English which we used to speak in our daily lives; it can’t be understood by the layman. We need to learn this language in order to perform well in the field of law. If we know the legal terms then it will also help us to interact more professionally with others. Some students also wanted to study abroad and apply their learned skills, so it is necessary to know the language in order to communicate well while interacting with others. When you enter into this field, you will work with many lawyers and clients globally, so you need to know the legal terminologies and use them correctly in order to assist them. This will also give a good impact on others about you.
Now, lets us take an example that you’ve studied law from India but you want to work in a corporate or a legal firm in UK, so probably you are most likely to interact with UK attorneys, so the common language between you and the UK attorneys is Legal English, now if you are aware of the language or legal terms so it will be easier for you to communicate with them or to deal the cases together. It will also open your opportunities to work with other firms internationally.
Now, if we talk about some of the technical terms like plaintiff- which means someone who files the plaint or initiates lawsuit against the defendant, so this term can’t be understood by the non-native speaker, this term can only be understood by someone who is the native speaker or have the knowledge of the word. Many legal maxims in Legal English are taken from the Latin, like for example: ‘Amicus curiae’ which means ‘Friend of the court’, so this word can also be understood by the one who uses this word, or aware about the word, have the knowledge or speak often these words. So, legal English is very important to know the terms which are important which are going to be used in our profession.
If we talk about the other aspects like if we have to draft a contract or prepare a will, we have to master the legal terms, because in drafting, pleading, legislation etc in every line we will have to use the Legal English. This is not only about drafting, it is also about reading and understanding contracts.
If we are going to make arguments in the courts, Legal English is very necessary to use, because it gives a good impression in the court and also if we are aware about the terms it looks more professional and also we are able to convince the judge, or make our arguments easily and make you win. Verbal communication skills are also important.
Also, it is very necessary to use the correct legal terms, with other attorneys or clients.
To win the trust over your client it is necessary that you should have the knowledge of legal terms, and also if all goes well then there is a chance that you’ll get more clients.
In the case laws, precedents, judgments, statutes Legal English is used, so in order to understand those documents we should have the command over formalized legal language.
Legal English is important:
1) To make arguments in court.
2) To have a good impression in front of the judge.
3) To understand the legal documents, case laws, judgments etc.
4) To connect with other attorneys globally.
5) To prepare a will, contract for the parties.
6) To impress the client with your skills.
7) To work for other firms or companies, it is also necessary to have a good command over the language.