SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M3M122815
Module Leader Claire McFadzean
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Law
  • A (September start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge


Summary of Content

The module is a combination of practical legal skills to give students intending to pursue careers involving law and others experience of practical professional activities and the implementation of information and communications technologies in a legal context. Students are introduced to the theory and practice of legal skills in a practitioner's and academic environment. In addition, a practical examination of how IT is used in the legal office, in a court setting and in aspects of e-government relevant to law. Furthermore, the module will examine the extent to which IT applications can be used in order to aid an understanding of substantive law. There will also be an opportunity to consider the legal issues relevant to such uses of IT. The delivery of the module will embed PRME principles including: developing graduates who care about social responsibility and developing learning and teaching which enables students to become responsible managers and leaders.


1. Client Counselling Skills In this assessed unit students learn how to plan and conduct client counselling interviews by: Being aware of the personal and ethical issues raised in dealing with clients Practising and/or analysing a range of basic strategies to facilitate clients in interviews. Consider alternative solutions to problems, both legal and extra-legal. Conducting efficiently structured interviews Managing pre- and post-interview administration Knowing how to apply reflective practice to their own counselling strategies. 2. Legal Writing and Document Drafting In this unit students learn how to : 1. Generate writing according to the following criteria: Subject Audience Purpose Word/time limit 2. Structure legal argument 3. Draft legal letters 4. Draft different types of legal memos and file notes 5. Write clear and appropriate legal prose 3. Negotiation skills In this unit students learn how to plan and conduct negotiations by: Understanding when to use negotiation skills, Identifying different approaches to negotiation Recognising their personal preferences. Evaluating the effectiveness of their negotiation strategies. Use material for letter exercise 4. Self-Appraisal Report At the end of this module students are required to submit a 1000-word self-assessment report. In this report they have the opportunity to draw upon their learning logs and comment on their progress throughout the module. -240 5. Advanced Legal Research Skills In this unit students will learn the research skills which will help them amongst other things to complete their own Honours dissertation successfully. These include being able to: 6. IT in law - historical and future perspectives 7. IT in the legal office 8. IT in the courts 9. e-Government and legal services 10. IT as promoter and facilitator of learning in law

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module students should be able to understand and apply the main principles and theory of:(i) client counselling skills;(ii) legal writing;(iii) document drafting;(iv) negotiation skills;(v) advanced legal research skills particularly in context of dissertation; and(vi) professional ethics.They will also be able to:(i) consider issues around employability in the legal environment;(ii) critically analyse their methods of learning;(iii) reflect and critically judge their own performance; (iv) evaluate their achievement on the course; and(v) explain the challenges faced by lawyers in meeting social responsibilities and explore effective approaches to meeting those challengesFinally, the student should be able to demonstrate:(i) knowledge and understanding of the current and future role of information technology in the legal sector;(ii) an appreciation of the ways in which software applications can aid an understanding of law; and(iii)) competency in a range of software applications relevant to law.Students will be able to evaluate the effectiveness of legal concepts in performing a specified functionPRME Learning Outcome: demonstrate an ability to explore ethical and socially responsible responses to issues arising within the context of Skills for Legal Employment.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

For the Legal Skills element of the module, full-time students shall attend two workshops (2 hours each) for 8 weeks then one workshop (2 hours) from then on. This reflects the practical dimension of this part of the course and the continual assessment strategy. In relation to the Legal IT component of the module, full-time students will attend 6 hours of lectures in total and 20 hour of seminar lab sessions in total, (part-time students will attend 2.5 hours of lectures per week and 1 hour of seminars per week). The legal skills practical workshops will focus on a series of tasks usually carried out in a practitioner's environment: client counselling, negotiation, ethical issues and legal writing. Where appropriate lectures will be delivered in the workshop. One of the workshops will be set aside for talks from external speakers from the professional legal environment to enhance the students' employability skills. In conjunction with this Blended Learning will be fully utilised with the main assignment being digitally recorded and uploaded to the GCU learn website. Other materials will also be accessed on GCU Learn. Internationalisation: The delivery of this module will set Scots, UK and EU law as appropriate in an international context. Feedback will be provided to students as follows: -260 1. Students will be provided with feedback within three weeks of submission of all assessments, providing information on strengths, weaknesses and suggestions for improvement. Students may also discuss any points with their lecturer or tutor. -260 2. The virtual learning environment site will be used to feedback overall performance by students on assessments. 3. Discussions boards will be used to encourage teacher and peer-to-peer dialogue on certain topic areas where this form of communication would be regarded as effective. GSBS will continue to use the advancement of GCU Learn as a blended learning tool through its teaching and learning as well as through engagement with students. GSBS will ensure that all modules are GCU Learn enabled and with the support of the Learning Technologists at the cutting edge of development of online materials. Academic staff and the Learning Technologists will continue to work together to develop and operate al modules on GCU Learn to ensure student support and information sharing. Students are provided with formative and summative feedback via a variety of mechanisms. Feedback on coursework is provided within 3 working weeks of submission. -260

