Legal Research and Writing

Course NameLegal Research and Writing
Course CodeLEG121
DescriptionThis course will be designed to support and enhance students’ research and writing skills necessarily to write effective examinations answers. The main objective of this course will be to prepare students for their University of London examinations. Naturally, as answering exam questions requires preparation in the form of legal research, outlining and revising, critical analysis and effective overall legal writing, the benefits of this course will extend far beyond examinations. This course will focus on organization for exam preparation (including outlining, organizing and revising course materials), reading and understanding exam questions, organizing before beginning to write the exam answer, and effectively writing exam answers, including citing cases and statutes, referencing relevant facts, following the IRAC and/or other method for problem questions, and using effective legal analysis, as well as how to answer essay-style questions. Students will have extensive opportunities to put their knowledge into practice through mock examinations, which may be done individually or as group work (depending on the assignment), at home and in-class, including under real exam settings. The exam questions will be taken directly from the past examinations of the courses that students are enrolled in (Criminal Law, Legal Systems and Method for all students; as well as Public Law and Contract Law for LLB students). By the end of this course, students should be well-prepared to write their first round of University of London examinations, but even more importantly, students will possess important skills necessary for lawyers – including organization, legal analysis, identifying legal problems from facts, and effective legal writing.
Learning OutcomesUpon successful completion of this course the student will be able to:
– Demonstrate an ability to effectively organize notes and materials for legal writing (including exam preparation), including preparing effective outlines and revision notes;
– Efficiently read and understand exam problem questions, including what details are relevant and why, and what the question is asking the student to do (this skill will go beyond law school and help students understand cases and client problems);
– Demonstrate how to organize/outline before beginning legal writing (including answering the exam question, but this skill will extend beyond examinations and into legal brief-writing and other forms of writing);
– Effectively use the IRAC structure for exam answers;
– Understand how to answer essay questions on an exam, including when to choose them;
– Understand how to answer multiple choice questions on an exam;
– Demonstrate ability to write clearly and legibly on an exam;
– Demonstrate ability to implement legal analysis and draft a successful exam answer.
SchoolJohn H. Carey II School of Law
Number of credits (US / ECTS)3 US / 6 ECTS