By Eduardo Sánchez Madrigal
Eduardo Sánchez Madrigal is a master’s student and research assistant at the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights. His research interests include human rights and public international law.
Legal Skills and Related Material: Relevant Literature
Judith Embley, Peter Goodchild, and Catherine Shephard, Legal Systems & Skills: Learn, Develop, Apply, Oxford University Press, 4th Edition (2020).
The only text that fully combines coverage of legal systems with academic and professional legal skills. Coupled with the focus on employability and commercial awareness, Legal Systems & Skills is the essential contemporary toolkit for law students. Legal Systems & Skills speaks directly to students – encouraging, engaging, and enthusing at all times. It is accessible, with a clear writing style and a wide range of pedagogical features to help students to apply their knowledge practically.
Link to Publisher ǀ £ 33.99
Emily Finch and Stefan Fafinski, Legal Skills, Oxford University Press, 7th Edition (2019).
The best-selling legal skills textbook in the market, Legal Skills is the essential guide for law students, encompassing all the academic and practical skills in one manageable volume. It is an ideal text for students new to law, helping them make the transition from secondary education and giving them the skills they need to succeed from the beginning of their degree, through exams and assessments and into their future career. The first part covers ‘Sources of Law’ and includes information on finding and using legislation, ensuring an understanding of where the law comes from and how to use it. The second part covers ‘Academic Legal Skills’ and provides advice on general study and writing skills. This part also includes a section on referencing and avoiding plagiarism amongst a number of other chapters designed to help students through the different stages of the law degree. The third and final part is dedicated to ‘Practical Legal Skills’; a section designed to help develop transferable skills in areas such as presentations and negotiations that will be highly valued by future employers. The text contains many useful features designed to support a truly practical and self-reflective approach to legal skills including self-test questions, diagrams and practical activities. Students are given the opportunity to take a ‘hands on’ approach to tackling a variety of legal skills from using cases to negotiation. Each skill is firmly set in its wider academic and professional context to encourage an integrated approach to the learning of legal skills.
Link to Publisher ǀ £ 33.99
Linda L. Berger and Kathryn M. Stanchi, Legal Persuasion: A Rhetorical Approach to the Science, Routledge (2018).
This book develops a central theme: legal persuasion results from making and breaking mental connections. This concept of making connections inspired the authors to take a rhetorical approach to the science of legal persuasion. That singular approach resulted in the integration of research from cognitive science with classical and contemporary rhetorical theory, and the application of these two disciplines to the real-life practice of persuasion. The combination of rhetorical analysis and cognitive science yields a new way of seeing and understanding legal persuasion, one that promises theoretical and practical gains. The work has three main functions. First, it brings together the leading models of persuasion from cognitive science and rhetorical theory, blurring boundaries and leveraging connections between the often-separate spheres of science and rhetoric. Second, it illustrates this persuasive synthesis by working through concrete examples of persuasion, demonstrating how to apply this new approach to the taking apart and the putting together of effective legal arguments. In this way, the book demonstrates the advantages of a deeper and more nuanced understanding of persuasion. Third, the volume assesses and explains why, how, and when certain persuasive methods and techniques are more effective than others. The book is designed to appeal to scholars in law, rhetoric, persuasion science, and psychology; to students learning the practice of law; and to judges and practicing lawyers who engage in persuasion.
Link to Publisher ǀ £ 100.00 (hardback) and £ 26.39 (paperback)
Eric Baskind, Mooting: The Definitive Guide, Routledge (2017).
Mooting offers an excellent opportunity to develop your skills in an enjoyable, interactive and challenging way. Participation in mooting can lead to improved academic performance, enhancing your knowledge and your ability to handle complex legal materials as well as improving the power of your persuasive argument and vital skills, which will enhance your profile for prospective employers. In this book, Eric Baskind provides a seamless and comprehensive examination of the various areas involved in mooting and advocacy, combining both theoretical and practical aspects as well as the organisation of and participation in mooting competitions. Online video footage of an actual moot brings the practical nature of mooting alive and will give you expert advice and analysis of successful mooting technique as well as tips for improvement. Each moot video is highlighted at various points of interest to provide expert commentary and analysis of the mooters’ presentation, identifying the mooters’ strengths and weaknesses and how successfully they use cases and other materials to support their argument. These sections will then be re-enacted, incorporating the suggestions for improvements to help you to see how the overall performance could have been improved. This definitive guide will equip you with a complete grasp of mooting from the initial preparatory stages through to advocacy in the moot itself.
