LW4001 - Approaches to Law and Lawyering Skills

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What will I learn on this module?

In this module you will be introduced to the key skills and theories required to be a successful law undergraduate. In particular the module focusses on supporting you in making a successful transition to undergraduate study and to develop an understanding of the key academic and legal skills that you will be required to develop.

The module will focus on several key skills including;

- Legal writing
- Practical legal research
- Critical thinking
- Presentation skills (including effective group work)

The module is designed not only to assist you in developing these key skills but also to understand why such skills are important in the context of your wider studies and also how your own learning style can influence the way in which your skills develop. The module is designed to encourage you to consider important concepts such as the importance and value of feedback, critical debate and personal reflection. The module will require you to engage with a range of tasks designed to highlight the importance of these skills to both your undergraduate study and your future professional career and to develop your awareness of how your own learning style can ensure more effective skills development.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn via a combination of large group sessions, small group sessions and independent / tutor guided independent learning.

The large group sessions will introduce you to core skills and concepts and provide context for the tasks in your small group sessions. Through the small group sessions you will engage with a range of activities designed to develop your skills and understanding of core legal skills including; legal writing, practical legal research, critical thinking and presentation skills. The module handbook will contain instructions and tasks for the small group sessions. You will be expected to prepare in advance for small group sessions although some tasks may be completed during the sessions themselves (for example group work, presentations etc.).

You will be expected to engage in independent learning, some of which will be tutor guided. This will include developing your ability to recognise, locate and comprehend relevant legal source material, to work effectively as a member of a group and to develop the ability to present your findings. The module handbook will set out a learning and teaching schedule for the module including guidance on independent learning. Tutor guided independent learning will include timetabled group activity where you are supervised by a member of academic staff but where you and the rest of your group will be required to direct the learning activity (for example preparing a group presentation).

Elements of this module are designed to introduce you to the concept of Problem Based Learning (PBL), a type of experiential learning. In the context of a given problem you will carry out independent and collaborative research to identify and understand the relevant substantive law and, through a series of workshops in which you orally present your findings for tutor feedback, you will tease out potential solutions culminating in a written research report.

There will be online teaching delivery to support the development of skills relevant to the module such as the nature of problem based learning, practical legal research skills and presentation skills. An on-line reading list will be accessible on the eLP to assist you with independent learning and preparation for group sessions.

You will have the opportunity for formative oral feedback from tutors in workshops and on your group oral presentations. You will also receive formative feedback from your peers in relation to the group activities in which you participate.

Your summative assessment is based on the research that you carry out in relation to the relevant substantive law. It also includes an element of reflection on the process that you have engaged in.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The University supports you in learning and research with an excellent library, excellent teaching facilities, access to practitioner and academic on-line legal databases and resources and appropriate software.

This module will be managed by a designated Module Tutor who will be responsible for guiding you in your engagement and learning on the module. Material will be delivered to you by lecture and through the eLP and you will access additional information via your directed and independent use of on-line legal data bases and print resources. Large group sessions will be recorded on Panopto, meaning that you will be able to refer back to them on-line in order to consolidate your learning.

The eLP site will contain: Powerpoint slides used in large group sessions; the module handbook (which will contain exercises to be used in the small group sessions); advice on assessment, supported by sample questions and answers; and Panopto recordings of large group sessions.

As well as contact with the lecturer, who delivers the large group sessions, you will also be taught by a seminar tutor, who delivers the small group sessions. Should you have queries you may approach the lecturer or your seminar tutor or e-mail your query to either member of staff, either to have your query answered on line or to make an appointment for a face to face meeting. Academic support is also available to you through feedback on assessment tasks.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the module you should be able to:

• Understand that successful undergraduate study requires the development of a range of academic and professional skills.
• Understand the importance of developing these skills in the context of your wider learning.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

By the end of the module you should be able to:

• Be able to effectively identify the issues raised in the context of a problem and conduct relevant research into those issues.
• Communicate your knowledge and understanding of key principles both orally and in writing using accurate legal terminology and forming structured and coherent. arguments.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

By the end of the module you should have developed the ability to:

• Reflect on your own learning, including how you learn most effectively.

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment

On an on-going basis your tutors will give feedback on the exercises you complete and you will record and track your progress through a workbook that accompanies the module. Your workbook and associated exercises will contribute to the written work that you will submit upon completion of the module. You will be given the opportunity to receive guidance and formative feedback in preparation for the completion of your assessed work.

Summative assessment

You will be assessed by submission of a portfolio of written work. This will include providing evidence of group work and personal reflections. with Your personal reflections will have a maximum combined length of 2,000 words. The assessed work may will be completed and submitted in stages and you will receive guidance relating to the assessment at the beginning of the module and in your module handbook assessment briefs.

Your module handbook and assessment briefs will specify the exact content of the assessed work but it will include;

- evidence of practical legal research (group work);
- a piece of legal writing / presentation of ideas (group work); and
- a reflective commentaries (individual).

Assessment Criteria and Grade-Related Criteria will be made available to you to support you in completing assessments. Grade-Related Descriptors are descriptions of the level of skills, knowledge and/or attributes that you need to demonstrate in order achieve a certain grade or mark in an assessment, providing a mechanism by which the quality of an assessment can be measured and placed within the overall set of marks.

Pre-requisite(s)

N/A

Co-requisite(s)

N/A

Module abstract

‘Approaches to Law and Lawyering Skills’ is designed to help you make an effective transition to studying law at undergraduate level by introducing you to both the “how” and “why” of being a law undergraduate. The module has been designed to introduce you to the skills required to be both a successful law student but also a successful lawyer and to prepare you for the challenges and opportunities that studying on such a course will provide. The module encourages you to think about your skills in a way that is relevant to the other modules that you are studying but also to your future career aspirations. You will develop practical skills such a legal writing, practical legal research and critical thinking (the “how”) in the context of your own learning though consideration of core concepts such as reflection and assessment for learning (the “why”).

Course info

UCAS Code M101

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Northumbria Law School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

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