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Grammar for lawyers

8 important advanced grammar structures for legal professionals

Mastering advanced English grammar structures is essential for legal professionals to effectively communicate their arguments, draft precise legal documents, and interpret complex laws. As you navigate intricate cases and negotiate agreements, a strong grasp of these grammatical constructs can significantly enhance their language precision and persuasive skills.

Check out some of the most important advanced English grammar structures for lawyers, illustrated with legal English context:

1. Conditional Sentences (B1-B2 levels): Conditional sentences are crucial for expressing hypothetical situations, which are common in legal contracts and arguments.

  • If the defendant breaches the contract, the plaintiff may seek damages.

  • Unless the court grants an injunction, the construction project will proceed as planned.

2. Inverted conditionals (C1-C2 levels): Inversion changes the word order, the subject and the modal verb will be 'inverted' in the sentence to add emphasis to the message. My advanced students especially love inverted conditionals, right? :-)

  • Were the defendant to breach the confidentiality agreement, the plaintiff would seek immediate injunctive relief.

  • Should the claimant fail to provide the required documentation, their case could be dismissed by the court.

  • Had the accused not cooperated with the investigation, more serious charges might have been brought against them.

  • Were it not for the timely intervention of the mediator, the negotiation process could have stalled indefinitely

3. Passive Voice is widely employed in legal writing to focus on the object rather than the subject. It helps maintain objectivity, clarity and reinforces facts:

  • The contract was signed by both parties on the specified date.

  • The new regulation has been adopted by the governing body.

4. Modal Verbs (may, must, will, shall, need etc.) are indispensable for expressing possibilities, permissions, obligations, and probabilities in legal language:

  • The tenant must comply with all housing regulations.

  • The court may consider alternative dispute resolution methods.

5. Subjunctive Mood is used to convey wishes, suggestions, or hypotheticals in legal contexts:

  • It is crucial that the witness be present at the deposition.

  • The judge recommended that the parties reach a settlement.

6. Relative Clauses provide additional irmation about a noun and are frequently used in legal writing to define terms:

  • The defendant, who was found guilty, will appeal the decision.

  • The contract, which was signed by the parties, contains an arbitration clause.

7. Gerunds and Infinitives help legal professionals express actions and purposes accurately:

  • He admitted to committing the crime.

  • They decided against filing a lawsuit.

8. Participle Clauses allow for the conciseness and logical flow of information in legal documents:

  • The company, facing financial difficulties, sought bankruptcy protection.

  • Having reviewed the evidence, the judge made her ruling.

Effective communication is vital in the legal profession, and honing these language skills will undoubtedly contribute to success in negotiations, contract drafting, in the courtroom and beyond.

Do you want to master these advanced English grammar structures and enhance the clarity and precision of your legal writing and oral arguments?

Join my brand new Grammar Rehab course specifically designed for lawyers!


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