Link to Publisher ǀ £ 96.00 (hardback) and £ 26.39 (paperback)
Emily Allbon and Sanmeet Kaur Dua, The Insider’s Guide to Legal Skills, Routledge (2016).
Confused by cases? Stuck on statutes? Or just unsure where to start with writing, research or revision? The Insider’s Guide to Legal Skills will show you what you need to succeed, applying skills in their real-world context and helping you get to grips with legal method and thinking. Making use of problem-based learning and examples throughout, this practical and accessible guide will provide you with a clear guide to skills within the law degree and how to make the most of them in assessment, but also help you to see their importance to a future legal career. Designed for LLB/GDL students who want a clear overview of what a law degree is all about, the book has been built on the skills curriculum, and is a suitable text for Legal Skills, Methods and Reasoning courses as well as a general introduction to law, or pre-reading for those considering a law degree.
Link to Publisher ǀ £ 136.00 (hardback) and £ 18.39 (paperback)
Nadia E. Nedzel, Legal Reasoning, Research, and Writing for International Graduate Students, Wolters Kluwer, 4th Edition (2016).
Legal Reasoning, Research, and Writing for International Graduate Students helps readers understand and approach legal research and writing assignments the way attorneys do in the United States. Chapters are short and clear, and repeat the major points to aid, in particular, LL.M. candidates who are not native English speakers. A methodology of research and writing in preparing legal documents is presented, and reasoning and writing methods are based on standard IRAC analysis used by many instructors. To allow instructors to discuss citation requirements as they become needed, citation format information is integrated into the text. Most of the exercises in each chapter can be done on the Web as well as in the law library, with either commercial or non-commercial websites.
Link to Publisher ǀ $ 144.00 USD
Ross Guberman, Point Taken: How To Write Like the World’s Best Judges, Oxford University Press (2015).
In Point Taken, Ross Guberman delves into the work of the best judicial opinion-writers and offers a step-by-step method based on practical and provocative examples. Featuring numerous cases and opinions from 35 prolific judges – from Learned Hand to Antonin Scalia – Point Taken, explores what it takes to turn “great judicial writing” into “great writing”. Guberman provides a system for crafting effective and efficient openings to set the stage, covering the pros and cons of whether to resolve legal issues up front and whether to sacrifice taut syllogistic openings in the name of richness and nuance. Guberman offers strategies for pruning clutter, adding background, emphasizing key points, adopting a narrative voice, and guiding the reader through visual cues. The structure and flow of the legal analysis is targeted through a host of techniques for organizing the discussion at the macro level, using headings, marshaling authorities, including or avoiding footnotes, and finessing transitions. Guberman shares his style “Must Haves”, a bounty of edits at the word and sentence level that add punch and interest, and that make opinions more vivid, varied, confident, and enjoyable. He also outlines his style “Nice to Haves”, metaphors, similes, examples, analogies, allusions, and rhetorical figures. Finally, he addresses the thorny problem of dissents, extracting the best practices for dissents based on facts, doctrine, or policy. The appendix provides a helpful checklist of practice pointers along with biographies of the 35 featured judges.
Link to Publisher ǀ £ 22.49
Other Relevant Titles by Year
Deborah E. Bouchoux, Strategic Legal Research: Finding the Information You Need Efficiently and Cost-Effectively, Wolters Kluwer, 5th Edition (2020).
The Fifth Edition of Legal Research Explained offers accessible, complete, and timely coverage specifically created for Legal Research courses. Deborah E. Bouchoux’s popular building-block approach ensures that all students can master these essential skills. The text is divided into five sections, as follows: 1) conducting legal research using primary authorities; 2) conducting legal research using secondary authorities and other research aids; 3) electronic and computer resources; 4) legal citation form and validating authorities; and 5) “putting it all together,” providing a final overview of the legal research process. Research assignments in each chapter, completely updated for this edition, give students practice with both conventional print resources and online sources. Charts, diagrams, and sample pages from research resources help students understand complex topics. In addition, Practice Tips in each chapter offer realistic and helpful suggestions for workplace success, and Ethics Alerts are included throughout the book.
