Tuesday, February 12, 2013

New Resource: International Journal of Law, Language & Discourse

In the event you are not aware of it already, I'd like to introduce the International Journal of Law, Language & DiscourseYou will need to register (free) at the site to access most of the articles, but I promise it's worth it. 
The International Journal of Law, Language & Discourse is an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural peer-reviewed scholarly journal, integrating academic areas of law, linguistics, discourse analysis, psychology and sociology, presenting articles related to legal issues, review of cases, comments and opinions on legal cases and serving as a practical resource for lawyers, judges, legislators, applied linguists, discourse analysts and those academics who teach the future legal generations.
In particular, I found Craig Hoffman's article, "Using Discourse Analysis Methodology to Teach 'Legal English,'" to be relevant and quite interesting.  

Professor Hoffman describes a class he developed and teaches in the LL.M. program at Georgetown University Law Center called United States Legal Discourse.  He gives the why and how of developing a new approach to teaching legal writing to international students, including the syllabus for a one-semester course. When designing the course, Professor Hoffman found that international LL.M. students' "unfamiliarity with the English language was much less problematic than their unfamiliarity with our federal common law legal system and the conventions of U.S. Legal Discourse." As a linguist-lawyer, I think this makes a lot of sense. 

Craig Hoffman, Using Discourse Analysis Methodology to Teach “Legal English”Int'l J.L. Lang. & Discourse, Sept. 2011, at 1-19.  

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