LW1LS-Legal Skills

Module Provider: School of Law
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites: restricted to LLB students
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2019/0

Module Convenor: Mrs Louise Hague

Email: l.e.hague@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:
An introduction to Legal Study Skills.


To introduce students to teaching methods and expectations applicable to higher legal education and legal study skills they will need to study law as an academic discipline. To provide students with opportunities to develop and practice key skills, including transferable skills. The majority of the module will be taught as a 3 week intensive course at the beginning of the Autumn Term.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of this module, students should be able to demonstrate an ability to apply core legal and transferable skills, particularly skills of legal research, analysis, writing, and oral presentation to definite factual situations and problems. Students will also have an understanding of the English Legal System.

Additional outcomes:

In addition to those listed in the School’s ‘Core Skills Statement’, the module aims to facilitate the further development of ICT and communication skills.

Outline content:

1. An introduction to higher legal education; 2. Finding and using legal source materials; 3. Using datasets for research; 4. Doing legal research; 5. Legal writing; 6. Good practice in referencing; 7. Presentation skills; 8. Team working skills; 9. Writing examinations in Law; 10. Careers; 11. Writing for legal practice.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
This module will be taught by lectures and tutorials predominantly in the Autumn term.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 13 1
Tutorials 12.5
Guided independent study: 133.5 40
Total hours by term 21 10.5
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 82.36
Portfolio 11.76
Oral assessment and presentation 5.88

Summative assessment- Examinations:
Not applicable as the module is continuously assessed.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Assessment will be 100% continuous assessment throughout the year. Linking up with the module objectives, assessment for this module will be strictly criterion-referenced. Grading will not be introduced in the module; only a pass or fail will be recorded. – Eight (8) Blackboard (Bb) quizzes. Students have multiple attempts to pass each quiz but will not receive answers/feedback until after the quiz is no longer available. - Groupwork/oral presentation exercise consisting two parts: the completion of a group presentation (15 minutes) and a group discussion forum culminating in a group submission (maximum 500 words) reflecting on the groupwork exercise. - Online Portfolio: Students must create one portfolio using Blackboard - a reflective portfolio. They must complete all compulsory elements of the portfolio and make these available to the module convenor. - Casebrief: Students must complete a short (maximum 500 word) casebrief on a case which will be given to them. This must be typed and put in the 'Legal Skills Submission Box' by the published deadline. - Problem Question Outline: Students must complete an outline answer to a problem question which will be given to them. This must be typed and put in the 'Legal Skills Submission Box' by the published deadline. - Essay outline: Students must complete an outline answer to an essay question which will be given to them. This must be typed and put in the 'Legal Skills Submission Box' by the published deadline. - Feedback Assessment: Students must provide feedback for three model answers. The work must be typed and put in the 'Legal Skills Submission Box' by the published deadline.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:

    This module will be marked on a pass/fail basis. Students must pass (i.e. obtain a mark of at least 40%) in all assessed elements of the module including all eight online quizzes and each of the other individual elements of the assessment.

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Any student failing one or more of the eight BB quizzes will be required to take all eight quizzes again during the August re-sit period.

    Any group failing the groupwork exercise will be given an additional chance to complete this exercise in the Spring term.

    Individuals who fail to complete the groupwork exercise will be assessed by a (10 minute) presentation and the completion of a (300 word) account reflecting on the preparation and delivery of the presentation. This will take place in the Spring term. A student who initially fails this exercise may have an additional attempt.

    Students failing in any other component of assessment must re-submit the work at a time agreed with the module convenor.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 8 April 2019


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