Say it in Your Own Words: Translate and Reverse Engineer Legal Jargon to Read More Effectively

The Learning Curve, a publication of the AALS Section on Academic Support (Summer/Autumn 2017)

4 Pages Posted: 24 Jul 2018 Last revised: 14 Aug 2018

Sara Berman

AccessLex Center for Legal Education Excellence

Date Written: Summer/Autumn 2017

Abstract

Higher education in this country teaches students in silos. Universities often have minimal “general education” requirements, and many schools insist that undergraduates rush to declare majors. Once a college student or graduate student settles into a particular field, s/he exists in a mini-world with its own language and often its own norms and culture. Fluency, indeed mastery, of the terminology in one’s field is essential for success. But, when asked to explain what they are studying, by either translating jargon into plain English or by defining technical terms in a simple enough way for a smart layperson to understand, students in many disciplines are often stumped. Law students are no exception.

Keywords: law students, law school, ASP, academic success, critical reading

Suggested Citation

Berman, Sara, Say it in Your Own Words: Translate and Reverse Engineer Legal Jargon to Read More Effectively (Summer/Autumn 2017). The Learning Curve, a publication of the AALS Section on Academic Support (Summer/Autumn 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3216782

Sara Berman (Contact Author)

AccessLex Center for Legal Education Excellence ( email )

440 First Street
#550
Washington, DC, DC 20001
United States

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