LAW06060 0000 Legal Skills

General Details

Full Title
Legal Skills
Transcript Title
Legal Skills
N/A %
Subject Area
LAW - Law
SOCS - Social Sciences
06 - NFQ Level 6
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
0000 - The Beginning of Time
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Breda McTaggart, John Weir, Ruth Walsh
Programme Membership
SG_GLAWB_H08 202100 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Law and Business

This module builds on the 'Skills for Success in Higher Education' and 'Irish Legal System' modules and continues to develop the students' understanding of the key features of the Irish and European legal systems. It introduces students to the basic skills required for the study of law such as legal research skills, legal citation, legal reasoning and provides practical training in legal problem solving and in essay writing. This module also introduces basic legal terminology. These are all skills that will be transferable across all areas of legal study and practice.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Demonstrate the ability to locate and use primary and secondary sources of law, both in print and electronically;


Examine legislation and cases and participate in legal discussion;


Examine factual scenarios and apply legal rules and principles so as to produce reasoned, structured and effective arguments, adequately supported by reference to legal authority;


Explore and display relevant and effective communications skills on a topic of Irish law to a group of peers;


Demonstrate the ability to cooperate and work effectively with peers.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

The teaching and learning strategy is one which is founded on student-centered active learning. This module will be delivered by a mixture of face to face, online delivery and tutorial support as appropriate. A range of Computer-Aided Learning (CALL) packages are available to support this module (e.g. Moodle, Adobe Connect, Panopto, Teams). 

Discussion, communication and team working skills will be nurtured throughout the module, where students will have space and the support to articulate and present on their ideas within the learning environment.

The module will include legal writing tutorials, reflective learning, case-studies, field-trips, presentations and the use of Moodle as a repository.

Module Assessment Strategies

Students will participate actively in their own learning and have the opportunity to reflect on their learning progress through Continuous Assessment (100%) throughout the semester. Assessments may vary from a quiz, legal research, essays, legal citation, presentation, other. Feedback will be provided on an ongoing basis.

Students will also have the opportunity to reflect on their learning progress throughout the semester through formative assessments such as in-class discussions, polls and quizzes.

Repeat Assessments

Repeat assessment/exam will be developed as appropriate to assess failed components.

Indicative Syllabus

Legal Research:

  • Accessing and using primary and secondary sources of law;
  • Reading legislation;
  • Reading case law; 
  • Accessing and using online legal databases, journals. 

Legal Reasoning:

  • An introduction to legal reasoning and analysis;
  • Structuring legal arguments - clarity, consistency and cohesion.

Legal Writing:

  • An introduction to legal writing;
  • Using chronology of events;
  • Structuring written legal arguments.

Legal Citation:

  • Citing legislation;
  • Citing cases.

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Quiz, legal research, legal writing and citation, presentation, exam, other Continuous Assessment Assessment 100 % OnGoing 1,2,3,4,5

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Flat Classroom Lecture 2 Weekly 2.00
Tutorial Flat Classroom Tutorial 1 Weekly 1.00
Independent Learning Not Specified Independent Learning 4 Weekly 4.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 3.00 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Required Reading
2016 How to Think, Write and Cite
ISBN 0414056558 ISBN-13 9780414056558

Legal research and legal writing: Essential skills for success in the world of law The new edition of How to think, write and cite provides students who are new to law with clear and practical guidance on mastering essential skills which will be key to success in their assignments and examinations, and which will also be invaluable in the workplace after graduating. Key features * Developed by experienced Irish academics and researchers specifically for Irish law students * Easy-to-follow, practical advice * Explanations of how to read legislation and court judgments * Step-by-step instructions for accessing online legal databases * Explains effective legal writing for exams and essays, including sample answers and essays * Explains when and how to cite in essays * Includes a detailed citation manual for Irish materials based on the internationally-accepted OSCOLA system New to the second edition * Up-to-date information on how to use online databases * Expanded section on use of software to automate and simplify referencing * New section on completing assignments * Discussion of expanding role of clinical legal education * Detailed discussion of different research methods, including doctrinal, historical and socio-legal research * Suggestions for further reading * Second edition of OSCOLA Ireland The book is accompanied by a companion website, which will provide supplementary exercises and interactive quizzes which students can use to self-test at their own pace, or module co-ordinators can use to assess the work of students over the course of the module. (Please note that this website, while complementary to the book, is an independent endeavour by the authors. The book is sold as a stand-alone text.) The authors Jennifer Schweppe, School of Law, University of Limerick; Dr Ronan Kennedy, School of Law, National University of Ireland, Galway; Lawrence Donnelly, School of Law, National University of Ireland, Galway

Required Reading
2011-01-01 Legal Writing and Analysis Wolters Kluwer Law and Business
ISBN 0735598509 ISBN-13 9780735598508

Ideal for beginning legal writers, this logically organized and exceptionally well-written text offers a concise and straightforward guide to legal writing and analysis. Updated to include exercises with increased focus on first-year courses, Legal Writing and Analysis, Second Edition, starts with an overview of the legal system and the lawyers role, then leads students from reading and analyzing the law through the process of legal writing, providing numerous examples and exercises along the way. Classroom-tested features of this bestselling text include: a consistent use of the legal method approach, from an opening chapter providing an overview of a civil case and the lawyers role, to information about the legal system, case briefing, synthesizing cases, and statutory interpretation an emphasis on analogical reasoning and synthesizing cases, as well as rule-based and policy-based reasoning, with explanations of how to use these types of reasoning to organize a legal discussion a logical organization that starts with reading and analyzing the law and then moves on to writing the discussion of a legal question, writing an office memo and professional letters, and advocacy writing. chapters addressing style and formality considerations as well as oral advocacy effective coverage of the use of precedent a superior discussion of small-scale organization, including the thesis paragraph numerous examples and frequent short exercises that encourage students to apply concepts a comprehensive Teachers Manual that offers helpful advice for instructors. The Second Edition offers new exercises, including increased focus on first-year courses. a revision of Part Five on advocacy writing, streamlining the order of the chapters and adding more coverage of questions presented an updated citation chapter. Chapter 12 on the Office Memorandum has been expanded to add another format for a question presented and is accompanied by an example Please visit the new companion website to learn more about this book. Website:

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources
Journal Resources

Law Society Gazette

Irish Law Times

The Bar Review

URL Resources;;;;;  

Other Resources
Additional Information