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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: LAW1009 Module Title: LEGAL SKILLS
Module Provider: School of Law Short Name: LIL118
Level: HE1 Module Co-ordinator: GALLIMORE P Mr (Schl of Law)
Number of credits: 0 Number of ECTS credits: 0
Module Availability
Run once throughout the year.
Assessment Pattern
The assessment strategy is formative. It is designed to discover whether the student has attempted to develop his or her legal skills, undertaken the required reading, and developed a critical awareness of the central skills relevant to studying law.
The assessment method: a course workbook (50%) and group presentation (50%).   Students will be required to submit the completed workbook of tasks. The workbook will cover not only those areas dealt with in lectures and seminars but also activities aiming at developing legal skills which are self-directed. Students will demonstrate computer literacy, both in its presentation and content in both forms of assessment. Copied or plagiarised sections in the course workbook will be totally rejected and appropriate sanctions applied.
A Content
  1. Identification of Issues
    Students should demonstrate the ability to identify the issues raised by the programme of tasks in the workbook.
  2. Research
    Students should demonstrate that they have undertaken appropriate research of both primary (e.g. cases and statutes) and secondary sources (e.g. journal articles and texts). Recognition of the significant contribution authoritative academic viewpoints make to the subject should be demonstrated. All legal authorities and other source material should be properly cited and a bibliography included with coursework.
  3. Analysis of Material and Application
    Students should demonstrate the ability to analyse the relevant material, recognising gaps and inconsistencies, and to apply it to the issues identified in the workbook.
  4. Evaluation and Synthesis
    Legal skills should be subjected to critical analysis and, where appropriate, a consideration of their wider context.
  5. Conclusions
    Students should demonstrate the ability to reach appropriate conclusions drawn from their analysis of the materials and of the issues raised during the module.
B Presentation (in both the workbook and the oral presentation)
  1. Structure
  2. Clarity of expression
  3. Conciseness
  4. Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation, as relevant
Module Overview
Module Aims
At the end of this module the students are able to:
  1. Demonstrate a basic understanding of the resources available in a law collection, and a critical appreciation of the relevance of different materials.
  2. Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the sources of law and the resources available to support legal research.
  3. Assess critically the strengths and weaknesses of available academic legal research.
  4. Identify key elements in a problem scenario and structure an argument that draws upon the law relevant to this problem (for example, be able to answer a problem).
  5. Identify key arguments and structure a reasoned opinion of a general or a specific nature (for example, be able to write an essay or draft an opinion).
  6. Demonstrate a basic understanding of the skills needed in legal professions.
  7. Demonstrate a commitment to working with peers and identifying solutions to problems associated with working in groups as they arise.
NOTE: Learning outcomes 4 and 5 are not substantively assessed in the LIL118 Legal Skills module, being assessed in all substantive law modules at level 1 and above. Learning outcomes 4 and 5 are however developed in the module LIL118 Legal Skills, and formatively assessed in the presentation and workbook to the extent that they contribute to the structure of the oral presentation and the analysis of the material in the workbook.
Learning Outcomes
This module explores the resources available for the study of law, and develops skills necessary for legal study. 

The primary objectives of the module are:
  • To develop analytical and problem-solving skills
  • To develop reasoning, composition, and drafting skills
  • To develop presentation skills, both orally and in written form
  • To develop group-working skills
  • To develop awareness of the range of resources available for the study of law
  • To develop understanding of the use of legal resources and materials to facilitate study
  • To develop awareness of how legal resources and materials should be used and presented both in research and in problem solving scenarios.
The module is structured to provide students with the skills and a contextual background for studying substantive law. The module is closely linked to the substantive level 1 modules, and in particular the English Legal System module.
The module incorporates programmes provided by the Language Centre, primarily aimed at non-native speakers of English, but supporting English expression and the use of legal language generally. The module is also supported by the University of Surrey Centre for Learning Development, and draws upon U-Learn and e-learning delivery.
Students on the Legal Skills module address such questions as:
  • What is the ‘law’?