Indicative Reading

Fullerton & MacGregor, Legal Research Skills for Scots Lawyers (W Green, 2 nd Edition, 2007) Maugham & Webb, Lawyering Skills and the Legal Process (Butterworths, 1995) Fiona Boyle et al, A Practical Guide to Lawyering Skills, (Cavendish, 3 rd edition 2005) Brayne & Grimes, The Legal Skills Book (Butterworths, 1998) Jenny Chapman, Interviewing & Counselling, (Cavendish, 2 nd edition 2000) Hector MacQueen, Studying Scots Law, (Tottel, 2006) Susskind, R Tomorrow's Lawyers OUP (2013) Susskind, R The End of Lawyers OUP (2008) Susskind, R The Future of Law OUP (1998) Susskind R Transforming the Law OUP (2003) Leith, P and Hoey, A The Computerised Lawyer Springer Verlag (1998) Lloyd, I Information Technology Law, 6th Edition OUP (2011)

Transferrable Skills

Analysis, Synthesis, Critical Judgement and Evaluation The ability to identify issues, assimilate, evaluate and analyse information to construct written or oral solutions to a problem by bringing together and integrating relevant information, and selecting key material, from a variety of different sources. The ability to present arguments for and against propositions, acknowledging ranking of sources and relative impact in context. Such skills are developed within this module through tutor directed study in lectures and practicals, and through the following activities: Solving well defined problems scenarios through mock client interviews and professional legal writing; Managing, analysing and rating a large volume of legal sources in a number of research exercises; Preparing a negotiation strategy whilst considering a number of legal sources; Application of the law and problem-solving in a mock professional context; and Coursework essay writing. Personal Management, Independence and Ability to Learn The ability to organise and prioritise effectively the expenditure of time and effort in the performance of all aspects of student work. The ability to learn effectively and be aware of their own learning strategies; to manage their own learning development and to reflect upon their learning, seeking and making use of feedback. Such skills are developed within this module through the following activities: Carry out client interviews independently and record digitally; Meeting deadlines for continuous assessment: interview, reports and draft letters; Preparing for interview to set time period; Preparing and performing a number of legal exercises in workshop; Access materials via the GCU Learn site; and Feedback events following assessment of IT component. Communication and Literacy The ability to communicate information, ideas, advice and choices in an effective and succinct manner and in plain English without losing focus on key issues. The ability to listen and question effectively, to give and receive feedback and to make presentations addressing an allocated topic within the prescribed time frame. The ability to communicate both orally and in writing (and, where appropriate, by the use of electronic means) using the English language accurately by creating work which is comprehensible to the intended audience. The ability to create documents which are analytical, descriptive and inquisitive using appropriate terminology and recognised methods of citation and reference. Such skills are developed within this module through the following activities: Creating work in a permanent format which is understandable by the intended audience; Create an essay which is analytical, descriptive and inquisitive; Using appropriate legal terminology in all work - given it is a professional setting and dealing with the lay person; Completing a mock client counseling interview playing the role of legal practitioner; Listening and questioning effectively; Giving and receiving feedback and responding effectively to others within workshop groups; Ensuring that all communications (either face-to-face or in permanent form) are succinct without losing focus on key issues or information; Communicating in plain English, with legal terminology only as needed - particularly being aware of audience; Contributing effectively to group work in class and assessment; Using recognised methods of citation and reference which will be used in coursework where appropriate; Engaging in group work for interviews and negotiation exercise; and Interactive lab sessions. Numeracy, Information, Technology and Teamwork Where relevant and as the basis for an argument, the ability to present and evaluate information provided in numerical or statistical form. The ability to produce and present in an appropriate form a word-processed essay or other appropriate format. The ability to conduct efficient searches of websites to locate relevant information; and exchange documents by E-mail. The ability to work productively and cooperatively in different kinds of groups; to establish working relations with others, defining, sharing and delegating responsibilities within the group. Such skills are developed within this module through the following activities: Word processed essays; Prepare digital interview - upload and assess in own time from GCU learn site; Use of Internet - general and specific - to research legal and professional materials for workshops and assessment; Communication with module team via e-mail; Participation in seminar discussions; Groupwork for mock interviews and negotiation exercise; Weekly practical sessions where students develop hands on experience of Word processed essays; Prepare digital interview - upload and assess in own time from GCU learn site; Use of Internet - general and specific - to research legal and professional materials for workshops and assessment; Communication with module team via e-mail; Participation in seminar discussions; Groupwork for mock interviews and negotiation exercise; and -76 IT applications relevant to the legal environment.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Seminars (FT) 58.00
Assessment (FT) 20.00
Independent Learning (FT) 116.00
Lectures (FT) 6.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 05 n/a 15.00 35% File note exercise (ongoing)
Course Work 01 n/a 25.00 35% Portfolio of IT skills work (ongoing)
Course Work 04 n/a 20.00 35% Draft professional letter (ongoing)
Course Work 03 n/a 15.00 35% Reflective report on client counselling (1200 words) (week 12)
Course Work 06 n/a 0.00 n/a Self-assessment report on module (week 15)
Course Work 02 n/a 25.00 35% Digital recorded role play - client counselling (ongoing)