This Course and Exam is ideal if you are a lawyer, law student or intern and want to prove your ability to cope with everyday practical tasks in English when working in commercial law or studying law in the law faculty of a UK or US university. This Legal English - TOLES course is offered by Europa School of English.


Test of Legal English Skills (TOLES) programme: a structured course of Legal English training with three levels of professional examination taken at Europa School of English. Each level is a progressive step towards reaching the standard of Legal English required by employers such as international commercial law firms, in-house legal teams in private companies, and top-class translators.

The course, developed following the advice of experienced commercial lawyers, is accredited by the Law Society of England and Wales. As well as improving your Legal English, which will broaden your vocabulary enabling you to feel confident in meeting with clients and colleagues in a cross-cultural context, the course will also enable you to gain the Test of Legal English Skills (TOLES) qualification, which is evidence of your level of Legal English.

This Legal English - TOLES course is offered by Europa School of English. This course will also improve commercial awareness and aim for the standard required by the ‘Magic Circle’ law firms such as Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Linklaters and Freshfields. This combined improvement in skills will also mean that you have better opportunities for personal advancement.

Europa School of English is a registered and accredited Examination Centre for TOLES Legal English Courses and Examinations.

The course

  • provides you with specialised legal language.
  • enables you to communicate more effectively in a legal context.
  • prepares you to work in specific legal areas such as contracts, employment law, family law, correspondence, etc.
  • develops your Business English professional communication skills.
  • prepares you for an internationally recognised Legal English qualification.

The Units

  • The Legal Profession
  • The Language of Contract Law
  • The Language of Employment Law
  • The Language of the Law of Tort
  • Understanding Contracts 1 + 2
  • The Language of Business Law
  • Modern Letter Writing
  • The Language of Company Law

Level 1 - Foundation

  • Duration: 3 week course of 30 lessons per week (22 hrs and 30 mins per week)
  • Minimum level required: A2 (Elementary)

A 3 week programme for law students, international interns working for major commercial law firms and newly qualified lawyers.

The Foundation Exam is the recommended starting point in Legal English training for international law students. For more experienced lawyers, this may be the correct starting point for those who wish to begin training in professional Legal English while continuing to develop English skills in general.

  • Focus on basic grammar and vocabulary
  • Encourages commercial awareness


The exam has one paper: legal reading and writing. The focus of the exam is on testing the absolute linguistic accuracy required of lawyers in a modern international office. This means accuracy in two main areas: technical legal vocabulary and grammar. Vocabulary from commercial deals, company documents, commercial contracts, intellectual property agreements, financial documents and forms of business are tested, as well as legal terminology from other areas.

A bridge between University and work

The Foundation Exam has been described by employers as ‘an excellent bridge for international law students between the world of university and the world of work’. As well as testing Legal English, the Foundation Exam develops an awareness of the real tasks a lawyer carries out in an international legal office and focuses on real and recent legal developments and cases. For this reason, even learners with advanced general English can benefit from the Foundation Exam.

Level of general english

The minimum level of English needed for this exam is elementary level (A2). The priority at this stage is to make sure that a genuinely strong foundation of Legal English is in place in order to allow learners to progress successfully to the next level. This strong foundation includes consolidating basic grammar before moving on to more complicated language structures.

The exam is based on absolute accuracy in written English, not fluency. This means that when learners answer questions we expect their use of English to be very good and they will lose points for imperfect grammar as well as for vocabulary mistakes.


A Reading & Writing paper (90 minutes) tests knowledge and understanding of essential legal vocabulary.

Level 2 - Higher

  • Duration: 3 week course of 30 lessons per week (22 hrs and 30 mins per week)
  • Minimum level required: B1 (Intermediate)

A 3 week programme for law students, international interns working for major commercial law firms and newly qualified lawyers.

Building on a strong foundation: The Higher Exam builds on the language skills and knowledge of practical legal vocabulary acquired at Foundation level. The Higher Exam moves learners to the next stage and requires the ability to deal with more complex authentic legal documents and scenarios, while also continuing to focus on strict attention to detail and grammatical accuracy.

  • Focus on intermediate grammar and vocabulary
  • A realistic introduction to work


The exam has two papers: a reading and writing paper and a listening paper. The reading and writing paper requires a more active use of language than the Foundation Exam. It requires learners to deal confidently with complex and recent commercially-relevant case studies, extracts from contracts and a professional letter. It continues to test practical and useful legal vocabulary and requires the ability to provide precise definitions for very common words from commercial practice. It also demands a good knowledge of the register of language and asks learners to improve informal English and make it more appropriate and professional.

