module specification

LC7032 - Legal Writing Skills (2018/19)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2018/19
Module title Legal Writing Skills
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 2.25
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 22.5
 
4.5 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
18 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Take away assessment -write a letter of advice relating to a property law matter.
Running in 2018/19
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester City Friday Morning
Autumn semester City Thursday Morning
Autumn semester City Thursday Afternoon

Module summary

 The module aims to provide students with the opportunity to develop or improve their legal writing skills.

Prior learning requirements

 Qualifying Law Degree

Syllabus

 . Introduction to the principles of legal writing.
· understanding legal writing in the context of the Legal Practice Course
· understanding the requirements of succinctness and precision in your legal writing
· understanding what is meant by appropriate language
· awareness of the importance of correct grammar
· identification of common legal writing errors.

2. Practical Legal Writing exercises.
· identifying weaknesses in written English
· development of  writing skills
· file notes
· self-assessment.

3. Further exercises
· presentation of results of research in an internal memorandum
· letters confirming instructions
· criticism of examples of Legal Writing.

Covers all Learning Outcomes

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

1 one-hour and thirty minutes tutor led session and 2 one-hour and thirty minutes student led sessions in the Foundation Course and further teaching and practice throughout the course.

Learning outcomes

 At the conclusion of the Legal Writing Skills sessions students should:
have a better understanding of the importance of the skill of legal writing in the context of the Legal Practice Course and be able to draft documents that:

1. meet the client’s goals, carry out the client’s instructions and address the client’s concerns;
2. maintain a standard of care which protects the interests of the client;
3. deal appropriately with client care and professional conduct issues;
4. accurately address all relevant legal and factual issues;
5. where appropriate, identify relevant options, including the costs, benefits and risks of those options;
6. where appropriate, demonstrate a critical use of precedents;
7. are logically organised;
8. form a consistent and coherent whole;
9. follow the rules of grammar;
10. demonstrate appropriate use of language;


11. are succinct and precise;
· be able to identify and correct some common legal writing errors
· be able to identify any weaknesses in their written English and modify their own drafting errors to meet the above criteria;
· be in a position to develop their written English in their own time
· be in a position to judge whether or not they require further help with written legal English
· understand the need for a letter confirming instructions and be able to identify the necessary contents of such a letter
· be able to criticise constructively examples of Legal Writing
· be able to draft a good letter confirming instructions in a concise manner

Assessment strategy

 The assessment is a take away assessment set in the context of Property Law and Practice. The assessment is designed to replicate practice and enable students to demonstrate the application of legal principles in a realistic, practical context. Students are given a formative assessment and receive written feedback.

Students are provided with a formative assessment which they have several weeks to attempt and submit for marking and feedback. Students are then provided with detailed written feedback and provided with an indication of whether their submission would have been likely to have been marked ‘competent’ or ‘not yet competent’ had this been the real, summative assessment. Students can also meet with the tutor for further oral feedback. Students requiring further assistance with English are further identified during this process and referred for further guidance on legal writing from the Centre for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching.

Bibliography

 Basic Texts
Skills for Lawyers, University of Law Publishing
Legal English, Pearson Education

Online Materials
Supporting WebLearn materials and student study materials