Advanced Legal English: Common Law Language, Reasoning, and Rhetoric

Course content

This course provides an overview of the modes of expression and styles of argument used in the English and American common law tradition. Students learn the basic concepts and interpretive methods used by lawyers in the common law tradition and how to use them to craft legal arguments that resonate with common law reasoning. In addition to a theoretical background on interpretive method and rhetoric, the course provides a hands-on approach by having students read and analyze case law, statutes, contract provisions, and other relevant legal documents and make arguments for and against various interpretations of particular provisions or legal issues in written and oral form. A basic knowledge of English is required. The course builds on other MA courses by providing students with skills and knowledge needed to express in English concepts they learn in other contexts in a way that is compatible with English common law reasoning.

Learning outcome

Students learn to describe the characteristics of common law language and reasoning and to identify common law issues that may differ from civil law traditions, to analyze statutes, case law, etc. using prevalent common law tropes and forms of argumentation, and to use correct common law terminology in the proper contexts.

Students are required to do case presentations, participate in moot court exercises, and engage in classroom discussion

Improves knowledge of legal English, advocacy skills, ability to analyze legal issues and apply abstract reasoning to concrete situations

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20 minutes
Oral exam based on synopsis, 20 minutes
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Seminar
  • 28
  • Preparation
  • 178,25
  • English
  • 206,25