LL4056 - Legal Method (2020/21)
|Module specification||Module approved to run in 2020/21|
|Module title||Legal Method|
|Module level||Certificate (04)|
|Credit rating for module||15|
|School||Guildhall School of Business and Law|
|Total study hours||150|
|Running in 2020/21||
Legal Method is a core module for the LL.B. courses and the BA in Law, which introduces students to methods of legal research, analysis and logic; to a practical knowledge of the legal profession and careers; and to issues of judicial ethics.
Students learn about legal method, in particular about legal practice, legal scholarship and legal research methods. They also explore issues around legal reasoning and analysis. These skills are be applied in the context of primary legal materials used in their other modules.
The aims of the module are as follows:
1. To introduce students to reflective thinking in the context of contemporary issues of legal method.
2. To enable students to continue to acquire the fundamental academic and professional skills necessary for the undergraduate study of law;
3. To provide a solid support both for the other Level 4 modules, and also for the remainder of the degree course and beyond into professional practice;
4. To begin to develop employability skills specific to work within the legal sector and related professions.
Prior learning requirements
THE ENGLISH LEGAL PROFESSION
03 The Judiciary
05 Other Legal Practitioners
EMPLOYABILITY WITHIN THE LEGAL SECTOR
06 Writing a legal CV
07 Writing a covering letter
08 Interview techniques
09 Methods of Reasoning
10 Views on Legal Reasoning
11 Syllogistic Logic
12 Fact and Law
13 Preparing Written Legal Work
14 Dissertations and Coursework
15 Legal Research
16 Legal Referencing (OSCOLA)
17 Legal Drafting
Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity
Learning and Teaching Strategy
Weekly two-hour lecture and one-hour seminar.
The lecture will be used for:
Dissemination of knowledge through an overview of each topic with detailed guidance on appropriate aspects;
An introduction to relevant academic literature;
Guidance on learning strategies;
Use of Weblearn and IT resources;
Whole group questions and discussion.
The seminar will be used for:
Development of skills necessary to attain the module learning outcomes through:
Written and oral questions/answers designed to reinforce fundamental rules/principles/cases;
A range of step by step writing exercises;
IT tasks such as research of cases and statutes
All learning materials, previous examination questions and sample Q/A’s will be on Weblearn for use in directed private study.
Student engagement will be encouraged in both lectures and seminars through weekly use of Weblearn for access to all of the above materials.
There will be required use of the professional legal databases, especially Westlaw and Lexis Library, for legal research
Opportunities for reflective learning/pdp
Each weekly seminar will contain space for students to reflect on what they have learnt in relation to the overall syllabus. There will be frequent feedback opportunities structured into the timetable and a range of sample answers posted onto Weblearn.
Students’ Study Responsibilities
The need for attendance, punctuality, preparation and engagement will be emphasised with particular reference to written and IT research, problem-solving, team-work, discussion, debate and critical awareness of the subject.
On successful completion of this module, the students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the different branches of the legal profession, including their function and training.
2. Demonstrate the ability to make a cogent application for employment within the legal sector.
3. Demonstrate the ability to practise basic legal method, including legal scholarship, legal reasoning and legal research.
4. Demonstrate the ability to engage in the fundamentals of legal writing, including an understanding of the basics of legal drafting.
1. Learning Reflection (LO1 and LO2) 500 words
A summative assessment given in the week 7 of the course by which the students will use the knowledge so far acquired in the module to make an effective mock) application for a job within the legal sector. This will enable them to consider, and to reflect upon, how the learning they have so far achieved in this module already enables them to apply their knowledge within a realistic employment and employability context.
It will also be an early indication of the progress they are making on the course.
2. Primary Source Analysis (LO3 and LO4) 1,000 words
A written case and/or statute review exercise. This will assess the ability to research, analyse and present a written discussion of primary source materials, which is a fundamental skill for the study of any subject in law.