Because success in a court of law relies on mastering the reading, writing, and speaking skills used by practicing lawyers, English language law schools, LLM programs, and legal training programs pose a significant challenge to students from all walks of life. The level of vocabulary used in the classroom, in textbooks, and in discussions can be intimidating to even the most well-read native students, who themselves often feel that they are being exposed to an entirely new language. So, if even native speakers find law school an uphill battle, how can non-native speakers learn English for Law? The answer is easier said than done: Practice, practice, practice.

As English language learners, non-native students are not only being exposed to the new legal vocabulary that so intimidates their colleagues but also the new English words and constructions that are unique to the legal arena. Given this deficit, as non-native speakers, students will struggle in law school if they are not committed to consistent practice. With a good deal of patience and some thoughtful studying, ESL students can find success.

First, non-native speakers should make an effort to learn English for Law through practice both with native and non-native speakers. Like any other skill, a language can’t be learned if it is not practiced. Here are some helpful suggestions:

Please also check out our Study Law for International Students section of for more information, advice and guidance on studying law.

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