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LAW5112 Advanced Legal Writing and Research

Semester 1, 2021 Online
Short Description: Advanced Legal Writing and Res
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Law and Justice
Student contribution band : Band 4
ASCED code : 090999 - Law not elsewhere classified
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Sarah Butcher


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

Other requisites

Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at


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.


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

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Corbett-Jarvis, N & Grigg, B 2016, Effective legal writing: a practical guide, latest edn, LexisNexis Butterworths, Chatswood, New South Wales.
(Available as an electronic resource through USQ Library.)
Mann, T (ed.) 2017, Oxford Australian law dictionary, latest edn, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Victoria.
(latest edition - 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).

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Sanderson, J & Kelly, K 2016, A practical guide to legal research, 4th edn, Thomson Reuters, Pyrmont, New South Wales.
(Available as an electronic resource through the USQ Library.)
Strong S I 2018, How to write law essays and exams, 5th edn, Oxford University Press.
Yin, K & Desierto, A 2016, Legal problem solving and syllogistic analysis: a guide for foundation law students, LexisNexis Butterworths, Chatswood, New South Wales.
(Available as an electronic resource through the USQ Library.)
Cook, C, Creyke, R, Geddes, R & Hamer, D, 'Laying down the law', LexisNexis Butterworths, Chatswood, New South Wales (latest edition).
Devereux, J & Blake, M, 'Kenny criminal law in Queensland and Western Australia', LexisNexis Butterworths, Chatswood, New South Wales (latest edition).
Hutchinson, T, 'Researching and writing in law', Thomson Reuters, Pyrmont, New South Wales (latest edition).
Macken, C, 'Law student survival guide: 9 steps to law study success', Thomson Reuters, Pyrmont, New South Wales (latest edition).
Stuhmcke, A, 'Legal referencing', LexisNexis Butterworths, Chatswood, New South Wales (latest edition).

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 45.00
Directed Study 50.00
Private Study 70.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Objectives Assessed Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 30 30 22 Mar 2021 1,4,5 (see note 1)
RESEARCH ONLINE TEST 30 30 12 May 2021 3 (see note 2)
ASSIGNMENT 2 40 40 31 May 2021 1,2,3,4,5

  1. This assignment requires one or more visits to a local Magistrates Court to observe a criminal matter being tried. Details will be available on StudyDesk, including the availability of alternative assessment in limited circumstances.
  2. The Research Online Test will open on the date indicated above and remain open for 7 days. Details will be available on StudyDesk.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.)

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Not applicable.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Referencing in assignments:
    Students studying this course as part of the Juris Doctor must use the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (AGLC) style. For AGLC style guide enquiries, consult the AGLC manual from the USQ Library's referencing guide at, or contact the Law librarian.

Date printed 18 June 2021