Friday, December 16, 2016

Comparative Law for Spanish-English Lawyers: Legal Cultures, Legal Terms and Legal Practices

My very first job after law school was in Ecuador.  Pause and think about that.  As a newly-minted lawyer, my first job was in Spanish, not English; in a civil, not common law, jurisdiction; and in a country that I had never even visited before I moved there for a year.  And, not surprisingly, I struggled.  I declared victory the day I pieced together the vocabulary and the wherewithal to get my suits dry-cleaned.  Which is to say nothing of the struggle of learning the history, culture, context, and daily practice of Ecuadorian law.

A new book, Comparative Law for Spanish-English Lawyers: Legal Cultures, Legal Terms and Legal Practices / Derecho comparado para abogados anglo- e hispanoparlantes: Culturas jurídicas, términos jurídicos y prácticas jurídicas (Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd., 2016), takes a close look at the legal systems of the U.S., England, Spain, and Mexico to give bilingual lawyers a foundational understanding of the common principles and practices in these jurisdictions, as well as practical and doctrinal insights into a variety of English- and Spanish-speaking jurisdictions.  The book, written by Professors S.I. Strong of the University of Missouri, Katia Fach Gómez of the University of Zaragoza, and Laura Carballo Piñeiro of the University of Santiago de Compostela, examines “various types of legal authorities and how such materials are interpreted and applied in the two legal traditions” (7), discusses substantive areas of law and procedure, and then looks at etiquette and practice in the two traditions. The book is a bilingual text geared to helping those who are conversationally fluent in a second language achieve legal fluency. The authors envision the book being used in both group and individual study, and it is available in both hard copy and electronic form (Elgar is currently offering a discount on website sales). If you are interested in the book, visit Elgar for more information or contact Professor S.I. Strong.

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