Learning to fly: The prospects for legal linguistics in the academic curriculum ... and beyond
In the field of legal communication, the fledgling discipline of legal linguistics offers vital knowledge and skills required by, for example, lawyers and legal translators operating in two or more legal languages. This is especially so in the context of globalization and transnationalization of the law, where English is the de facto global legal language, with attendant linguistic challenges. However, legal linguistics currently occupies a precarious foothold in the academic curriculum. The analysis in this chapter attempts to establish core and peripheral legal linguistic skills with a view to completing both the spectrum and content of course and programme components. To balance the academic aspect, the chapter also explores practical applications of legal linguistics. The aim is to affirm the relevance of legal linguistics in the curriculum for future law professionals with a view to examining how to nurture the fledgling discipline until it takes wing and soars as an established component of the academic curriculum linked to its use in professional life. References to the literature complemented by focus group survey data form the basis of analysis and discussion.