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Chapter

This chapter discusses the techniques involved in basic academic legal writing—an important aspect of one of the key skills required by employers, namely written communication. It covers writing legal essays—conveying information, constructing an argument, and applying the information and arguments to the essay title; answering legal problems and considering questions of legal liability; how to present your answers by use of the IRAC system; planning your answers and checking your work; the significance of referencing and the various methods used to reference work; and marking standards used by various quality assurance bodies and how law essays are marked.

Chapter

This chapter discusses the techniques involved in basic academic legal writing—an important aspect of one of the key skills required by employers, namely written communication. It covers writing legal essays—conveying information, constructing an argument, and applying the information and arguments to the essay title; answering legal problems and considering questions of legal liability; how to present your answers by use of the IRAC system; planning your answers and checking your work; the significance of referencing and the various methods used to reference work; and marking standards used by various quality assurance bodies and how law essays are marked.

Chapter

This chapter presents techniques and tips for identifying and discussing the rules, the second step in the IRAC method of legal essay writing. Many students worry that they will not know enough ‘law’ to do well on their exams and essays, but this chapter provides key tips on how to maximise the effectiveness of each student’s knowledge. The discussion identifies the steps involved in writing a first-class essay in law: the purpose of supporting authority (‘rules’) in legal writing; what constitutes supporting authority in legal writing; how to compile the relevant supporting legal authority; and how to communicate the relevant supporting authority in the essay. Writing tips are provided throughout the chapter. A worked example is also given.

Chapter

This chapter discusses the first step in the IRAC method of legal essay writing: namely, the identification of the major issue and the specific sub-issues that are in contention. It offers suggestions meant to help law students learn how to identify what question the examiners want them to answer, as well as how to write a two to three-sentence opening paragraph in approximately one minute. The chapter first considers the relationship of the IRAC method to legal practice before explaining in detail what an ‘issue’ is according to the IRAC methodology; why it is important to identify the issue explicitly in a legal essay or exam; and how to spot the major issues and the contentious sub-issues that arise out of a problem question. Examples of issue spotting are given. Writing tips are provided throughout the chapter.

Chapter

This chapter deals with the third step in the IRAC method of legal essay writing: the application of the facts to the rules (legal authorities) presented in the second step of the essay. This technique is very seldom addressed in class discussions, and many students can become overwhelmed when seeking to undertake this element of the exam- and essay-writing process. The discussion explains what ‘application’ means under the IRAC system; the need for an application process in legal writing; how to distinguish ‘application’ from the ‘rules’ in IRAC methodology; and various stylistic and practical issues concerning the application of the facts to the rules. Writing tips are provided throughout the chapter. A worked example is also presented.

Chapter

This chapter guides the law student to the fourth step in the IRAC method of legal essay writing: identification of the conclusion of the argument. Students often overlook the need to have a conclusion in their law essays and exams, or believe that their conclusion must be the same as that identified by the instructor. This chapter explains what ‘conclusion’ means under the IRAC system, outlines the need for a conclusion in legal writing and provides a fast and easy technique that can be used to facilitate the process of writing a conclusion to any essay or exam. The chapter also includes tips on writing legal essays and exams, as well as a worked example.

Chapter

This chapter explains how the IRAC method of legal essay writing can be adapted for use with ‘discuss’ type questions, focusing on the following topics: what a ‘discuss’ question is asking you to do; how to structure the ‘discuss’ essay; and how to adapt each of the four IRAC steps (issue, rule, application, conclusion) to ‘discuss’ questions. The discussion also identifies the three basic types of ‘discuss’ questions (legal theory, legal reform and legal history) and describes the best way to approach each particular category of questions and the best types of legal authorities to introduce to do well. Tips on writing legal essays and exams are given.

