New sections in the Legal English Resources Page: Vocabulary Resources and Legal English Articles!

Post by Prof. Stephen Horowitz, Legal English Lecturer

I recently added two new sections to the Legal English Resources page: 1) Vocabulary Resources and 2) Legal English Articles. See below.

8. Vocabulary Resources

  1. iWeb Corpus – A fantastic resource to help anyone with their vocabulary, legal and other. In particular, if you look up a word, the iWeb Corpus provides a page of extremely helpful info about the word. Not just a definition, but links to pronunciations of the word, synonyms, frequent collocations, clusters (my favorite section), and a long list of examples of the word actually be used. This is the ultimate example of what it means “to know a word”: Not just the definition but all the other info you need to use it. Additionally, you can look up phrases and strings of words, which can give non-native speakers of English a concrete way to figure out if it’s ok to use a word or phrase a certain way.

BONUS: Here’s a short video tutorial I created back when I was at St. John’s Law titled “Legal English Vocabulary Strategies & the iWeb Corpus” on creative ways for LLM students to use the iWeb Corpus to their advantage.

Legal English: Practical ways for LLM students to use the iWeb Corpus from steven horowitz on Vimeo.

2. USLawEssentials Glossary of Legal English

This glossary not only contains every legal English term used in every article on this legal English learning site. When you look at a legal English term in the glossary, it also gives you a list of all the “Related Articles” in which that term appears. In other words, in addition to the definition, you can also then easily see multiple examples of the term being used in context.

3. glossary of legal terms* – A comprehensive list of legal English vocabulary and definitions through the lens of the courts.

4. FindLaw’s Glossary* – FindLaw is a site that helps people find a lawyer anywhere in the US.

5. American Bar Association (ABA) Glossary*

6. Nolo’s Dictionary of Law Terms* – is a self-help legal resource, so a lot of the terms are included to be helpful to non-lawyers trying to understand or deal with a legal problem.

7. Concord Law School’s Glossary* – Great for law school-specific terms and vocabulary

8. South Carolina Bar’s Law Related Education Glossary*

*#s 3 through 8 taken from a list organized by Brian Sites of University of Miami Law School and shared with the Academic Support Professionals listserv.


9. Legal English Articles

The following articles about legal English may be helpful to both those seeking to learn legal English as well as those teaching legal English.

  1. Using Discourse Analysis Methodology to Teach ‘Legal English’,” Hoffman, Craig, “Using Discourse Analysis Methodology to Teach “Legal English”” (2011). Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works. 1332.
  2. Parse the Sentence First: Curbing the Urge to Resort to the Dictionary When Interpreting Legal Texts,” Hoffman, Craig, Legislation and Public Policy, Vol. 6:401 (2003).
  3. Beyond Contrastive Rhetoric: Helping International Lawyers Use Cohesive Devices in U.S. Legal Writing,” Baldwin, Elizabeth R., 26 Fla. J. Int’l L. 399-446 (2014).
  4. Unlocking Complex Grammar: 4 Steps for Reading and Writing” by Heather Weger and Julie Lake, TESOL Connections, pp. 1-7 (Aug. 2021).
  5. Identifying spoken technical legal vocabulary in a law school classroom,” Bancroft-Billings, Sandra, English for Specific Purposes, 6

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