module specification

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
 
114 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Project 20%   Written application 500 words.
Coursework 80%   Written application 1,000 words.
Running in 2020/21
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Tuesday Morning

Module summary

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

N/A

Syllabus

 

PART ONE:
THE ENGLISH LEGAL PROFESSION

LO1

01  Solicitors      

02 Barristers

03 The Judiciary        

04 Magistrates   

05 Other Legal Practitioners

PART TWO:
EMPLOYABILITY WITHIN THE LEGAL SECTOR

LO2

06 Writing a legal CV      

07 Writing a covering letter

08 Interview techniques


PART THREE:
LEGAL REASONING      

LO3


09 Methods of Reasoning    

10 Views on Legal Reasoning    

11 Syllogistic Logic       

12  Fact and Law

PART FOUR:
LEGAL WRITING

LO4
  
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
Problem-solving
Legal writing

Blended Learning

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.

Learning outcomes

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.

Assessment strategy

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.

Bibliography

TBC