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LAW7285 - Legal research and communication

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Law

Leader(s): Mr Leighton Morris

Offered

Clayton First semester 2009 (Day)
Clayton Second semester 2009 (Day)

Synopsis

This unit is only available to international students.

This unit is designed to assist lawyers from non-common law and non-english speaking backgrounds to develop their basic legal research and communications skills within the Australian legal environment. By means of seminars, practical workshops and individual instruction sessions, students will be guided in the development of basic legal research skills, critical reading skills and core legal communication skills, including the skills of oral presentation and legal writing.

Objectives

On completing this unit a student should have:

  1. a familiarity with the basic sources of law in common law jurisdictions and the methods used to locate those sources;
  2. the ability to independently research legal topics for the purposes of selecting, developing and writing a legal exposition and/or critique;
  3. the ability to interpret and use legal references, including those found in reading guides, footnotes, bibliographies etc;
  4. improved clear and critical thinking skills;
  5. improved law related english-language skills pertaining to listening, reading, discussion, note-taking and the delivery of structured oral presentations;
  6. an ability to observe the main conventions of english expression, including those most relevant to regular legal discourse;
  7. improved legal writing skills, particularly in the areas of structure, expression and style;
  8. a familiarity with the use of word-processors as an aid in the development of legal writing skills.

Assessment

Two one-hour class tests (1,100 words each): 15% each Assignment(s) (not more than 4,500 words): 60%
Short presentation: 10%

Contact hours

24 contact hours per semester (either intensive, semi-intensive or semester long, depending on the Faculty resources, timetabling and requirements)

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