Link to Publisher ǀ $ 56.00 USD
Julian Webb, Caroline Maughan, Mike Maughan, Marcus Keppel-Palmer, and Andrew Boon, Lawyers’ Skills, Oxford University Press, 22nd Edition (2019).
Lawyers’ Skills helps students develop the legal skills required for successful practice in the modern solicitor’s firm. The book equips students with a solid understanding of the theory and concepts underpinning the key skills areas of legal writing and drafting, interviewing and advising, practical legal research, and advocacy. Guidance is also provided on a range of other professional skills which should be mastered before going into practice, including effective time management, negotiation, and email etiquette. The inclusion of realistic examples from practice, tasks, and reflective exercises emphasizes the interactive nature of skills as a subject and encourages students to develop, practise, and refine their legal skills. Chapter summaries, diagrams, and self-test questions are also featured throughout and provide additional learning support to students. The text is essential reading for all LPC students and is also a useful source of reference for newly-qualified practitioners.
Link to Publisher ǀ £ 35.99
James Holland and Julian Webb, Learning Legal Rules: A Students’ Guide to Legal Method and Reasoning, Oxford University Press, 10th Edition (2019).
Written by leading authors with extensive experience in both teaching and practice, this established and trusted title equips the student with all the techniques of legal research, analysis, and argument they will need for their law course and beyond. Holland & Webb take an engaging and practical approach with examples and exercises throughout which allow students to develop their knowledge and their reasoning skills making this an ideal text for first year students.
Link to Publisher ǀ £ 33.99
Rupert Haigh, Legal English, Routledge, 5th Edition (2018).
English is the dominant language of international business relations, and a good working knowledge of the language is essential for today’s legal or business professional. Legal Englishprovides a highly practical approach to the use of English in commercial legal contexts, and covers crucial law terminology and legal concepts. Written with the needs of both students and practitioners in mind, this book is particularly suitable for readers whose first language is not English but need to use English on a regular basis in legal contexts. The book covers both written and oral legal communication in typical legal situations in a straightforward manner. As well as including chapters on grammar and punctuation for legal writing, the book features sections on contract-drafting, language for negotiation, meetings and telephone conversations. This edition contains additional troubleshooting tips for legal writing, guidance on good style, and new sections on writing law essays and applying for legal positions.
Link to Publisher ǀ £ 96.00 (hardback) and £ 27.99 (paperback)
Sarah L. Cooper and Scarlett McArdle, Preparing to Moot: A Step-by-Step Guide to Mooting, Routledge (2017).
Mooting is an increasingly important activity in UK law schools. This is because mooting offers students the opportunity to develop advanced analytical, research, drafting and advocacy based skills, which help to improve their general academic achievement and employability profiles. Tangible evidence of these skills is invaluable in a progressively competitive job market. The ideal guide for the first-time mooter, Preparing to Moot provides an accessible, systematic and pragmatic approach which demystifies the process. It focuses on analysis, research and argument construction as the foundations for successful advocacy and provides students with a working guide to use alongside moot problems in five popular topic areas: criminal law, contract law, tort law, human rights and the law of equity. Through careful use of annotated examples generated by real students, and expert tips and advice from the authors, the book shows students how to individually analyse, research and construct arguments for various advocate positions, providing a practical and easy-to-follow overview of how to tackle a moot from analysing a problem initially, right up to beginning to advocate.
Link to Publisher ǀ £ 88.00 (hardback) and £ 22.39 (paperback)
Lisa Webley, Legal Writing, Routledge, 4th Edition (2016).
Legal Writing guides students comprehensively through this vital legal skill and addresses a range of assessment methods from exam questions to final essays and problem answers. It considers how to deconstruct essay and problem questions and how to conduct and apply legal research to answer set questions. Lisa Webley explains how to reference others’ work clearly and correctly, making this book a useful tool for students concerned about issues of plagiarism. It also focuses on how to develop critical thinking and communicate legal arguments, with both good and bad examples of written work considered and discussed in the text. Legal Writing is particularly useful for undergraduate students, especially at the beginning of degree studies, and for GDL and CPE students too.
This fully revised fourth edition includes:
- Guidance on the avoidance of plagiarism including examples of poor practice and best practice.
- Worked examples throughout the text, including guidance on deciphering essay questions in exams and coursework, along with additional examples from across the legal curriculum on the companion website.
