Accessibility statement

Legal Skills - LAW00003C

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  • Department: The York Law School
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Scott Slorach
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: C
  • Academic year of delivery: 2023-24

Module summary

This module enables students to develop a number of practice legal skills used by lawyers: problem analysis; interviewing; advising; writing; advocacy; and negotiation, which skills are transferable to many other employments. Students will also develop an understanding of a number of theories and models of learning; team roles; and group development.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2023-24

Module aims

  • To introduce students to higher legal education by providing a distinctive and thought-provoking learning environment within which to develop the intellectual, practical and transferable skills needed to study law generally and more specifically the programme at York Law School
  • To introduce students to a variety of teaching and learning styles including:
  • problem-based learning
  • reflective learning
  • collaborative learning
  • To introduce students to the idea of the Learning Portfolio and the use of reflective learning as an aid to personal development
  • To introduce students to sources of legal information and give them the opportunity to develop legal research and information retrieval skills
  • To give students the opportunity of developing a range of intellectual, practical and transferable skills which are integrated into other modules on the programme

Module learning outcomes

After completing this module students should be able to:

  • Understand key theories related to working in groups and different styles of learning and teaching in law and evaluate their application to your own learning experiences (MLO 1)
  • Demonstrate and evaluate your own development of certain oral and written communication skills for lawyers, including a basic ability to structure and present an oral presentation legal argument (MLO 2)
  • Demonstrate and evaluate the use of the skills involved in applying primary legal sources in support of legal analysis and argument. (MLO 3)
  • Understand the basic principles of negotiation and demonstrate your understanding within the context of an actual negotiation (MLO 4)
  • Demonstrate a positive contribution to the learning and development of your own legal skills and those of others by regular attendance and active participation in the learning activities on the Legal Skills module (MLO5)


Task Length % of module mark
Legal Skills - Learning Portfolio
N/A 80
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Contribution : Legal Skills Contribution
N/A 20

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

The summative assessment in the form of a learning portfolio will comprise a series of claims and reflections of up to 2,000 words on achievement of Module Learning Outcomes 1 to 4, to be supported by selected persuasive evidence from within a student's skills learning portfolio, the latter to be compiled during the module.


Task Length % of module mark
Legal Skills - Learning Portfolio
N/A 80
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Contribution : Legal Skills Contribution
N/A 20

Module feedback

Formative feedback is provided to students:

(i) via feedback during learning activities (e.g. on specific skills performances); (ii) by a short interim report on classroom contribution from the student's tutor; and (iii) on a formatively assessed intitial learning portfolio.

Students will receive on page comments on their submission for their summative assessment plus a summary of the main positive points and areas for improvement.

Feedback will be provided within the Policy Turnaround Time.

Indicative reading

C. Maughan & J. Webb, Lawyering Skills and the Legal Process, Cambridge University Press, 2nd Ed., 2005

F. Boyle, D. Capps, P. Plowden & C. Sandford, A Practical Guide to Lawyering Skills, Cavendish Publishing, 3rd Ed., 2005

E. Finch & S. Fafinski, Legal Skills, OUP, 8th Ed. 2021

S Slorach, J Embley, P Goodchild and C Shephard, Legal System and Skills, OUP, 5th Ed. due July 2023

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.