Legal English Support 法律英語サポート

Kobe LL.M. では法律英語・英語サポートを重要視しています。国際ビジネス法修士で目指す英語能力の向上にあたって、正規科目であるIntroduction to Legal Englishでは、法を主題とした読み書き・発話と聞く力を伸ばすことを目的としています。TOLES (Test of Legal English Skills) の試験会場としても認定されており、プロフェッショナルとして通用する法律英語を学ぶための環境が整っています。


Legal English & English Support for 2024 Spring Semester
by Prof. Keith Carpenter

MON   Advanced Legal English 1      
TUE         Introduction to Legal English 1

One of the key objectives for most students joining the program is to enhance their English skills. The program offers a wide range of facilities in this regard. These facilities answer not only the needs of students starting the program with specific weaknesses but also the ambitions of students aspiring to achieve fluency at a professional level by the end of the program. The following is an outline.

1. Introduction to Legal English

This is a lecture course with one lecture a week during each of the 4 terms. The level of the course is pitched at intermediate to higher level so that any student admitted into the program can attend.

The aim of the course is to develop English language ability for both academic and business purposes, including the ability to:

  1. listen to and understand both native and non-native speakers' of English talking about legal matters in situations such as lectures, presentations, meetings, and discussions;
  2. speak about legal matters in a variety of situations such as advising, negotiating, summarizing, and explaining complicated legal issues to both legally qualified people and non-qualified people;
  3. read and understand legal texts such as contracts, statutes, case reports, law journal articles, law text books, and legal correspondence; and
  4. write about legal matters in different ways such as email, letters, and notes/memos.

The topics covered are the areas of law most likely to be encountered in international business situations and include contract law, tort law (civil wrongs), company law, commercial law, litigation and arbitration, international law, and comparative law.

In order to talk about legal matters, it is not sufficient merely to know the correct legal terms and so the course covers language for discussing, comparing, suggesting, etc. This functional language will be useful for other business and social situations. Students are encouraged to consider the lectures as an opportunity to practice expressing their opinions in new ways and not to be afraid of making mistakes.

2. Advanced Legal English / TOLES Legal English Certificate

The Advanced Legal English course also runs at one lecture a week over the full academic year. Students must have a higher level of English to be able to join the course. A significant amount of independent study is required outside the class with class times primarily used for review, analysis and further practice.

The course is aimed at students wishing to achieve a professional level of legal English ability for business purposes. It focuses primarily on reading and writing legal texts in a broad range of situations likely to be encountered in international law firms or the legal departments of international businesses or supranational institutions. It covers both technical legal vocabulary and the formal style of English used in the conclusion of business transactions and institutional proceedings.

Kobe University is a test center for the TOLES legal English certificate, and students have the option to take the TOLES exams at various times.

TOLES means “Test of Legal English Skills”. More information can be found at

3. Ad hoc support / Other resources

We recognize that each student has different needs and so additional support is provided on a more personalized basis. One native English-speaking professor is specifically allocated to respond to these needs and give time to students on an individual basis.

There are in addition other English language courses and facilities outside the Graduate School of Law that students are able to access.


Viviane Soares de Azevedo and Miho Sakai became the first students to take the TOLES international legal English examination at Kobe University, with both students passing the Higher Level examination (Ms. Soares de Azevedo passing with distinction).