John T Woodward
LLB (Bachelor of Laws)
Sydney University Law School
Attorney of Law, Sydney
My name is John Woodward, and I lecture in English Law at the Institute for Professional English Communication (I.P.E.C.) in Tokyo, Japan. I practiced law as an Attorney for many years in Sydney in many different fields of the law including Corporate law, Contracts, Securities, Inheritance, and Litigation.
I would like to introduce you to an I.P.E.C. legal English language service, which I believe would be helpful to employees of law firms and corporate law departments in Tokyo interested in United States and United Kingdom law, particularly Corporate Law, Contract Law, and the court systems and jurisdictions in those 2 countries.
I.P.E.C. has developed a legal English course that would useful for Japanese judges, lawyers, business people, court clerks, paralegals, legal secretaries, legal assistants, law firm staff, law school students and undergraduate students.
Through this course, participants will have the opportunity to: 1. learn legal English as used by international legal professionals in the daily practice of the law; 2. develop skills to increase their accuracy in international legal communication, particularly via letters, email and telephone; 3. increase their legal English vocabulary within the context of learning about the legal systems of the U.K., and the U.S.A., and 4. increase the accuracy of their legal research skills.
Our course focuses on learning legal English as used daily in the following practice areas: legal systems, corporate law, contracts, sale of goods, bankruptcy, and legal writing in plain English. Each class, in English, will give emphasis to: 1. legal vocabulary; 2. listening to legal conversations; 3. practicing legal writing; and 4. practicing speaking with a foreign English speaking lawyer.
During the class students will examine legal terms and expressions used in context. These terms and expressions may come from sources such as: extracts from legislation, court orders, judges’ findings, colleagues in the legal profession discussing their work, and websites related to the law.
Legal terms often use the same vocabulary as basic conversational English, but with a different meaning. Therefore, students will learn how to identify the correct interpretation of a legal term, so that they can respond accurately when faced with a similar situation in their work. Students will also learn effective ways of asking their foreign colleagues for clarification of legal issues in the United States and United Kingdom.
Students will also practice legal vocabulary and terminology. The class will involve a series of classroom activities during which students will practice their listening, legal writing and speaking skills. Individual, small-group and pair-work will include: practice dialogues, role play situations, drafting emails and letters, completing the definition of a legal term and completing sentences using legal terms. Additionally, students will work in small groups or pairs using legal language to write about and discuss the law.
There will be homework assigned at the end of each class, on a class by class basis. Homework will include practicing legal writing skills and legal research skills.
Legal English is a 20 week course, which will meet once a week for 1.5 hours. During each class the goal is to cover approximately 1 to 2 topics from the I.P.E.C. course material and nominated textbooks. At the conclusion of this course students have the option of taking I.P.E.C.’s International Legal English Examination. This exam consists of 5 parts: legal English in daily practice, reading, listening, writing and speaking.
I.P.E.C. will answer any questions which you may have about this course.
John T Woodward