Legal English
Many law firms and legal departments complain about the level of English of freshly graduated law students. When they apply for a job they often have a wide variety of English language certificates, but as they start off as a junior, they often lack the knowledge to adequately take up on essential legal tasks, such as maintaining client contact, negotiating, pleading and drafting contracts. This becomes apparent immediately once you see how long it takes to wrap up files that are not as perfect as they should be and how awkward they feel when they need to receive a not so easy client.
The subject ‘legal English’ is obligatory for all law students, where luckily they get confronted with a lot of jargon and can familiarize with the Common Law system. However, I often feel like most of us would not how to start drafting a contract. Everything is extremely theoretical. It’s only when you hear what experienced lawyers and legal specialists have to say, that you realize our knowledge is not at all adapted to what law firms and companies are really looking for and expecting from us.
As an official TOLES centre, we prepare (aspiring) lawyers and jurists to adequately and accurately use the English language in a legal context. At Hello Languages, we offer either TOLES preparation or made to measure training, in which case customized training is completely adapted to the daily reality of the law firm or company.

TOLES stands for Test of Legal English skills and was first developed upon request of one of ‘the big five’ so that they could more easily test their candidates on their legal English skills. After a while, the founder split from Cambridge University in order to distance herself from the academic side and focus more on the professional side of legal English. After the split, the international organisation decided to join hands with the International Division of the Law Society of England and Wales to make sure that all the material, the exam and the training would always be up to date.

At our Antwerp centre, it is possible to sit the test, and have it corrected by the exact same examiners in Cambridge. Most preparatory courses are based on our handbooks which also come in handy for self-study. These classes can take place in Antwerp or on site. Most companies or students who enrolled in our courses are located in Brussels, Leuven, Gent, Luik or Genk and chose to have classes at their premises. However, sometimes even professionals from the Netherlands come to Antwerp to educate themselves on the finer details of the English language in Intellectual Property (IP).

It is also possible, in consultation with our main office, Cambridge Law Studio, to create training content that is completely adapted to the needs of the company or law firm without the intent of preparing for the TOLES exam.

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