TOLES Test Site

TOLES means ‘Test of Legal English Skills’. The TOLES programme consists of a structured course of legal English training materials supported by three levels of professional exams. The exam levels are progressive steps 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.

TOLES legal English training materials and exams have been developed following the advice of experienced commercial lawyers. The top requirements of employers are excellent drafting skills, first-class negotiating skills and a strong sense of commercial awareness. As members of the International Division of the Law Society of England and Wales we are in an excellent position to support international legal professionals in achieving these goals.

TOLES program levels 

TOLES Advanced
TOLES Higher
TOLES Foundation

Candidates do not have to take all 3 exams. However, they should begin at a realistic point in the exam series according to their general and legal English skills. All candidates who want to progress with their legal English studies should be extremely confident at TOLES Foundation level before continuing, as the vocabulary tested is fundamental and provides the building blocks of a candidate’s legal English skills.

TOLES was developed based on the practical needs of law firms. For this reason it is well respected by international law firms who recognise its relevance, practicality and accuracy.

Who Recognises TOLES?

 The TOLES certificate is evidence of your level in legal English. Most of the world’s leading law firms recognize the value of the TOLES exams as part of your CV and several leading law firms use TOLES in their recruiting and assessment processes.

Law firms and organisations that have already entered candidates for the TOLES exams include:

  • The Law Society of England and Wales
  • Linklaters Oppenhoff and Radler
  • Allen&Overy LLP
  • Baker and McKenzie
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • KPMG
  • Sony Ericsson
  • Daimler Chrysler
  • European Court of Justice
  • European Central Bank
  • Deutsche Bundesbank
  • Qatar Steel Company
  • Qatar Petrochemical Corporation
  • DuPont
  • Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
  • Siemens

Why is it important for lawyers and law students to take the TOLES examinations?

Because lawyers and law students need TOLES. International law firms know that TOLES are the world’s leading legal English exams. Of the many different English exams available, TOLES is favoured by many law firms when selecting or promoting employees. The TOLES certificates in legal English are the most accurate and relevant that you can possess.

How does the TOLES series compare with other legal English exams?

TOLES was the first international legal English examination. TOLES is the undisputed market leader and has 12 years of proven accuracy. The accuracy of the certificates has satisfied both candidates and law firms.

The TOLES series provides exams of differing levels. It is therefore open to candidates of all abilities who can progressively build upon their skills. Teaching centres can use this structure to offer a set of legal English courses from lower level up to advanced level and allocate their teaching staff to match their legal experience and capability.

TOLES is 100% practical. It meets the needs of global law firms rather than being dominated by the theories of English language teachers. For this reason it is well respected by international law firms, who recognise its relevance, practicality and accuracy.

There is no speaking element to TOLES. Law firms report that they are easily able to assess a lawyer’s oral skills at interview. Law firms are looking for evidence of:

  • good understanding of written contracts
  • strong drafting skills
  • accurate writing in letters, opinions and emails.

As TOLES is designed as a practical, relevant exam for use by law firms, it contains no superfluous, contrived speaking elements.

TOLES Advanced remains an on-demand examination, enabling centres to hold the exam to suit their course dates.

The TOLES series are no-fail exams. All students will receive a certificate and explanatory statement reflecting their ability in legal English.

TOLES is very competitively priced, making it affordable for all candidates.


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