Suing the state

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Legal vocabulary

legal vocabulary


The main objectives of this lesson are to:

  • learn and practise legal vocabulary,
  • discuss the topic of legislation, 
  • infer key information from a video.

In this lesson, students talk about lawsuits and trials. They discuss the specific lawsuit filed against a US state, watch a video about it and conclude the main points. Students also learn legal vocabulary (e.g. indict, litigate, plaintiff, etc.) and talk about various facets of the legal system. 

C1 / Advanced
C2 / Proficiency
60 minStandard LessonFree / Premium Plan


The lesson starts with a warm-up activity. Students try to come up with collocations with the words ‘trial’ and ‘lawsuit’. Then, they think about a piece of news they’ve recently heard related to the collocations. After that, students move on to video activities. First, they look at some words and phrases and guess what the video is about. Then, students watch the first part of the video, check their ideas and make notes about a lawsuit. Students also watch the second part of the video and choose the best words to summarise the main points. After watching the video, students read the comments about it and agree or disagree with them. Students also read and discuss a text about strategic litigation. Both the video and the text contain legal vocabulary that students work more on in the second part of the lesson. 


In this part of the lesson, students learn and practise legal vocabulary. First, they look at the sentences from the video and explain the meaning of some terms (e.g. binding, uncontested, statutory, etc.). Then, students do one more activity to work with the terms. They answer different questions using the words they discuss in the previous exercise. In the final activity, students complete the gaps with the legal vocabulary from the lesson. After that, they look at the sentences they completed and discuss more aspects of the legal system.


This lesson plan also includes an additional task that you can use as homework or revision. In the task, students practise legal vocabulary by doing a creative task. The task is available in the teacher’s version of the worksheet. You can print it and hand it out to your students. It’s also included in the e-lesson plan.



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