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Words Matter

You may have heard that lawyers are precise. It’s true. In law school, you will spend a lot of time discussing the meaning of a singular word or placement of a comma.

It is also true that sometimes there is more than one way to say something, or multiple phrases may mean essentially the same thing. It can be tricky to hear both that every punctuation mark and word matters, and that you must be nimble enough to recognize when two sources are talking about the same concept in different terms. This lesson is designed to show you some examples both of precision, and of when two things essentially mean the same thing.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the lesson, the student will be able to:
1. Recognize the importance of careful word choice and punctuation
2. Evaluate whether two terms or phrases have identical meanings
3. Understand that words may have meanings that are legal terms of art, outside of their common usage

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