Presented by

Legal English for Legal Assistants

Avoid simple but serious mistakes and maximise productivity and efficiency with this intensive 2-day workshop aimed at perfecting and polishing the use of legal English for legal secretaries, paralegals and legal assistants.

Find out more

  • Format: Bespoke training
  • CPD: 12 hours for your records (depending on your requirements)
  • Certificate of completion

Course Overview

English is often the basis for international communication. As the legal and business world becomes evermore global, the scope of the legal assistants role has broadened to involve the preparation of more complex legal communications and documentation.

The need for precise and effective legal writing and understanding is essential to ensure the organisation is not exposed to unnecessary legal risk, accuracy can often prove more difficult if you are not communicating in your first language.

A solid and precise understanding of legal English and its uses is a fundamental and necessary skill of the effective legal assistant in international business.

What are the objectives of this In-house workshop?

This two-day experiential workshop has been specifically designed to equip attendees with the ability to utilise their English skills successfully in legal business practice.

During the course of the programme you will:

  • REVIEW the key writing skills of the legal assistant through practical and hands-one exercises
  • LEARN and practice new reading techniques that will allow you to speed through legal documentation with confidence
  • ACHIEVE fluency in all your legal communications
  • IDENTIFY and correctly apply legal terminology to deliver concise and effective commercial correspondence
  • PRACTICE managing complicated and difficult phone calls to complete them with confidence

    Interactive and practical workshops

      A series of hands-on workshops will allow participants to identify and put into practice the correct terminology essential to any professional conducting legal communications effectively and accurately under guidance from our expert presenter.

      Who is this programme for?

      • Legal assistants
      • Legal secretaries in private practice law firms
      • Legal secretaries in corporate legal departments
      • Paralegals
      • Translators

      NB: This programme is specifically designed for those who do not have English as their mother tongue.

      Programme - Day 1

      Who’s who in the modern legal practice?

      • Modern legal practice and systems
      • Structure of law firms
      • Areas of practice

      Telephone calls

      • Practising telephone language
      • Taking and relaying messages
      • Dealing with difficult telephone calls and learning how to be “diplomatic”
      • Using language of offering help and making suggestions

      Delegates will be required to deal with a difficult call from a client.

      Grammar review

      • A review of the main grammatical points that will clarify the meaning of legal documents and correspondence
      • Tenses
      • Reported speech
      • Punctuation
      • Avoiding unusual word order in legal documents and correspondence to make them clearer

      Writing skills for the legal assistant (1)

      • Taking dictation
      • Writing summaries
      • Taking minutes and learning about their layout
      • Writing reports
      • Taking notes

      Delegates will work in groups and be required to relay messages and take dictation accurately.

      Writing skills for the legal assistant (2)

      • Technical legal jargon and plain English alternatives
      • How to use legal jargon correctly
      • Re-wording sentences
      • Re-wording clauses
      • Avoiding over-complex sentences and structures
      • What not to write: repetition, old-fashioned phrases, jargon active versus passive case

      Delegates will be required to identify key legal jargon and to rephrase sentences and clauses using plain English alternatives.

      Programme - Day 2

      Formal letters, emails and memos

      • Conventional phrases and structures; opening and closing; listing information
      • Presenting information clearly and simply
      • The importance of the subject line and introductory paragraph
      • Using discourse markers
      • The importance of linking paragraphs
      • Choosing the right form of communication

      Delegates will be given segments of a letter which they will need to redraft using the most applicable form of communication, register and language with personal feedback and advice from the course facilitator.

      Principles for drafting a contract

      • Structure of a contract
      • Key phrases and terms and their meanings
      • Common contract templates and contractual clauses

      Delegates will be give the task of identifying key elements in a contracts.

      Reading techniques

      • Skim reading for general idea
      • Scan reading for specific information
      • Reading for meaning
      • Acquisition of contract terminology

      Delegates will be required to identify specific information within a contract in a limited amount of time.

      Jeremy Keys

      Jeremy David Keys BA, PGCE, Solicitor (non-practising) is qualified both as a lawyer and as an English teacher. He began working as a solicitor for the internationally renowned business law firm Lawrence Graham in London and has been qualified for many years. He has been teaching legal English and business English since 1996 to undergraduates, practising lawyers and business people, as well as teaching Law to students of the law degrees of Manchester University and East London University. Students include lawyers and trainees from some of the world’s largest and most prestigious firms. Jeremy has also taught for the British Council and Open University.

      More details

      We don't have any currently scheduled dates for this course but we can customise it to your requirements and deliver it on an in-house basis for any number of your staff or colleagues.

      See below or contact us to discuss yor requirements.


      • ADM International Sàrl
      • Bank For International Settlements
      • Citrix Systems International GmbH
      • Debiopharm International SA
      • Merck Serono SA
      • Nestle Nespresso S A
      • Universal Postal Union


      • AUDI AG
      • BI Pharma GmbH & Co KG
      • Celesio AG
      • CLS Construction Legal Services GmBH
      • Grünenthal Pharma GmbH & Co KG
      • Wintershall Holding GmbH


      • Astellas Pharma Europe BV
      • Biomet Europe BV
      • ESA/ESTEC
      • Flow Traders BV
      • LeasePlan Corporation NV
      • PGGM NV


      • Avnet Europe Comm VA
      • GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals SA
      • Ingram Micro Europe BVBA
      • Pfizer SA


      • Faurecia
      • Nissan Europe SAS
      • Sanofi-Aventis Groupe
      • Societe General


      • AB Svenska Spel
      • Advokatfirman Vinge KB
      • Global Blue Holdings AB
      • V&S Vin & Sprit AB (publ)


      • CLT-UFA (RTL Group Company)
      • Enovos International SA
      • European Investment Bank


      • Fokus Bank ASA
      • Pronova Biopharma AS
      • Wikborg Rein & Co


      • Coca Cola Enterprises
      • Lawson Bishop Ltd
      • Provident Financial Management Services Ltd


      • Novozymes A/S
      • Svendborg Brakes


      • Rautaruukki Oyj
      • Widman & Co Attorneys at Law Ltd


      • Banca D'Italia
      • Danieli & C Officine Meccaniche SpA


      • Moore Stephens Sam
      • Single Buoy Moorings


      • Baker Hughes Co Ltd


      • The Central Bank Of Hungary


      • GE Capital Aviation Services Ltd


      • Zibara Law Firm


      • Russian Railways Joint Stock Company

      Multiple colleagues?
      Talk to one of our training experts to discuss how to:

      Run this course conveniently and cost-effectively in-house for your staff and colleagues

      Aleksandra BEER
      Training expert

      +44 (0)20 7749 4749