Module Identifier LA11010  
Module Title LEGAL PROCESS  
Academic Year 2000/2001  
Co-ordinator Mr Neil Kibble  
Semester Semester 1  
Co-Requisite LA10110 or LA30110  
Mutually Exclusive LA11010 , LA15710  
Course delivery Lecture   20 Hours - Two one hour lectures per week  
  Seminars / Tutorials   4 Hours - Four one hour seminars during the semester  
Assessment Exam   1.5 Hours   50%  
  Essay   Two assessed essays of 1000 words each (required in weeks 6 and 10)   50%  
Professional Exemptions Not Required for Professional Purposes  

Module description
This module aims to prepare students for their other Law studies at University by introducing students to the range of skills that students must master if they are to be successful in those studies. The module achieves this aim by providing opportunities for students to develop and refine these skills. RESEARCHING THE LAW Having first explained the need to develop legal skills, the module introduces the notion of legal research and its fundamental importance to Law students and practitioners. Students will be introduced to the Law library and become familiar with its layout and holdings. A library exercise will require students to locate a wide range of materials relevant to the study of law. Students will thereby learn how to conduct research by using 'hard copy' materials (books, periodicals, law reports, encyclopaedias etc.) and by using information technology systems. Specific guidance will be given on finding the principal sources of law - legislation and law reports - on finding academic legal literature, and on planning legal research. READING THE LAW In addition to locating the relevant legal materials, students must also develop the ability to analyse and apply the product of their research. Guidance will be given on reading and analysing legislation, law reports and academic literature. A series of exercises will provide opportunities for students to develop these skills, and to receive feedback and further guidance from tutors. Throughout their legal studies, the principal manner in which students will be required to demonstrate their ability to read and analyse legal materials will be through written legal essays and problem answers, and through oral discussion and presentations in tutorials. Within this module, students will be provided with opportunities to develop these skills, and in particular legal writing and problem solving.


The aims of the module are threefold. The first is to enable the effective study of law as an academic discipline by students, both independently and as a group. The second aim is to ensure that students acquire and cultivate legal research skills. The third aim is to enhance a range of presentational and expository skills of valuable application in academic study at all levels, as well as the wider employment market.

Module objectives / Learning outcomes

Students will gain a strong appreciation of the importance of legal skills to the successful completion of their degree and to any subsequent professional career requiring such skills. Particular emphasis will be given to obtaining a mastery of the multiplicity of legal materials, including electronic legal databases, and the skills necessary to use them effectively, complemented by the appreciation of the distinctive nature and application of legal terminology and citation. Students will understand the diversity and art of legal communication in its various forms by exploring and developing legal writing in relation to both general and legal subject matter.


The Importance of Legal Skills

Researching the Law
The Law Library
Finding Primary Sources
Finding Secondary Sources

Reading the Law
Reading Legislation
Reading Law Reports
Reading academic legal literature

Legal Writing
Writing for different legal purposes
Academic writing - identifying sources and authorities

Reading Lists
J Holland & J Webb. (1999) Learning Legal Rules. 4th.