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The current and official versions of the course specifications are available on the web at https://www.usq.edu.au/course/specification/current.
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LAW5112 Advanced Legal Writing and Research

Semester 3, 2022 Online
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Law and Justice
Grading basis : Graded
Course fee schedule : https://www.unisq.edu.au/current-students/administration/fees/fee-schedules


Examiner: James Hevers


Pre-requisite or Co-requisite: LAW5111 or Students must be enrolled in the following program: DJUR


This course is a foundation course for the Juris Doctor program. It provides students with the introductory skills necessary to then complete remaining law courses. This is a core course in the Juris Doctor program.

This course provides students with an introduction to the key skills necessary to undertake their substantive law courses, including legal citation, legal research, problem-solving, legal writing, analysis, synthesis, reflection and evaluation. Students will continue to build and develop these skills as they progress through other core courses in the Law program.

Course learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate [explain and apply] an advanced and integrated understanding of a complex body of knowledge relevant to: legal systems and the role of lawyers; language history, including academic and professional legal writing conventions, and the broader contexts within which legal issues arise [in this area] (PO1/TLO1).
  2. Identify and articulate complex legal issues [relating to legal systems and the role of lawyers; apply legal reasoning and research to generate appropriate practical responses to legal issues; and engage in analysis and make a reasoned choice amongst alternatives (PO3/TLO3).
  3. Demonstrate the intellectual and practical skills needed to justify and interpret conclusions and professional decisions, as well as to identify, research in an ethical manner, evaluate and synthesise relevant factual, legal and policy issues (PO4/TLO4).
  4. Communicate in ways that are effective, appropriate and persuasive for legal and non-legal audiences (PO5/TLO5).
  5. Learn and work with a high degree of autonomy, accountability and professionalism; and reflect on and assess their own capabilities and performance, and make use of feedback as appropriate, to support personal and professional development (PO6/TLO6).


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction to ethical legal study and law 10.00
2. Writing ‘right’: grammar, plain English, and academic integrity 25.00
3. Introduction to legal research and secondary sources 10.00
4. Case law research 20.00
5. Putting it into practice: context, purpose and writing processes 15.00
6. Statute law research 15.00
7. Researching beyond Australia 5.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

Corbett-Jarvis, N & Grigg, B Latest edn, Effective legal writing: a practical guide, LexisNexis Butterworths, Chatswood, New South Wales.
(Available as an electronic resource through USQ Library.)
Mann, T (ed.) Latest edn, Oxford Australian law dictionary, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Victoria.
(Available as an electronic resource through USQ Library.)
Melbourne University Law Review Association & Melbourne Journal of International Law 2018, Australian guide to legal citation, 4th edn, Melbourne University Law Review Association & Melbourne Journal of International Law, Melbourne, Victoria (latest edition is essential).

Student workload expectations

To do well in this subject, students are expected to commit approximately 10 hours per week including class contact hours, independent study, and all assessment tasks. If you are undertaking additional activities, which may include placements and residential schools, the weekly workload hours may vary.

Assessment details

Approach Type Description Group
Weighting (%) Course learning outcomes
Assignments Written Report No 30 1,4,5
Assignments Written Quiz No 30 3
Assignments Written Research (paper) No 40 1,2,3,4,5
Date printed 10 February 2023