How Legal English teachers can stay up to date
Images from Unsplash
In 2018 I attended a number of Legal English conferences and events and the two questions which kept coming up were:
- As a Legal English teacher, how can I stay up to date with what’s going on in the Legal English world?
- How do I find out about Legal English Events?
Here are my top tips for keeping in touch with the Legal English teaching community and finding out about upcoming events.
#1 Join a teaching network
They say it’s not what you know but who you know… and joining a teaching network can really help you stay up to date and in the know about upcoming events. Whilst there are many teaching organisations, such as The Global Forum for EAP Professionals (BALEAP) and the English for Specific Purposes Special Interest Group of The International Association for Teaching English as a Foreign Language (ESPSIG – IATEFL) which deal with English for academic or special purposes respectively, the European Legal English Teachers’ Association (EULETA) is the one I recommend. It’s the largest network of Legal English professionals from Europe and beyond and is the only organisation which focuses solely on Legal English.
The two main benefits of joining EULETA are firstly, the annual event (more on this in #6 below) and secondly, in the words of David Best, President of EULETA, you instantly become part of a “big family”. As I mainly work alone developing the Study Legal English Podcast and teaching Legal English privately, I really value being part of the EULETA network.
A practical example of how EULETA helped me:
At the EULETA conference 2018, I met Natasha Costello, who runs contract drafting courses in Paris. I was nervous about an upcoming contract drafting course I would soon be teaching and asked if I could have a chat with her about it. After the conference we Skyped and Natasha reassured me about my ideas for the course, which boosted my confidence, she also she gave me some helpful practical tips and teaching ideas.
#2 Regularly check websites for updates
It’s a good idea to regularly check websites for upcoming Legal English events, here are some websites I recommend:
Words to Deeds by Juliette Scott
Juliette Scott is a Legal Translator and her blog is has lots of interesting and useful content. She regularly posts about events related to language and the law.
Linguist List by the International Linguistics Community
The International Linguistics Community Online is a comprehensive database of events in the field of linguistics. I recommend doing a ctrl+f search for ‘law‘ or ‘legal‘ to find the events relevant for you.
Study Legal English Blog by me!
I keep the Study Legal English blog updated about conferences I hear about or ones that I attend. You can keep an eye on the blog for updates.
#3 Set up a Google Alert for ‘Legal English’
Setting up a Google Alert means you will get regular emails when results for your chosen topic show up on Google. This is a really simple thing which I do to hear about new internet posts about Legal English – and in fact I have lots of different Google Alerts, for example ‘Legal English’ ‘Legal writing’ ‘Language for Law‘. A lot of the Google Alerts I get into my inbox are irrelevant, but occasionally there’s something interesting. To set up a Google Alert do the following:
- Go to google.com/alerts
- Enter a topic you want to track e.g. ‘Legal English’
- Select ‘Show Options’ to adjust settings and then ‘Create Alert‘.
#4 Sign up to newsletters
There aren’t many newsletters I know of which focus on Legal English news and events. If you know of any, please let me know in the comments section below. The two that I suggest are the EULETA email (which members can subscribe to) and the Study Legal English newsletter.
I send out a newsletter about once a month, normally at the beginning close to the 1st. I try to keep content relevant to teachers and students of Legal English. You can see past newsletters if you scroll to the bottom of this page to ‘Latest News‘ and if you like what you see, you can sign up.
#5 Follow the right social media
If you are not a fan of newsletters or blogs, you can find regular updates about Legal English events if you follow the right social media accounts. My favourite platform is LinkedIn (you can connect with me here) but I also try to post relevant items on Facebook and Twitter. Others I recommend are:
- Linguist List on:
- Juliette Scott on Twitter: @wordstodeeds
- Aleksandra Luczak’s Per Se Legal and Business English on Facebook
#6 Actually go to events!
Obviously, once you’ve found out about events, it goes without saying that you should go to them. Attending events is a great way to keep in touch with the Legal English teaching community, grow your network and grow professionally…. and as linguists are usually a fan of learning about new cultures – it’s also a great excuse to travel.
My two favourite events from this year were the EULETA Conference in Split, Croatia (the photo on the right is of the social trip at the end of this conference) and the Share and Gain Workshop in Suprasl, Poland.
See you at the next one….?
How do you stay up to date with Legal English events?
If you have a tip about how you stay up to date, any upcoming conferences or events you’d like to share, or a thought about this post – please leave a comment below.