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How Do I Improve My Legal Vocabulary?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 12 October 2014
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There are a number of different ways in which you can improve your legal vocabulary, though if you are interested in actually working in a legal profession you should attend courses in law enforcement or legal issues. A number of different books and websites can provide you with a great deal of information on legal issues and vocabulary, though any Internet resources you use should be checked to ensure they are factually accurate. If you need particular legal advice, or would like to better understand a particular piece of legal vocabulary that is especially complex, you might consider consulting a lawyer or university professor of law.

Legal vocabulary typically refers to the language often used in discussing or creating laws. The language and words used in law can be a complicated mixture of Latin phrases, professional jargon, and references to particular cases or precedents. To understand all of this, you may find it useful to take one or more classes in law or law enforcement; such courses are likely to introduce you to a number of legal concepts and terms. You should also consider these courses if you want to improve your legal vocabulary to help you find work as a legal aid, private security officer, or writer of crime fiction.

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There are numerous books and websites you can use to help expand your knowledge of legal vocabulary. You might consider looking at the actual statutes of laws in your area, which are typically collected in large volumes of books and online, as these can help introduce you to numerous terms used in law. There are also many websites that act as legal dictionaries, as well as printed legal dictionaries, which can help explain the meanings of different phrases and concepts in law. Any resources you use online to help expand your legal vocabulary should be cross-checked with other resources to ensure you are reading an accurate definition or explanation.

If you are in need of actual legal advice, and not just improvement of your legal vocabulary, then you should consult a professional lawyer. This can be helpful if you need to understand a certain legal concept while you are involved in a court case or other legal proceeding. You can also contact a lawyer or law professor in your area to see if he or she can help you understand a particular idea or phrase quickly and without charging you. While professors may not want to entertain numerous questions you might have, they may be willing to answer a few quick questions to help you improve your legal vocabulary and give you direction on further readings.

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