Reading Comprehension of Legal English Texts

Improve your Legal English skills to easily comprehend important legal concepts when reading Legal Texts in English

As modern lawyers, it becomes more and more common, even necessary, to conduct research from international sources of law. Most commonly, these sources are in English.

However, knowing general English is not sufficient. One must understand the Legal English terms, vocabulary, collocations, and concepts, in order to fully understand the legal texts.

By improving your Legal English skills, you improve your Reading Comprehension ability when conducting legal research.

 This helps you become a better lawyer and more competitive. Of course, this also benefits both your client and your law firm.

Your reading comprehension ability is very important

You cannot take advantage of all the source materials that are available in English, if you have difficulty comprehending the text. General English ability can only get you so far: a lawyer researching legal texts needs a high level of Legal English skills, in order to understand what is being read.

Important Sources of Law are available in English

If you can conduct your legal research in English, then you open up many doors.

There are countless sources that are written in English and are available. However, you need to have not just general English skills, but Legal English skills in order to understand the legal texts. 

Here are just some potential sources:

  • Court decisions from the United States and United Kingdom
  • Court decisions from European courts: European Court of Human Rights and Court of Justice of the European Union
  • Decisions from International Tribunals: International Criminal Court, World Trade Organization's Appellate Body, etc. 
  • Legal Treatises: very important and influential treatises are often written in English, even if the author is not from an English speaking country
  • International Arbitration and Mediation rules, precedents, and treatises are usually in English
  • International Treaties almost always have an authoritative English version
  • Secondary Sources, such as newspapers, magazines, news-sites, and countless other websites are often in English. There is a vast amount of information online that is freely available, if you understand English

Ready to Improve your Legal English?

We can help. Take a look at our flagship course, Elemental Legal English.

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“I understand the English (original) texts better than [the translated] ones”

“Legal English became part of my everyday life. Besides writing of legal documents, I successfully use it for research purposes. Unfortunately, some translations in my native language are difficult to understand and I understand the English (original) texts better than Georgian ones. ”

Maria Shirinyani

Lawyer and former Student

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