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Is a Legal English course right for me?

7th March 2017

Bit lost for words when discussing law in English?

You’ve obviously got a pretty good level of English; you’re reading this blog with no problems, you don’t need subtitles when you watch a film in English, and you’ve probably done an IELTS or Cambridge English exam at some point in your life. But how’s your legal English? How would you feel discussing intellectual property, employment law or the Sherman Antritust act in English? According to TOLES, leading law firms have “complained that law graduates holding a wide variety of English language certificates lacked the level of English required to carry out essential legal tasks”.  

At Wimbledon School of English, we come up against this problem every day. We meet people who have studied English their entire lives but have never received any formal language training in their area of work or studies. In this blog we’re going to take a look at Legal English and the TOLES Advanced exam.   

Is the course for me? 
Provided you have a C1 level of English and you’re prepared to work hard then yes. The course is suitable for practicing lawyers and law students.

What will I learn?
As is the case with other English language courses, you will focus on improving your language skills in all areas; reading, writing, speaking, listening, grammar and vocabulary. There will be lots of specialist terminology and legal jargon so make sure you bring a notepad for new vocab. Guided by expert teachers, you’ll work with a variety of legal English textbooks and real-life materials. You will analyse and discuss case studies, draft legal correspondence, and engage in simulations and role plays.  

What areas of law are covered? 
We cover a lot of content during this course but here are just some of the areas we focus on: corporate law, contract law, sale of good, negotiable instruments, competition, secured transactions, debtor-creditor, etc. Remember that our trainers take into account your individual needs so if you’re a specialist in property law or intellectual property, we will ensure this is covered.

Should I take the TOLES Advanced exam?
If you’re looking to consolidate all of your learning with an official qualification then this is the exam for you. It is the only official Legal English qualification and it will prove to employers that you have the language skills required to work in English. The TOLES Advanced qualification is considered “the gold standard” of legal English achievement.

What doors will it open in terms of employment? 
TOLES is recognised by international firms, in-house legal teams and translation companies. Your professional experience and university education will still be your most important asset when it comes to securing a new job, but having a proven level of legal English is another string to your bow. A TOLES qualification will set you apart from other candidates.

Which companies most value the exam? 
The TOLES website has a pretty impressive list of companies and organisations that have entered candidates for the TOLES exam. These include The Law Society of England and Wales, Linklaters Oppenhoff and Radler, PwC, KPMG, Sony Ericsson, European Court of Justice, Deutsche Bundesbank, Qatar Steel Company and Siemens. Visit the TOLES website for a full list.

This all sounds good. Where can I find more information about courses? 
For more information on the course content, dates and fees, visit our Legal English and TOLES preparation page