|Legalese is even older than this.|
"When you wish to instruct, be brief; that men’s minds take in quickly what you say, learn its lesson, and retain it faithfully. Every word that is unnecessary only pours over the side of a brimming mind." -Cicero, Roman politician and lawyer. A major influence on the Latin language.
"By 2100, about half the world’s languages will be lost, say linguists; one dies every 14 days. Don’t bet legalese will be among them." Why is this the case?
Today we're going to take a close look at Legal English, sometimes referred to pejoratively as "legalese". We're going to take a look at what legalese is, the history of it, and why the legal tech industry is working hard to disrupt it.
Legal English is a more formal version of the English language, with different logic and grammar rules from Standard English. Certain words have different meaning in a Legal English context. For example, in Legal English "consideration" refers to something of value that is exchanged between two parties.
|It never hurts to keep it real.|
There are many reasons why lawyers use legalese, among them:
- It conveys the formalness of a situation. There is power in formality.
- The practice of law is rich in tradition. This is is the way things have always done.
- It creates a legal culture, one that separates lawyers from everyone else. How else are lawyers going to identify each other? See also: Shibboleth.
- If people don't know what they're paying for, they're inclined to pay more for it.
- A false sense of security. If you put more words on a document, it means you have all your bases covered right?
Ever since the 70s there has been a movement to abolish legalese from the English language, especially in government agencies and contracts.
Hi everyone, my name is Joanna Jia, the new Content Marketing Manager for MerusCase. You might have already read my first blog post, An Introduction to Legal Tech - 3 Signs You Need a Software Solution, if not totally you should.
From now on, I'll be managing the MerusCase social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+), MerusCase Blog and MerusCase Insider Blog. As with everything I write, I'm eager to hear your thoughts. I'm interested in the Legal Tech industry and honestly, I'm new and learning as I go, so you don't have to. One of our goals for the MerusCase Blog is to keep you updated on everything you need to know. The legal industry is extremely complicated, but getting a grasp on it doesn't have to be.
If you haven't already, please check out An Introduction to Legal Tech - 3 Signs You Need a Software Solution where I go over the basics of why Legal Tech is important to understand. The legal industry as we know it is rapidly changing so we need to prepare ourselves.Read More
If you run a business, chances are you've reached out for help with navigating the legal landscape.
Protecting intellectual property, tax advice, and contract management are just some of the issues that might require another pair of eyes. The way that companies seek legal advice has rapidly changed. Thanks to the internet, outsourcing the workforce is now easier than ever. What once was the all-in-one function of BigLaw has been split up into boutique law firms, and other companies that fall under the umbrella of "legal services". The rise of intellectual property as a valuable asset has led many companies, especially Fortune 500s, to bring legal operations in-house.Behind all these changes in our business environment are a set of software tools created to tackle these challenges. This new set of tools comprise the "legal tech" industry. Legal tech is a broad term, but at its core most legal software attempts to solve one of three challenges:
- Lower the amount of time spent on administrative tasks
- Help businesses manage the relationship between contractors and vendors
- Repackage traditional legal services into services that are more affordable and attuned with the needs of modern clients, especially for startups.
It can be difficult at times to know when you need legal tech software. But if you find yourself facing these problems, it might be time to start considering certain software solutions.Read More
“It is November 1, 1991, the last day of the first part of my life,” Jo Ann Beard writes in her essay, The Fourth State of Matter. The line comes a little after halfway through her essay; the first ten pages of the piece talk about her dying dog, her impending divorce, her home life, the squirrels in her attic, her work. The scenes are rendered in perfect mundanity, completely innocuous in their routine simplicity. How many stories have we heard about a lost love, a dying pet? It is a pain we, as readers, listeners, and spectators, are used to. We follow her journey as best we can, conditioned by years of our own heartbreak and the heartbreak of those closest to us. We offer sympathetic noises and empathy, readying ourselves for what we see coming: the divorce. The death of her dog.Read More
By popular demand, here are the B-sides to our our popular blog, "Legal Holiday Carols." We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.Read More