Approaching Legal English

Course Objectives

Approaching Legal English is designed to improve the conversational ability, grammar, and general English vocabulary that a modern lawyer customarily uses in daily situations. The course helps attorneys and law students broaden their overall knowledge of English and basic grasp of English legal terminology. It also serves as an excellent means for laypeople (non-lawyers) to improve their conversational skills and to activate grammar points practically and efficiently.

In short, the goal of ALE is simply to close the gap between theory and practice.

'I employ an interactive method that enhances your reading and listening comprehension, boosts your speaking and writing skills, and expands your vocabulary as you would normally use it in a modern international office.' - Donald Cannon

The Course Itself

ALE centers around a murder mystery involving a client of a legal firm in Washington, D.C. Each week we read one of the twelve chapters in the story, discuss its various civil and criminal legal aspects, and work with its vocabulary and grammar.

ALE is perfect for people who might have studied legal English but forgotten it and for those who don’t yet feel comfortable conversing in English or who simply want torefresh/renew their language competence.

'I have found that ALE students usually already have a competent grasp of English grammar and do not need more academic theory. Instead, they need speaking practice so that they can gather the individual pieces of their learned knowledge into a working whole. As a result, you will find yourself discussing real-life situations, whether with a client or a friend. Our work is both intensive and fun, and I will explain grammar from a fresh and hands-on perspective. I will also show you numerous practical tricks that will help you switch into automatic pilot as you speak. American English is my native language.' - Donald Cannon.

After completing ALE, you may move on to the next step and take the more advanced Legal English.


You must be able to understand and use English at an intermediate level.

Course Length

The course consists of 24 classes of two hours each, for a total of 48 clock hours.

Course Materials

The only book required for the course is Approaching Legal English, which you will receive either prior to or immediately after the first class.

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