Book

How to Write Law Essays and Exams provides a practical and proven method of analysing and answering essay and exam questions. Using the techniques in this book will not only help students write more powerful and responsive essays and exams but will also improve their appreciation of how to undertake critical legal thinking. Furthermore, the suggestions in this text will help students manage their time better, allowing them to write top essays despite time pressures. The book focuses on those questions that give students the most trouble, namely problem questions, but its techniques are equally applicable to other types of essays. In addition to providing a framework for analysing and writing law essays, the book teaches how to identify relevant legal authorities, distinguish and harmonise conflicting legal precedents and evaluate the applicability of the law to the facts of the question at hand. The book also contains specific law-related revision techniques and general writing tips.

Chapter

This chapter explains how the IRAC method of legal essay writing can be adapted for professional practice, with particular reference to drafting original documents (letters, attendance notes, memoranda, briefs (instructions) and opinions) that do not rely on precedents. While the discussion does not go into the same amount of detail as a professional legal training course, it does outline the forms of documents that every law student will encounter in legal practice and demonstrate how the IRAC method can be used to create those types of documents. The chapter also provides a brief overview of various formatting issues that may arise in professional practice. Writing tips are provided throughout the chapter.

Book

Emily Finch and Stefan Fafinski

Legal Skills is structured in three parts, covering a full range of legal skills. The first part deals with sources of law and includes information on finding and using legislation, case law, books, journals, and official publications, making sure you understand where the law comes from, and how to use it. The second part covers academic legal skills and provides advice on study and writing skills, legal reasoning, referencing and avoiding plagiarism, essay writing, dissertations, problem solving, and revision and examinations. The final part of the book covers the practical legal skills of oral presentation, mooting, and negotiation. This sixth edition includes a new section on legal ethics and codes of professional conduct, and completely rewritten chapters on presentation skills, and negotiation skills, including a brand new scenario, together with a large number of other enhancements throughout.

Book

Emily Finch and Stefan Fafinski

Legal Skills is structured in three parts, covering a full range of legal skills. The first part deals with sources of law and includes information on finding and using legislation, case law, books, journals, and official publications, making sure you understand where the law comes from, and how to use it. The second part covers academic legal skills and provides advice on study and writing skills, legal reasoning, referencing and avoiding plagiarism, essay writing, dissertations, problem solving, and revision and examinations. The final part of the book covers the practical legal skills of oral presentation, mooting, and negotiation.

Chapter

This chapter presents eight legal essays written by law students, six in response to problem questions and two in response to ‘discuss’ questions. The first essay is a first-class example of how the IRAC method of legal writing can work in practice; the second, third and fourth essays deal with contract; the next three are tort questions; and the last essay relates to a jurisprudence ‘discuss’ question. Each essay is followed by general comments and a class mark. A partial sample from a first-class essay in tort appears before the essays, which the student can use to improve their individual writing style.

Chapter

This chapter introduces law students to writing law essays and sitting exams, firstly by explaining why there is a need for a special approach to law essays and exams. It then outlines the hallmarks of a good essay in law, from paying close attention to the question as it is asked, to excellent use of supporting information and ideas. It also describes the four-step IRAC method of legal analysis and writing that provides a practical and proven method of answering law school essay and examination questions: identification of the issues relevant to the question; presentation of the applicable rules; application of the facts to the legal authority presented in the second step; and identification of the conclusion of the argument.

Chapter

The Concentrate Questions and Answers series offers the best preparation for tackling exam questions. Each book includes typical questions, diagram answer plans, suggested answers, author commentary, and advice on study skills. This chapter deals with how to achieve success in coursework assessments in criminal law. It offers advice on how to get started, and the different approaches needed to write the longer, more detailed answers required of coursework. An example of a coursework answer is provided. Research and planning are essential. It is crucial to employ critical analysis, to stay relevant, and to stick to the word limit. Assessments must be approached logically and be tightly structured. Finally, students need to become familiar with correct referencing of legal authorities.

Chapter

Scott Slorach, Judith Embley, Peter Goodchild, and Catherine Shephard

This chapter focuses on the development and improvement of writing and drafting skills. The discussions cover writing legal essays; the characteristics of good writing; professional writing; drafting; dictation; and writing and drafting templates.