The listening paper consists of listening to conversations between two or more lawyers or a lawyer and a client and answer questions based on understanding. The topics covered are very current and deal with situations that working lawyers frequently experience or topics that are of international interest. This continues the idea of the TOLES exams encouraging commercial awareness rather than an academic or theoretical knowledge of law.

Level of general english

The level of English needed for this exam is intermediate - upper intermediate level (B1 – B2). The tasks at this level all use authentic, challenging general English and we recommend that exam candidates study some additional grammar as well as our training in Legal English in order to achieve a high score.


Papers for Reading and Writing (90 minutes) & Listening (30 - 45 minutes). Letter writing skills are tested with a focus on vocabulary, style and register.

Level 3 - Advanced

  • Duration: 1 week course of 35 lessons per week (26 hrs and 15 mins per week)
  • Minimum level required: B2 (Upper intermediate)

A one week intensive programme suitable for legal practitioners from non- English speaking backgrounds, who need to work in English or convert to practice Law in the UK.

  • Focus on near-native level grammar and vocabulary
  • The gold standard exam for commercial lawyers

Reaching the standard employers demand

The Advanced Exam was created and developed in consultation with leading commercial law firms and is considered to be the gold standard of Legal English achievement. TOLES Advanced was initially created at the request of a major commercial law firm in London, who required a method of testing the English of international interns and new associates in its international offices.

This required researching the tasks international lawyers were required to carry out in English and making a careful analysis of how best to test proficiency in those areas. The result was the TOLES Advanced Exam. Since its creation it has been trusted by legal employers everywhere as a measure of a lawyer’s commercial Legal English skills, rather than his or her academic Legal English skills.


The exam has one paper: legal reading and writing. The exam measures a candidate’s skills against a native English-speaking lawyer. In other words, any candidate scoring in our ‘Gold’ category genuinely has very similar Legal English skills to a native English-speaking solicitor, barrister or attorney. The exam has a heavy focus on the vocabulary and grammar required for contract drafting. It also encourages knowledge of the plain English style of writing favoured these days by leading commercial law firms.

A working knowledge of the difference between ‘legalese’ and ‘plain English’ is essential for doing well in this exam. The candidates who score very well at Advanced level show an appreciation of the huge importance of absolute accuracy when working in law, as well as having a strong grasp of technical legal vocabulary. The exam also requires sensitivity to register and an understanding of how formal and informal English is used in a professional workplace.

Level of general english

The level of English needed for this exam is upper Intermediate – proficiency level (B2-C2). The exam measures a candidate’s Legal English skills against the standard required of native English-speaking lawyers.


A Reading & Writing paper (2 hours) tests vocabulary and grammar of commercial contracts, forms of business, finance and professional Legal English.

Programme Structure

Dates and Prices

Legal English – TOLES Level 1+2: £ 265 per week - based on 5 students

  • 07.11.2016 – 25.11.2016
  • 09.01.2017 – 27.01.2017
  • 06.03.2017 – 24.03.2017
  • 05.06.2017 – 23.06.2017
  • 07.08.2017 – 25.08.2017
  • 06.11.2017 – 24.11.2017

Legal English – TOLES Level 3: £ 495 per week - based on 5 students

  • 21.11.2016 – 25.11.2016
  • 23.01.2017 – 27.01.2017
  • 20.03.2017 – 24.03.2017
  • 19.06.2017 – 23.06.2017
  • 21.08.2017 – 25.08.2017
  • 20.11.2017 – 24.11.2017
Enrolment fee: £50
  • Christmas Closure: 24.12.16 - 08.01.17 and 23.12.17 – 07.01.2018
  • No lessons on bank holidays: 14.04.17; 17.04.2017; 01.05.2017; 29.05.17; 28.08.17.

If your course starts on a bank holiday you will start on the Tuesday. There is no refund for classes not taught on public holidays. 

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Deadline and start date Application deadline and start date were not specified by the programme.
  • Programme intensity Full-time
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus
  • More information Go to the programme website

English Language Requirements

This programme requires students to demonstrate proficiency in English.

Living costs for Bournemouth

  • 700 - 1000 GBP/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Check the programme website for information about funding options.

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.