Lawyers are special people. How does the profession affect the written and the spoken language?

Lawyers are special people. First of all because of their knowledge, which they have to remember and use article by article. It is clear that the practice of public and personal «speaking» dictates the rules.

In time, the lawyer’s language develops with high-flown sentences, patterned script of terms and clichés. As they say, a lawyer who cannot and does not like talking looks like a surgeon who is afraid of blood. Advanced, sometimes over advanced, rhetoric is the bread and salt of that professionals. Thanks to rhetoric client appears, the cases are won, and the reputation multiplies. Compare it with the medical specialties ... the lawyer’s language, as a doctor's handwriting is complicated and incomprehensible to the average person.

Here are some characteristics of the lawyer’s language that we have identified after reading and linguistic analysis of normative documents drawn up by authoritative representatives of the profession:

1. To tell about simple things in a hard way. The sentences contain an average of 40-60 words. The more experienced lawyer has a writing style closer to the Tolstoy’s one.

• 193 words – are in the largest sentence in «War and Peace» by Lev Tolstoy.
• 190 words – are in the first paragraph, the first sentence of the Order No 348 of Ministry of Transport, dated 12 November 2013, «On approval of the owner of the road for monitoring compliance with the technical requirements and conditions to be enforceable, the construction and reconstruction within the boundaries of roadside Highway ... ». And this is not the limit!

2. The more complex predicate is more significant.

3. The number of nouns in a row is directly proportional to the quantity of client’s requests to the lawyer for help:

For example, «The order of the owner of the road for monitoring compliance with the requirements and conditions».

4. Passive voice should prevail! For example, is paid, is committed, is considered, etc.

5. You can trace the lawyer by his tender love for participles and gerund ... in a row and many, many times:

For example, «…to organization, issuing the media, other sanctions, provided by the law of the Russian Federation, including prevention».

6. Tautology - is not terrible, terrible is the absence of it:

For example, «…not later than the day preceding Voting day and the day before Election Day, and Election Day ...».

7. The lawyer does not hesitate to use the same adjectives and figures of speech that some called «kantselyarizm» (it means official / bureaucratic words). For example, «in the case of / of», «in response to», etc.

8. The lawyer is a clever man, he wants the rest were not lazy and understand this: «... to the assign all acts that have committed before his enters into a legal relationship, are required to the extent that they were binding on the parties legal which is the assign noticed <...>. Do you understand?!

9. Do you want to check are you ready to become a lawyer? Open a regulatory document, select any sentence and try to retell its main idea. Do not be sorry! Choose a complex sentence. The test will take only real potential lawyers.

As a conclusion…

In the process of writing this article, we realized that the average person hardly ever understand what is written in the law/regulatory documents or explanation for it. But Imperitia pro culpa habetur (ignorance and misunderstanding the law does not relieve from responsibility).

Lawyers Are Special People. How Does the Profession Influence Their Oral and Written Speech Habits?