Availabilities:

Location Domestic International
Gold Coast
Session1, 2
Session1, 2
Lismore
Session1, 2
Session1, 2
Online
Session1, 2, 3
Session1, 2

Unit Summary

Unit type

UG Coursework Unit

Credit points

12

AQF level

7

Level of learning

Introductory

Former School/College

Former School of Law and Justice

Unit aim

Introduces students to a law library and develops the skills necessary to locate use and apply law reports, statutes, and secondary legal sources, using both computer assisted legal research and hard copy methods. Students also examine the principles of good legal writing, including an understanding of the use and preparation of legal research material, and an introduction to drafting using 'plain' legal language to prepare legal documents.

Unit content

Part 1: Legal writing and academic skills

Topic 1: Researching and understanding Australian laws
Topic 2: Writing style: using plain language
Topic 3: Legal writing
Topic 4: Legal problem solving and law exams
Topic 5: Understanding cases
Topic 6: Understanding legislation

Part 2: Legal research

Topic 7: Methods of legal research
Topic 8: Computerised legal research methods
Topic 9: Secondary sources & commentary
Topic 10: Secondary sources & updating
Topic 11: Finding and noting up cases
Topic 12: Finding and updating legislation

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

GA1: Intellectual rigour, GA2: Creativity, GA3: Ethical practice, GA4: Knowledge of a discipline, GA5: Lifelong learning, GA6: Communication and social skills, GA7: Cultural competence
On completion of this unit, students should be able to: GA1 GA2 GA3 GA4 GA5 GA6 GA7
1 demonstrate increased confidence in their use of the basic technologies in an online learning environment. Lifelong learning
2 employ techniques of effective written communication and use plain legal language to draft legal documents clearly, concisely and accurately. Lifelong learning
3 demonstrate knowledge and application of academic integrity. Intellectual rigour
4 demonstrate competence in computerised research skills and knowledge of legal research methods, tools and techniques. Knowledge of a discipline
5 efficiently and accurately identify and retrieve legal and non-legal resources relevant to the resolution of legal issues. Knowledge of a discipline
6 evaluate and clearly articulate in writing the results of their legal research. Lifelong learning
7 demonstrate an ability to apply their legal research results to solve legal problems. Intellectual rigour

On completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. demonstrate increased confidence in their use of the basic technologies in an online learning environment.
    • GA5: Lifelong learning
  2. employ techniques of effective written communication and use plain legal language to draft legal documents clearly, concisely and accurately.
    • GA5: Lifelong learning
  3. demonstrate knowledge and application of academic integrity.
    • GA1: Intellectual rigour
  4. demonstrate competence in computerised research skills and knowledge of legal research methods, tools and techniques.
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
  5. efficiently and accurately identify and retrieve legal and non-legal resources relevant to the resolution of legal issues.
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
  6. evaluate and clearly articulate in writing the results of their legal research.
    • GA5: Lifelong learning
  7. demonstrate an ability to apply their legal research results to solve legal problems.
    • GA1: Intellectual rigour

Prescribed texts

  • Bott, B & Talbot-Stokes, R, 2012, Nemes & Coss’ Effective Legal Research, 5th edn, LexisNexis Butterworths, Chatswood NSW. ISBN: 9780409330632.
  • Corbett-Jarvis, N & Grigg, B, 2014, Effective Legal Writing: A Practical Guide, LexisNexis Butterworths, Chatswood NSW. ISBN: 9780409334029.
  • This resource can be purchased in hardcopy of downloaded from where it is available in Read-Only Adobe: Melbourne University Law Review, 2010, Australian Guide to Legal Citation, 3rd edn, MULR Association Inc, Melbourne. ISBN: 9780646527390.

  • Bott, B & Talbot-Stokes, R, 2012, Nemes & Coss’ Effective Legal Research, 5th edn, LexisNexis Butterworths, Chatswood NSW. ISBN: 9780409330632.
  • Corbett-Jarvis, N & Grigg, B, 2014, Effective Legal Writing: A Practical Guide, LexisNexis Butterworths, Chatswood NSW. ISBN: 9780409334029.
  • This resource can be purchased in hardcopy or downloaded from the Melbourne University Law Review website where it is available in Read-Only Adobe: Melbourne University Law Review, 2010, Australian Guide to Legal Citation, 3rd edn, MULR Association Inc, Melbourne. ISBN: 9780646527390.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.