Law terminology can often seem like a different language when hearing it for the first time. From the use of esquire, which designates a graduate of law school, to the term Jurisprudence, a term used to describe the study of the field of law in its entirety, law terminology can be lost upon those who have not taken any type of law course or are not in touch with legal happenings. The key to understanding law terminology is to research terms as they appear so you can have a fresh and relevant idea of what the term itself means. Law terminology relies heavily on the Latin language, much like the medical field does, and can often confuse many of those who are not familiar with Latin. Legal terms can be strictly Latin and used for their meaning, such as the common term Habeas Corpus which refers to the illegal imprisonment of an individual. These pure Latin law terms are often very important and some of the oldest standing judicial standards we have in the US legal system today. Legal terminology also has practical, somewhat obvious meaning when it comes to commonly used ‘slang’ or law terminology that the average person may use every day. Hearsay, which is used in law terminology to describe gossip or second hand knowledge of an incident, is one term that people have used in everyday conversation. To learn more about law terminology, start by researching the legal terms you are interested in learning. Another great way to test your knowledge of law terminology is to begin reading legal publications or literature pertaining to the law. Then if you come across a term you are not sure on, consult a law terminology dictionary to give you a clear and concise understanding of what the term means. It is also a good idea to make flashcards with law terminology so you can easily grasp the concept should you gap out on a specific legal term from time to time.
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