  • What are the sources of English and European Union law?
  • How are Law Reports used?
  • How are statutes compiled and how are records of amendments collated?
  • What is the relevance of academic research to the study of law?
  • How should written opinions be drafted to address problem scenarios clearly and accurately?
  • What are the professional skills necessary to a lawyer?
Module Content
  1. The sources of law
  2. The English and European Union legal system
  3. The hierarchy of courts and legal precedent
  4. The Digest and Halsbury’s publications
  5. Legal citations and referencing
  6. Literature searches
  7. Use of e-resources, including specific training in lexis and westlaw databases
  8. Material evaluation
  9. Level 1 subject skills: in co-ordination with Public law, Contract and Land law
  10. Problem solving skills
  11. Opinion drafting skills
  12. Presentation skills
  13. Professional skills for lawyers
  14. Legal language, and English expression, as relevant (as identified by the English language test or self-diagnosed)
Methods of Teaching/Learning
The method of teaching is by lectures, seminars and self-directed study using U-learn.   The lectures will introduce the students to the subject areas and provide an overview to enable students to understand the basic principles and underlying concepts.   The seminars will develop key skills and provide practical workshops on skills activities in small groups. The students will be provided with signposts to background and supplementary reading. U-Learn activities will guide the students through tasks set out in the module workbook on-line and sign-post further tasks and research students are expected to undertake.
The teaching and learning strategy is designed to stimulate student centred learning and private study using derivative and original sources, both paper based and electronic. The strategy is designed so students develop an understanding and critical awareness of the essential skills, philosophies and ethical values of the law.
Selected Texts/Journals
Expected purchase
Smith ATH, Glanville Williams: Learning the Law (London: Sweet & Maxwell 11th Edition, 2002)
Key Reading
Pattenden R, Mullis A, Daly G, Legal Skills (Oxford: OUP, 2005)
Stott D, Legal Research (London: Cavendish 2nd Ed., 1998)
Asprey M, Plain Language for Lawyers, (Sydney: The Federation Press, 1991)
Calabrasi, ‘One View of the Cathedral’, (1972) 85 Harvard Law Review 1089
Clinch P, Using a Law Library (London: Blackstone 2nd Ed., 2001)
Constanzo M, Legal Writing, (London: Cavendish Publishing, 1993)
French D, How To Cite Legal Authorities, (London: Blackstone Press, 1996)
Hart HLA, The Concept of Law (Oxford: OUP 2nd Edition, 1997)
Holborn G, Butterworths Legal Research Guide (Colchester: Reed, 2001)
Holland J & Webb J, Learning Legal Rules, (London: Blackstone Press, 3rd Ed, 1996)
Jeffries J, Legal Research and the Law of the European Communities, (West Yorkshire, Legal Info Resources 1990)
Jeffries J & Miskin C, Legal Research in England and Wales, (West Yorkshire, Legal Info Resources 1990)
Kahn-Freund, (1974) 37 Modern Law Review 1
Kenny P, Studying Law, (Lexis-Nexis, 5th Edition, 2002)
MacCormick N, Legal Reasoning and Legal Theory, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1978)
McKie S, Legal Research: how to find and understand law, (London: Cavendish Publishing, 1993)
Penny JE Mozley and Whiteley's Law Dictionary, (LexisNexis, 12 edition, 2001) 12th Edition
Russell F & Locke C, English Law and Language: An Introduction for Students of English, (London: Cassell Publishers, 1992)
Strong DS How to Write Law Essay's and Exams (Lexis-Nexis, 2003)
Twining W, Miers D, How to do things with Rules (London: Butterworths 4th Edition, 1999)
Twining W, ‘Pericles and the Plumber’, (1967) 83 Law Quarterly Review 396
Unger R, What Should Legal Analysis Become?, (New York: Verso, 1996)
All England Law Reports
Common Market Law Reports
European Court Reports
European Human Rights Law Review
European Public Law
Law Quarterly Review
Modern Law Review
Public Law
Weekly Law Reports
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