- An improved companion website with increased guidance for revision to allow students to test their progress and further engage with the topics in the book.
Clearly written and easy to use, Legal Writing enables students to fully engage with essay and exam writing as a vital foundation to their undergraduate degree.
Link to Publisher ǀ £ 92.00 (hardback) and £ 26.39 (paperback)
Sharon Hanson, Learning Legal Skills and Reasoning, Routledge, 4th Edition (2016).
Language skills, study skills, argument skills and legal knowledge are vital to every law student, professional lawyer and academic. Learning Legal Skills and Reasoning discusses the main sources of English law and explains how to work with legal texts in order to construct credible legal arguments which can be applied in coursework, exams or presentations.
Learning Legal Skills and Reasoning
- Discusses how to find and understand sources of both domestic and European Union Law
- Develops effective disciplined study techniques, including referencing, general reading, writing and oral skills and explains how to make good use of the university print and e-library
- Contains chapters on writing law essays, problem questions and examinations, and on oral skills including presentations and mediation skills
Packed full of practical examples and diagrams across the range of legal skills from language and research skills to mooting and negotiation, this textbook will be invaluable to law students seeking to acquire a range of discreet legal skills in order to use them together to produce competent assessed work.
Link to Publisher ǀ £ 96.00 (hardback) and £ 29.59 (paperback)
Paula Baron and Lillian Corbin, Legal Writing: Academic and Professional Communication, Oxford University Press (2016).
Good legal writing is an inherently ethical practice and fundamental to professionalism and lawyering. Legal Writing: Academic and Professional Communication emphasises the link between legal writing and ethics as it guides readers through phases of the writing process and helps them develop effective legal writing skills essential for both academic and professional contexts. The book covers a range of academic writing commonly encountered by undergraduate and postgraduate law students including case notes, problem questions and essays. It also explores specific forms of legal writing required in the profession, through client letters, memoranda, appellate briefs and reports to support novice writers in understanding their ethical obligations and developing a professional voice.
- Provides grounding in good writing techniques with practical guidance and examples across a range of academic and professional writing genres.
- Extensive learning materials including a grammar primer, theories of writing and comparative tables outlining professional rules for ongoing reference.
- Includes exercises, questions for reflection and further reading at the end of each chapter to help students hone their skills as legal writers
Link to Publisher ǀ £ 44.99
David Pope and Dan Hill, Mooting and Advocacy Skills, Sweet & Maxwell, 3rd Edition (2015).
Mooting and Advocacy Skills is an essential work for all those participating in and organising mooting competitions and curricular moots, written by lawyers with extensive experience of both mooting and advocacy in professional practice. This 3rd edition: covers all aspects of mooting from constructing persuasive arguments to answering questions from the judge; describes the key skills of advocacy step-by-step; demonstrates advocacy skills using an illustrative moot problem and numerous worked examples; contains 10 original moot problems covering six core subjects on the legal curriculum.
Link to Publisher ǀ £ 21.95
The Legal Writing Institute, James Dimitri, Melissa Greipp, and Susie Salmon, The Moot Court Advisor’s Handbook: A Guide for Law Students, Faculty, and Practitioners, Carolina Academic Press (2015).
Perhaps you are a law professor who has just been asked to advise a moot court team. Or maybe you teach an appellate advocacy course or run an internal moot court competition. You might be an attorney recruited by the law school to coach a team, or a student preparing to serve on your school’s moot court board. Or—lucky you—your school’s entire moot court program might have just been dropped in your lap. Whatever your role, congratulations! Moot court and other legal skills competitions can be among the most rewarding experiences law school offers, both for the students and for the coach or professor. No matter what your role or level of experience, the Legal Writing Institute’s Moot Court Advisor’s Handbook is designed to be a resource of sound advice and best practices for running moot court and other legal skills competitions. With chapters on administering a moot court program, running an internal moot court competition, coaching teams at external moot court competitions, and running your own external moot court competition, this handbook also includes several model documents that you can use to create your own competition rules, program bylaws, judge training materials, competition scoring rubrics, and more. Drawing on the combined expertise of the Legal Writing Institute’s Moot Court Committee, this handbook can be your soup-to-nuts manual for building and administering a moot court program, a handy reference guide for the moot court newbie, or anything in between.
Link to Publisher ǀ $ 35.00 USD