Legal English and language strategies for lawyers and professionals in the legal field.
|Date||April 20-22, 2021|
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Intensive workshop designed for legal professionals and managers who want to improve their legal vocabulary, learn the correct phraseology, and communicate with their international clients smoothly and efficiently.
Legal English (or Legalese) isn’t only for courtroom settings or contract drafting. Legal and business professionals will encounter legalese in many contexts, ranging from news stories to contracts to negotiations to emails with clients and small talk with colleagues. Every morning will begin with a warming-up discussion of “law in the news” and how to read and discuss the nuances of legal language in the news.
As communication becomes more casual and the world moves toward more informal interactions, the concept of legalese gains more attention and many professionals question whether the more formal legal language still has a place in the world or whether plain language should become more common. We’ll discuss the positives and negatives of formal and informal language in different contexts, so that participants can be aware of the differences and consequences of each, but most importantly teach participants to recognize and effectively use both legalese styles.
A class that shouldn’t be missed for global-minded legal professionals!
- Understand the basic differences between general English and legal terms
- Recognize the evolving approach to formal legal English vs plain-language legal English, which is increasingly used in both law firms and businesses
- Identify the importance of punctuation and grammar, including the real legal consequences that mistakes can have
- Understand how to interpret contract provisions, including what to look out for and how broadly or narrowly the legal language used might be interpreted
- Gain confidence in using Legal English with clients, colleagues, and other professionals
Participants will be encouraged and have the opportunity to put their legalese and the skills they are learning in this course into action in every session with negotiations, staged interactions, contract drafting, mediations, and more through interesting real-world cases and scenarios:
- The Million Dollar Comma Case – how a missing comma in legislation cost businesses millions of dollars
- Tip of the Iceberg Contract Provisions – how innocent-looking contract provisions that could be read much more expansively than anyone likely intended and unintentionally trap a client into far more than you expect
- The Greatest Negotiation in Hollywood History – how staying true to your clients’ goals and being intentional and strategic with contract language can seriously pay off
Schedule and Course Content
Session 1 (2.5 hours)
- Introduction to Legalese
- Main Topic: Effective Communication
- Different types of effective communication with clients, colleagues, and professional counterparts
- Emails, meetings, negotiations, and small talk
- Activity: Small mock negotiations and interactions
Session 2 (2.5 hours)
- Main Topic: Punctuation and Grammar, Interpreting Legislation and Regulations
- Discussion of the Million Dollar Comma
- Reading and Reviewing Legislation and Regulations, through applications to real life scenarios
- Discussion of the Tip of the Iceberg Contract Clause
- Contract Language in Real Contracts
- Plain English or Legalese?
- Discussion on Formal vs Informal Phrasing
Session 3 (2.5 hours)
- Main Topic: Resolving Conflict
- Mediation for Contract Breaches – based on Contract Drafts
- Review and discussion of the Mediation and the Greatest Negotiation in Hollywood History
- Concluding conversation about the real-world impact of Legalese
Handouts will be provided at the start of class.
Carollann Braum, LL.M., J.D.
AAU Academy Instructor, Executive Courses
Program Chair, Mediator and Restorative Justice Facilitator
Braum is a lawyer who was admitted to the bars in Colorado and Oklahoma in the United States (currently not active). She is currently researching the use of truth and reconciliation commissions and trials for past human rights violations committed during decolonization as part of her Ph.D. research with the University of London. She earned an LLM in International Human Rights Law from the University of Notre Dame Law School, as well as a Juris Doctor from Oklahoma City University School of Law. Before moving to Prague, Ms. Braum ran an immigration and human rights solo law practice in Colorado and has trial experience in federal civil rights law. Prior to that, she engaged in research regarding human trafficking and organized crime prosecutions in Chicago and Denver and helped draft legislation aimed at combating human trafficking and organized crime in Oklahoma.
See what our students have to say
We do almost all of our projects in small international teams, and we work together like we would in a business company and synergize our different ideas. There's flexibilities to meet with teachers outside of class, and ask them questions, not just specifically things we learn in the class.
Business Administration, United States of America
AAU makes networking incredibly easy to do. I was able to participate in various events that don't necessarily connect to my coursework like conferences, literature festivals, debates, lectures, etc. When I was President of the Diplomatic Club, AAU helped me get in touch with event-organizers, which, for example, allowed us to host an event during the Festival of Democracy organized by the famous Forum 2000 conference.
Business Administration, Russian Federation