Degree course: 
Corso di Long single cycle degree (5 years) in GIURISPRUDENZA VA
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Course type: 
A foreign language, final examination
Seat of the course: 
Varese - Università degli Studi dell'Insubria
Second semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (35 hours)

Core prerequisite is the knowledge of the English language equal or superior to the B1 level defined by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. In case of specific need of grammatical and/or terminological review, students will have the possibility to receive online indications for autonomous exercises and integrative readings.

Final Examination: 

The exam is in written form. The exam is based on a computer quiz on the legal matters studied during the course, including for example matching and gap-filling exercises, true or false exercises, multiple choice questions, as well as the translation of specific expressions of Legalese and plain English. During the exam, students are allowed to use paper and online monolingual and bilingual dictionaries. Students are not allowed to use notes and books of Legal English.
In the latest lessons students will be asked to do exercises, reviews and simulations on the most relevant themes analyzed.
Duration of the exam: 120 minutes
Grades: thirtieth (__/30) for A19 Students. “Idoneo” or “Non idoneo” for A21 Students.

Voto Finale

The aim of the course is to develop appropriate strategies regarding communication in Legal English, with a special focus on negotiations, contracts, power of attorneys, agency contracts and proxies, alternative dispute resolutions, communication and consultancy services, in order to develop adequate language skills and legal terminology. The course analyses the most relevant lexical, grammatical and stylistic aspects of Legal English to use in formal and informal contexts and examines the typical features and differences of the so-called Plain English and Legalese. During the course, students will read, translate and examine several legal texts, which embrace the typical vocabulary adopted in private law, in commercial and company law, in international contracts, in claim forms, in tort law and in the documents issued by public bodies.
The course includes in-depth studies on case-law texts and on the legal glossary of the European Union, comparisons between British and American English and between the legislative and judicial system in Common Law countries and Civil Law countries, as well as the use of online vocabularies, databases, web corpora and legal websites.

The first part of the course will be dedicated to a review of the most relevant grammatical structures of English language and of the most frequent lexical categories. Particular attention will be paid to the use of modal and prepositional verbs, to the so-called false friends, to passive sentences and to the typical legal expressions and words. The practical exercises will include numerous comparisons between plain English and Legalese and between British English and American English. During the second part of the course, these lessons will be integrated with the analysis of different texts adopted in legal and commercial communication, contracts, arbitration clauses, claim forms, powers of attorney, etc. During the course, lessons will also contain studies concerning the main differences between the legislative and the judicial systems of Common Law and Civil Law countries, tort law and the English legal terminology adopted at European Union level. Furthermore, the course includes the analysis of websites, terminological databases and online sources to improve legal English advanced researches.

The course is principally based on the book quoted below, on online materials, texts and documents downloaded from the most important websites concerning legal matters and on texts directly prepared for the lessons and available on the e-learning platform used by the Students.

Compulsory bibliography:
G. Di Renzo Villata (edited by), in collaboration with R. Buzzi, G. Cadel, A. Grasso, Legal English, Padova, Cedam, ed. 2017 (from Unit 1 to Unit 10 included).

Recommended texts for any personal detailed study:

M. Davies, The Legal English Grammar Guide, Legal English UK, 2021;
M.A. De Francesco, Elements of Legal English Contract Law, Bari, Cacucci Editore, 2020.

Recommended dictionaries:
S. De Palma (edited by), in collaboration with A. Grasso and J. Schorah, Dizionario di Inglese Giuridico, Bologna, Filodiritto Editore.

G. Villa (edited by), Dizionario esplicativo di inglese giuridico, Milan, Giuffrè Editore.

F. De Franchis (edited by), Dizionario giuridico – Law dictionary, 2 – Italiano/Inglese e Inglese/Italiano, Milano, Giuffrè, latest edition.

For A21 students:
The course is based on the book quoted below. Students with registration code A21 have the possibility to do additional personal reading and comprehension exercises before the date of the exam chosen. In this case, Students can contact Mrs. Roberta Bogni by e-mail and ask for a copy of all the exercises distributed during the course and included in the program for A18 students. This material shall be considered as integrative and optional by A21 Students and is not included in their exam program.

For A21 students:
G. Di Renzo Villata (edited by), in collaboration with R. Buzzi, G. Cadel, A. Grasso, Legal English, Padova, Cedam, ed. 2017 (from Unit 1 to Unit 4 included).


The course will take place from February to the end of May 2022 (35 hours). During the lessons, the grammatical and lexical analysis will be integrated with numerous practical exercises and readings, translations and comprehension tests.

Students can meet online the Professor at the end of her lessons by prior appointment requested by e-mail: