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How to Structure & Write A First-Class Law Essay: Key Tips

Writing a law essay can be a challenging task. As a law student, you’ll be expected to analyse complex legal issues and apply legal principles to real-world scenarios. At the same time, you’ll need to be able to communicate your ideas clearly and persuasively. In this article, we’ll cover some top tips to guide you through the process of planning, researching, structuring and writing a first-class law essay. By the end of this article, you’ll be better equipped to tackle your next writing assignment with confidence!

1. Start In Advance

Give yourself plenty of time to plan, research and write your law essay. Always aim to start your law essay as soon as you have the question. Leaving it until the last minute does not only create unnecessary stress, but it also leaves you insufficient time to write, reference and perfect your work.

2. Understand The Question

Do not begin until you fully comprehend the question. Take the time to read the question carefully and make sure that you understand what it’s asking you to do. Highlight key terms and annotate the question with definitions of key concepts and any questions that you have have. Think about how the question links back to what you’ve learned during your lectures or through your readings.

3. Conduct Thorough Research

Conducting thorough research around your topic is one of the most fundamental parts of the essay writing process. You should aim to use a range of relevant sources, such as cases, academic articles, books and any other legal materials. Ensure that the information you collect is taken from relevant, reliable and up to date sources. Use primary over secondary material as much as possible.

Avoid using outdated laws and obscure blog posts as sources of information. Always aim to choose authoritative sources from experts within the field, such as academics, politicians, lawyers and judges. Using high-quality and authoritative sources and demonstrating profound and critical insight into your topic are what will earn you top marks.

Start writing like a lawyer! Read our tips:

4. write a detailed plan.

Once you’ve done your research, it’s time to plan your essay. When writing your plan, you’ll need to create an outline that clearly identifies the main points that you wish to make throughout your article. Try to write down what you wish to achieve in each paragraph, what concepts you want to discuss and arguments you want to make.

Your outline should be organised in a clear, coherent and logical manner to ensure that the person grading your essay can follow your line of thought and arguments easily.  You may also wish to include headings and subheadings to structure your essay effectively This makes it easier when it comes to writing the essay as starting without a plan can get messy. The essay must answer the question and nothing but the question so ensure all of your points relate to it.

5. Write A Compelling Introduction

A great introduction should, firstly, outline the research topic.  The introduction is one of the most crucial parts of the law essay as it sets the tone for the rest of the paper. It should capture the readers attention and provide the background context on the topic. Most importantly, it should state the thesis of your essay.

When writing your introduction, avoid simply repeating the given question. Secondly, create a road map for the reader, letting them know how the essay will approach the question. Your introduction must be concise. The main body of the essay is where you will go into detail.

6. Include A Strong Thesis Statement

Your thesis should clearly set out the argument you are going to be making throughout your essay and should normally go in the introduction. Your thesis should adopt a clear stance rather than being overly general or wishy-washy. To obtain the best grades, you’ll need to show a unique perspective based upon a critical analysis of the topic rather than adopting the most obvious point of view.

Once you’ve conducted your research and had a chance to reflect on your topic, ask yourself whether you can prove your argument within the given word count or whether you would need to adopt a more modest position for your paper. Always have a clear idea of what your thesis statement is before you begin writing the content of your essay. 

7. Present the Counter-argument

To demonstrate your deeper understanding of the topic, it’s important to show your ability to consider the counter-arguments and address them in a careful and reasoned manner. When presenting your counterarguments, aim to depict them in the best possible light, aiming to be fair and reasonable before moving on to your rebuttal. To ensure that your essay is convincing, you will need to have a strong rebuttal that explains why your argument is stronger and more persuasive. This will demonstrate your capacity for critical analysis, showing the reader that you have carefully considered differing perspectives before coming to a well-supported conclusion.

8. End With A Strong Conclusion

Your conclusion is your opportunity to summarise the key points made throughout your essay and to restate the thesis statement in a clear and concise manner.  Avoid simply repeating what has already been mentioned in the body of the essay. For top grades, you should use the conclusion as an opportunity to provide critical reflection and analysis on the topic. You may also wish to share any further insights or recommendations into alternative avenues to consider or implications for further research that could add value to the topic. 

9. Review The Content Of Your Essay

Make sure you factor in time to edit the content of your essay.  Once you’ve finished your first draft, come back to it the next day. Re-read your essay with a critical perspective. Do your arguments make sense? Do your paragraphs flow in a logical manner? You may also consider asking someone to read your paper and give you critical feedback. They may be able to add another perspective you haven’t considered or suggest another research paper that could add value to your essay. 

10. Proofread For Grammatical Mistakes

Once you’re happy with the content of your essay, the last step is to thoroughly proofread your essay for any grammatical errors. Ensure that you take time to ensure that there are no grammar, spelling or punctuation errors as these can be one of the easiest ways to lose marks. You can ask anyone to proofread your paper, as they would not necessarily need to have a legal background – just strong grammar and spelling skills! 

11. Check Submission Guidelines

Before submitting, ensure that your paper conforms with the style, referencing and presentation guidelines set out by your university. This includes the correct font, font size and line spacing as well as elements such as page numbers, table of content etc. Referencing is also incredibly important as you’ll need to make sure that you are following the correct referencing system chosen by your university. Check your university’s guidelines about what the word count is and whether you need to include your student identification number in your essay as well. Be thorough and don’t lose marks for minor reasons!

12. Use Legal Terms Accurately

Always make sure that you are using legal terms accurately throughout your essay. Check an authoritative resource if you are unsure of any definitions. While being sophisticated is great, legal jargon if not used correctly or appropriately can weaken your essay. Aim to be concise and to stick to the point. Don’t use ten words when only two will do.

12. Create a Vocabulary Bank

One recurring piece of advice from seasoned law students is to take note of phrases from books and articles, key definitions or concepts and even quotes from your professors. When it comes to writing your law essay, you will have a whole range of ideas and vocabulary that will help you to develop your understanding and thoughts on a given topic. This will make writing your law essay even easier!

13. Finally, Take Care of Yourself

Last but certainly not least, looking after your health can improve your attitude towards writing your law essay your coursework in general. Sleep, eat, drink and exercise appropriately. Take regular breaks and try not to stress. Do not forget to enjoy writing the essay!

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How to Write a Law Essay

Last Updated: August 11, 2023

This article was co-authored by Clinton M. Sandvick, JD, PhD . Clinton M. Sandvick worked as a civil litigator in California for over 7 years. He received his JD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1998 and his PhD in American History from the University of Oregon in 2013. This article has been viewed 239,138 times.

In a college legal studies course, and in some law school courses, you may be required to write a research paper addressing a legal topic. These essays can be tricky, because the law is constantly evolving. To secure a top grade, your essay must be well-researched and coherently argued. With proper planning and research, you can write a stellar legal essay. [Note: this article does not address how to write law school essay exams or bar exam questions, which require different techniques and strategies.]

Choosing an Essay Topic

Step 1 Carefully read the assignment prompt.

  • A narrow essay prompt might read, "Discuss the evolution and impact of the exclusionary rule of evidence in the United States." A broad prompt might read, "Discuss how a civil rights movement led to changes in federal and/or state law."
  • If you are invited to choose your own topic, your professor may require you to submit a written proposal or outline to ensure that your chosen topic complies with the prompt. If you are not sure if your topic is within the parameters of the prompt, propose your topic to your professor after class or during his or her office hours.

Step 2 Read any required materials.

  • Hopefully, your course readings, lectures, and class discussions will have given you enough background knowledge to select a topic. If not, review your class notes and browse online for additional background information.
  • It is not uncommon to change your topic after doing some research. You may end up narrowing the questions your essay will answer, or changing your topic completely.

Step 4 Choose an essay topic of interest to you.

  • If you can, try to focus on an are of the law that affects you. For example, if your family is involved in agriculture, you may be interested in writing about water use regulations .

Researching Your Topic

Step 1 Identify what types of sources you are required to use.

  • If you are prohibited from citing internet resources, you can still use online research to guide you to physical primary and secondary sources in your local library or bookstore.

Step 2 Begin with tertiary sources.

  • Look at footnotes, citations, and indexes in tertiary sources. These are great for finding books, articles, and legal cases that are relevant to your topic. Also take note of the names of authors, who may have written multiple works on your topic.

Step 3 Speak to a librarian.

  • Also find search engines for related fields, such as history or political science. Ask your librarian to recommend specialized search engines tailored to other disciplines that may have contributed to your topic.

Step 5 Gather sources and read them.

  • Never cut and paste from the web into your notes or essay. This often leads to inadvertent plagiarism because students forget what is a quotation and what is paraphrasing. When gathering sources, paraphrase or add quotation marks in your outline.
  • Plagiarism is a serious offense. If you ultimately hope to be a lawyer, an accusation of plagiarism could prevent you from passing the character and fitness review.

Step 7 Look for arguments on both sides of an issue.

Drafting the Essay

Step 1 Write your thesis statement.

  • An effective introduction takes the reader out of his world and into the world of your essay. [2] X Trustworthy Source University of North Carolina Writing Center UNC's on-campus and online instructional service that provides assistance to students, faculty, and others during the writing process Go to source Explain why the subject is important and briefly summarizes the rest of your argument. After reading your introduction, your reader should know what you are going to discuss and in what order you will be discussing it.
  • Be prepared to revise your introduction later. Summarizing your essay will be easier after you have written it, especially if you deviate from your outline.

Step 4 Develop your arguments.

  • State each argument of your essay as a statement that, if true, would support your thesis statement.
  • Provide supporting information drawn from primary and secondary sources that support your argument. Remember to cite your sources.
  • Provide your own original analysis, explaining to the reader that based on the primary and secondary sources you have presented, the reader should be persuaded by your argument.

Step 5 Outline counter-arguments.

Formatting Your Essay

Step 1 Review your essay prompt.

Proofreading the Essay

Step 1 Read the essay backwards.

  • Open up a Word document. On the Quick Access Toolbar at the top, click on the down arrow. The words “Customize Quick Access Toolbar” will appear when you hover over the arrow for two seconds.
  • Click on the arrow. Then click on “More Commands.”
  • In the “Choose commands from” drop-down box, choose “All commands.”
  • Scroll down to find “Speak.” Highlight this and then click “add.” Then click “okay.” Now the Speak function should appear on your Quick Access Toolbar.
  • Highlight the text you want read back to you, and then click on the Speak icon. The text will be read back to you.

Step 3 Search for common typographical errors.

  • Do not rely on a spell checker exclusively, as it will not catch typos like "statute" versus "statue."

Revising the Essay

Step 1 Share the essay with a classmate.

  • You can share the essay with someone outside of class, but a classmate more likely has the requisite knowledge to understand the subject matter of the essay.

Step 2 Incorporate your professor’s comments.

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  • ↑ https://owl.english.purdue.edu/engagement/2/2/53/
  • ↑ http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/introductions/
  • ↑ https://www.legalbluebook.com/
  • ↑ https://support.office.com/en-ca/article/Using-the-Speak-text-to-speech-feature-459e7704-a76d-4fe2-ab48-189d6b83333c

About This Article

Clinton M. Sandvick, JD, PhD

To write a law essay, start by writing a thesis statement on your chosen topic. Phrase your thesis statement as an argument, using words like “because” or “therefore” to state your point. Write an outline of the arguments you will use to support your thesis statement, then use that outline to build the body of your paper. Include any counter-arguments, but use your evidence to convince the reader why your point of view is valid, and the counter-arguments are not. Be sure to cite all of your sources in the format preferred by your professor. For tips from our reviewer on finding the best sources for your topic, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Leaders in Law

Effective Tips How to Write a Law Essay

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If you are a law student, you have probably already faced the question of how to write a law essay. This is not an easy task as essay requirements often vary. In addition, you need to clearly state your position and support it with arguments.

The essay writing process requires students to:

  • the ability to select and analyze information;
  • highlight cause-and-effect relationships and arguments;
  • support each thesis with relevant examples;
  • formulate reasonable conclusions.

Students should use legal terminology for a clear and competent statement of their position. It is also necessary to master the scientific style of the language and correctly design the work. In addition, in the process of creating an essay, students get a unique chance to show their creative abilities, apply existing theoretical knowledge in practice, and express critical comments about what they have read. The essay is a degree of preparation for independent research work.

To write such an essay, a complete understanding of the phenomenon under study is important. If you do not have time for independent writing, the way out is to order an essay, for example here – mycustomessay.com/custom-law-essays.html . Writing services will gladly help students in writing diplomas, term papers, and essays to order.

The Structure of Law Essay

Like any other work, a legal essay should consist of at least 3 parts: an introduction, the main part, and conclusions.

  • Introduction

Define the problem and formulate the topic of the essay. Be concise. A well-written introduction encourages the reader to be interested and read the entire work. The introduction can contain a statement of the problem and its essence, a rhetorical question, a quote, etc. In the introduction, it is very important to formulate a special emotional mood and bring the reader to the problem under consideration.

In the main part, it is expedient to present different points of view on a certain problem, to turn to the history of its research. The main body most often consists of several subsections, each of which contains three components: thesis (judgment that is proved), justification (arguments used to prove the thesis), and sub-conclusions (partial answer to the main question).

The argument can be built in the following sequence:

  • explanation;
  • final judgment;
  • conclusions

Arguments are judgments that are expressed so that the reader is convinced of the truth of a certain point of view. In particular, arguments can be various life situations, opinions of scientists, certain facts, statistical estimates, evidence, etc.

The conclusions combine all the conclusions that were made on each thesis presented in the main part. The reader must reach a logical conclusion based on the arguments presented in the work. Quite often, conclusions restate the problem and conclude.

The purpose of the introductory part of the essay is to interest the reader. The purpose of the conclusions is to add integrity to the overall picture, leave the essay in the reader’s memory and make him think. To build a logical essay text, you need:

  • record theses;
  • select several arguments for each thesis;
  • build theses in a logical sequence: one thought should flow from another.

Thanks to such actions, the author will have a detailed plan. It remains to write the text – and the essay will be almost ready.

You can try to write an essay yourself, following the recommendations. However, not everyone can express their thoughts about what they read in writing. And the biggest difficulty is to analyze and argue the chosen topic of the essay. So order legal essays from professional writers.

Main Advantages of Custom Coursework Writers

If you want to order a law essay, let’s consider the advantages of such a choice.

You can choose a company with highly skilled writers with fresh ideas. They will help to write high-quality essays on various topics, complying with all the requirements of teachers. If you have your ideas, you can consult with the author, and he will try to use them correctly. Therefore, the essay will be written in compliance with all the rules, without grammatical and punctuation errors.

Main advantages of custom coursework writer :

  • Cooperation with experienced authors who have knowledge and experience in various fields. This guarantees high-quality essay writing, compliance with academic standards and competent presentation of the material.
  • Such companies have an individual approach to each student. You can specify all the requirements, structure and features of the essay to get a job that fully meets your expectations and requirements.
  • The author understands the importance of meeting deadlines and strives to deliver finished essays on time. This allows students to submit assignments on time and avoid delays.
  • Writing services provide professional customer support, ready to answer questions and help with problems.
  • Your personal data and order data are confidential information that is not disclosed.
  • Each text is checked for plagiarism. Therefore, the originality and uniqueness of the essay is guaranteed to you.

Those writers are always ready to help you with  various essays and other types of tasks. Ordering a ready-to-go essay can be especially helpful for students who are working.

Writing service makes it possible to concentrate on other tasks like preparing for exams or solving personal issues, and have ready-made work of high quality on time, so it is a win-win situation.

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writing a law essay

Public Law for Everyone

by Professor Mark Elliott

Writing a Law essay? Remember to argue!

Providing advice in the abstract about how to write Law essays is difficult because so much depends on the nature of the question you are answering. It’s also important to take into account whatever are the expectations for your particular course, degree programme or university. Nevertheless, a useful rule of thumb, I think, is that a good Law essay will normally set out and advance a clear thesis or argument . (Note that I’m referring here to essays as distinct from problem questions: the latter call for a different approach.)

The need for an argument

Some answers explicitly call for this. Take, for example, the following essay title:

‘Do you agree that parliamentary sovereignty is the most important principle in the UK constitution?’

Here, the question itself in effect advances an argument — that parliamentary sovereignty is the most important principle in the constitution — and invites you to say whether you agree with it or not. And in saying whether you agree, you need to advance your own argument: ‘I agree with this because…’. Or: ‘I disagree because…’. Or even (because if the question advances a position that you think implies a misconception, oversimplification or false premise, you can say so): ‘I will argue that the question oversimplifies matters by assuming that a particular constitutional principle can be singled out as uniquely important…’

Other questions may indicate in a less direct way the need for you to put forward your own argument. For example:

‘“Parliamentary sovereignty is the most important principle in the UK constitution.” Discuss.’

Here, we don’t have a ‘do you agree?’ prompt; instead, we have the apparently less directive ‘discuss’ prompt. If we read the question literally, it may seem that there is no need for you to put forward your own argument here. After all, it’s possible to ‘discuss’ something without advancing your own argument about it: you could make various points, explain various matters, and leave the reader to make up their own mind. But while this may be formally true, it’s unwise to read the question in this way, because it creates the risk that you will end up writing something very general and descriptive on the topic without going any further.

To summarise, then, there are at least three reasons for making an argument part of your essay. First, the question will often call for this, whether explicitly or implicitly, such that you wouldn’t be answering the question if you didn’t set out and develop an argument. Second, if you don’t impose on yourself the discipline of articulating and defending an argument, you risk underselling yourself by writing something that is descriptive and meandering rather than purposefully constructed . Third, setting out and developing an argument involves taking ownership of the material. By that, I mean using the material in a way that serves the purposes of your argument, showing that you are in command of it and that it is not in command of you. This, in turn, provides an opportunity to demonstrate a level of understanding that it would be hard to show in a descriptive essay that simply wandered from point to point.

Setting our your thesis

If putting forward an argument is (often) important or necessary, how should it be done? There are no great secrets here: the formula is straightforward. You should begin your essay by stating your thesis — that is, by setting out what it is that you are going to argue. This should be done in your introductory paragraph — by the time the reader reaches the end of that paragraph, they should be in no doubt about what you are going to argue. Imagine, for instance, that you are presented with the following essay title:

‘“The courts have expanded their powers of judicial review beyond all acceptable constitutional limits in recent decades; it is time to clip the judges’ wings.” Discuss.’  

In response to such a question, it might be tempting to say in your introduction that (for example) you are going to ‘show’ how the courts’ powers of judicial review have grown, ‘consider’ why this has happened and ‘examine’ the criticisms of judicial over-reach that have resulted. These are all perfectly sensible things to do when writing an essay on this topic, but if that is all you say in your introduction, you will leave the reader wondering what you think — and what you are going to argue . In contrast, an introductory paragraph that lays the foundation for essay that properly advances a thesis will set out what that thesis is. You might, for instance, take each of the propositions set out in the question and stake out your position:

‘In this essay, I will argue that (a) while the courts’ powers of judicial review have grown in recent decades, (b) it is misguided to suggest that this has breached “all acceptable constitutional limits” and (c) that those who now advocate “clip[ping] the judges’ wings” misunderstand the role of the judiciary in a rule of law-based constitution. In other words, the courts’ judicial review powers are entirely appropriate and those who seek to limit them risk undermining the rule of law.’  

An introduction of this nature would achieve two things. First, it would make clear to the reader the position you proposed to take. Second, it would immediately lend the essay a structure.

Developing your thesis

Once you have set out your thesis in the introduction, you need to develop or defend it. This will involve making a series of connected points in successive paragraphs, each of which relates to your overarching thesis. One way of thinking about this is that the individual points you make in the main body of the essay should all relate or point back in some way — and in a clear way — to the position that you staked out in the introduction.

In the example introduction above, the overarching thesis is set out in the second sentence; the individual and connecting parts of the argument are set out in propositions (a), (b) and (c) in the first sentence. One approach, therefore, would be to divide the answer, once the introduction has been written, into three parts, dealing in turn with points (a), (b) and (c). Naturally, as you work through the various parts of your argument, you will need to cite relevant evidence (cases, legislation, literature and so on) in support of your argument. You will also need to deal with matters that appear, at least at first glance, to sit in opposition to your argument (on which see further below) or which, once properly considered, require your argument to be refined.  

A key point, however you proceed, is that the reader should also be clear about how each successive point relates not only to the previous point but also to the overarching argument. The reader should never be left wondering ‘Where does this fit in?’ or ‘Why am I being told this?’ A simple way of avoiding these problems is to signpost , by saying at the beginning of each section how it relates to the overall argument. The flipside of this coin is that you should avoid saying things like ‘Another point is that…’ since this gives the impression, rightly or wrongly, that the various points in your essay have been thrown together in a random order, with little thought as to how they fit together or relate to your overall argument. Even if that’s not the case, you don’t want to risk giving the reader that impression.

A one-sided approach?

The advice set about above might seem to imply that I’m suggesting you write one-sided essays — in which you set out points that support your argument while ignoring those that don’t. However, that’s not at all what I’m suggesting. In order to set out your argument in a persuasive manner, you need to deal both with relevant points that support your argument and with relevant points that appear to challenge your argument — and, in dealing with the latter points, you need to show why they do not in fact fatally undermine your argument. In other words, the approach I’m suggesting here doesn’t mean that you should adopt a blinkered approach, paying no attention to counterarguments: rather, you need to deal with them in a way that shows that, having thought about and weighed them in the balance, you are in a position to show why your argument stands in spite of them (or why your argument can be adapted in a way that accommodates such points).  

All of this points towards a further matter: namely, that advancing an argument in your essay does not mean that you need to (or should) be argumentative in the sense of adopting a strident tone that brooks no debate or compromise. Rather, advancing an argument in the way I’ve suggested here means being thoughtful and persuasive : taking the reader with you on a journey that demonstrates that you have looked at the relevant material, carefully thought through the issues raised by the question, and arrived at a view that you are able to justify and defend through well-reasoned and suitably evidenced argument.

So what about your conclusion? If you’ve followed my advice above, it should more or less write itself. People often agonise over conclusions, perhaps thinking that there has to be some ‘big reveal’ at the end of their essay. But there doesn’t need to be — and indeed there shouldn’t be — any big reveal. There should be no surprises at the end precisely because you’ve set out your argument at the beginning and spent the rest of the essay carefully constructing the different strands of your argument. The conclusion is an opportunity to draw those stands together, but no-one should have to wait with bated breath for the conclusion before finally realising: ‘Ah, so that’s what they think!’ If that’s the impact of the conclusion on your reader, it means there’s something wrong with the introduction!

This post was first published on The Law Prof blog . It is re-published here with permission and thanks.

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Steps in Writing First-Class Law Essays

Writing a first-class law essay requires a deep understanding of legal principles, critical analysis, and effective communication. Take your time, conduct thorough research, and ensure your arguments are supported by credible sources and legal reasoning. Here are the steps you can follow to write a successful law essay:

Before Writing

Understand the question: Read the essay prompt carefully to grasp the key issues and requirements. Identify the scope of the question and any specific instructions provided.

Research: Conduct thorough research using reliable and authoritative sources. This may include legislation, case law, academic articles, books, and reputable websites. Take notes and gather relevant materials to support your arguments.

Plan your essay: Create a clear and logical outline before you start writing. Organise your thoughts, arguments, and supporting evidence in a structured manner. This will help you maintain a focused and coherent essay.

Introduction

Provide context: Begin with a brief introduction to the topic, setting the stage for the discussion.

State the thesis: Clearly articulate your main argument or position in response to the essay question. This should be concise and specific.

Body Paragraphs

Topic sentences: Start each paragraph with a clear topic sentence that relates to your thesis statement and supports your overall argument.

Develop your arguments: Present your main points, supported by relevant evidence, legal principles, case law, and statutory interpretation.

Apply legal principles: Demonstrate your understanding of relevant legal principles and concepts.

Case law: Refer to relevant case law to illustrate and support your arguments.

Legislation: Analyse applicable statutes and regulations and discuss their interpretation and impact.

Be logical and critical: Use logical reasoning and critical analysis to demonstrate your understanding and insight.

Use proper legal citation: When referencing case law or legislation, use accurate and consistent legal citation methods according to the required citation style (e.g., OSCOLA).

Counterarguments and Counter-analysis

Acknowledge opposing viewpoints: Address counterarguments or alternative interpretations of the law.

Rebut counterarguments: Offer a persuasive response to refute opposing views or demonstrate their weaknesses.

Strengthen your argument: Use counterarguments as an opportunity to strengthen your own position by showing why your analysis is more compelling.

Summarise key points: Provide a concise summary of your main arguments and findings.

Reinforce your thesis: Restate your thesis and emphasise its validity in light of the evidence presented.

Leave a lasting impression: End with a thought-provoking or impactful statement that leaves the reader thinking about the broader implications of your argument.

Structure and Coherence

Logical flow: Ensure that your essay follows a logical progression of ideas and arguments.

Paragraph structure: Each paragraph should focus on a single point and be well-developed.

Transitions: Use appropriate transition words and phrases to guide the reader from one idea to the next.

References and Citations

Reference list: Include a bibliography or reference list of all the sources used in your essay.

Citation style: Cite your sources accurately and consistently using the appropriate citation style (e.g., APA, MLA, OSCOLA).

Proofread and Edit

Language: Review your essay for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors.

Organisation: Check sentence structure, clarity, and coherence.

Formatting: Ensure proper formatting, adherence to guidelines, and correct citation of sources.

Feedback: Consider seeking feedback from peers, professors, or writing tutors to improve the quality of your essay.

Review and Revise

Wait for a while: Take a break after writing and then review your essay with fresh eyes.

Revise: Read your essay again to see if you can revise and refine your arguments, ensuring coherence and clarity.

Final check: Before submission, check that your essay addresses the essay question effectively, maintains logical flow, and presents a well-supported argument.

Improve your law exam skills with our Law Exam Guide now.

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writing a law essay

THE BASIC RULES

  • Don't use an unprofessional email address
  • Start with a new e-mail
  • Include an appropriate subject heading
  • Write a salutation
  • Write well!  
  • Provide context and background information
  • Write a clear and concise message
  • Sign your name
  • Proofread the e-mail
  • Allow adequate time for a reply
  • Writing Professional Emails More detailed advice about how to write emails to academic staff

Academic Writing and Research in Law

  • UTS Guide to Writing in Law A highly recommended helpful and comprehensive guide to writing law papers.
  • Monash University Guide to Writing in Law Law writing guide with helpful Q&A's and tips for planning out case argumentation.
  • University of Queensland Legal Research Essentials Introduction to Legal Research by The University of Queensland, Australia

Other Help:

  • Quoting, Paraphrasing, Summarising The basic differences in how to writes quotes, how to write paraphrases, and how to write summaries of the sources you find.

Basic Rules

Academic and professional legal writing requires you to develop an argument and demonstrate relationships between the ideas you are expressing. 

Therefore, the ability to express yourself clearly and accurately is important.  Here you will find information to help you improve your writing for any purpose in your law degree.

Academic writing in law is:

writing a law essay

Academic writing in law does not:   

writing a law essay

Steps to Writing a Law Essay

Throughout your law degree, you will be expected to write a range of different texts, including research essays, responses to problem questions, and case notes.

Not matter the type of text you are asked to produce for an assignment, make sure you follow these steps:

  • Plan :  read the questions carefully and think about how you will answer it
  • Research :  read, read and read! Make use of everything available to you - don't forget the library!
  • Make thorough notes : include all important (and relevant) details and quotes and take note of the source. Make sure you organise your notes so as to make the writing task easier
  • Write the first draft :  before you start writing your first draft, refer back to your initial plan and make any necessary changes now you have done your research and gathered your notes. 
  • Review and edit :  remember to proofread your work!

The IRAC Method

IRAC is an acronym that stands for: Issue, Rule, Application, and Conclusion. It functions as a methodology for legal analysis and is used as a framework for organising your answer to an essay question in law school.

[ Open All | Close All ]

In legal writing, issues are the core of the essay.

This part of the essay should:

  • Identify and state the issue
  • Name those involved (plaintiff and defendant) and briefly describe their individual issues
  • Work out what body of law may govern the resolution of the issue (e.g. Contract Law)

The rule describes which law applies to the issue. The rule should be stated as a general principle, and not a conclusion to the particular case being briefed.

  • Outline the legal principles that will be used to address to the issue
  • Source legal principles from cases and legislation

The application is the most important and longest part of your answer. It involves applying the Rule to the facts of the issue and demonstrating how those facts do or do not meet the requirements laid down by the rules. Discuss both sides of the case when possible.

  • Explain why the plaintiff's claims are or are not justified
  • Identify how the law will be used by the plaintiff and defendant to argue their case
  • Use relevant cases and legal principles to support your writing
  • Do not try to strengthen your argument by leaving out elements or facts that will hurt it

As with all essays, the conclusion is a statement that identifies your answer to the issue.

  • Identify what the result of your argument ir, or what it should be
  • State who is liable for what and to what extent
  • Consider how the plaintiff and defendant could have acted to avoid this legal issue

Useful Links:

  • UWA IRAC Guide This guide from the University of Western Australia offers examples of how the IRAC method can be applied to different cases.
  • Law School Survival: The IRAC Method A useful site that presents a detailed outline of the IRAC method as well as skeleton outlines.

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‘Don’t write your essay like a murder mystery.’

'Don't just vomit on the page': how to write a legal essay

Law lecturer Steven Vaughan explains why the best essays take discipline, editing, and teamwork

W hen Steven Vaughan, a senior law lecturer at University College London, asked students to mark a previous fresher’s work , their feedback was brutal. It just about scraped a 2:2. The students were therefore shocked to discover this “really bad essay” was written by Vaughan himself during his time as an Oxford undergrad. The reassuring point Vaughan was trying to make, of course, is that students shouldn’t worry if they are not turning in perfect essays from day one. Like any skill, essay writing requires practice. Here, Vaughan offers his advice:

MJ: How do law essays differ from other subjects?

SV: All essays are about communicating a message to a particular sort of audience, so we are looking for structure, logic, and narrative. It’s the law that makes the difference, though. New students often haven’t studied law before and are not aware of its nuance. Writing a law essay is about digging deep to uncover uncertainty and complexity within the law, and to use this to argue a position.

Students always ask, ‘What should our essays look like?’ I tell them they should be writing like the academic articles we give them to read. Obviously that’s a difficult ask on day one, but those should be a guide.

What are the most common mistakes students make when writing law essays?

There are three common mistakes. The first is students not answering the question we set. This happens for lots of different reasons – either because students are stressed and they misread it, or they don’t understand it. But whatever you do, don’t just vomit on the page. You need to think about what exactly we are asking.

Secondly, don’t write your essay like a murder mystery. I often find I don’t know where an essay is going or what the conclusion is going to be until I get to the very end. The most common thing I write in capital letters is, ‘What’s your argument? What are you saying?’

The third common mistake is an argument lacking authority. Students will often put forward propositions that are intelligent and well reasoned but don’t connect back to the law. What’s the bit of statute, case law or legal academic that you are using to evidence the claim that you are making?

What’s the best way to start a law essay?

Often introductions are long and rambling. If you can set the right tone at the beginning, it makes all the difference. I tell my students to do three things in their introductions. First, give it a context: frame the issue for the reader and for the question. Then set out your argument. And then do some signposting: tell me what is going to happen over the next three paragraphs or the next three pages.

What’s the best way to approach research?

Students don’t ask us enough for guidance on how to direct their reading. The reading list is almost always split into two parts – the required reading section and the further reading section. The required reading is stuff we just expect you to know, it’s a given. Additional reading is for when you have time, these are things you should explore.

Law students always complain about how much work they have to do. But what they don’t do is form study groups to help each other prep. One of my first-year messages is that law isn’t The Hunger Games. There is no reason why you can’t all do well. So why don’t you share the reading between you?

What really impresses me is when students divvy up the additional reading, when students create Facebook or WhatsApp groups and share knowledge among themselves.

How do you best manage your time?

My advice is always do as I say, not as I did. I was a student who was awake all night, cramming for exams and finishing my essay at 6am for a tutorial at 9am. The better advice is to try and treat your law degree like a job. So think about working 8-4 or 9-5. You shouldn’t be working in the early hours of the morning or at the weekend. That requires quite a bit of discipline. Have a timetable that you stick to.

When you think you have finished a piece, physically walk away from it, get some fresh air, go to the gym – whatever it is you do. It’s only when you come back to it later that you will notice all the imperfections and mistakes.

You have also got to build in time for getting feedback from other people, whether it’s friends, family or other law students. Give it to someone who is going to be brutally honest.

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How to Write a Law Essay: 8 Steps

December 28, 2023

1. Choosing an Essay Topic

When it comes to writing a law essay, choosing an appropriate topic is crucial. A well-chosen topic will make your research and writing process smoother and more enjoyable, while a poorly chosen topic can lead to frustration and a lackluster essay.

Firstly, consider what has piqued your interest in your law studies so far. Perhaps there was a case or topic that you found particularly intriguing, or an aspect of law that you feel needs further exploration. Alternatively, you could focus on a current legal issue that you feel strongly about and want to delve deeper into.

It’s also important to make sure your topic isn’t too broad or too narrow. Too broad of a topic can result in a lack of focus, while a topic that is too narrow won’t give you enough research material to work with.

Ultimately, choosing a law essay topic is about finding a balance between your personal interests and the practical aspects of your assignment. Take the time to carefully consider your options, and don’t be afraid to ask for input or guidance from your professor or classmates.

Possible Law Essay Topics

  • The impact of social media on defamation laws.
  • Analyzing the constitutionality of mandatory minimum sentencing.
  • The effectiveness of restorative justice in reducing recidivism rates.
  • Legal implications of artificial intelligence in the workplace.
  • Exploring the rights of privacy versus national security in the digital age.
  • Examining the legal and ethical issues surrounding euthanasia.
  • Assessing the role of international law in combating climate change.
  • Analyzing the legal framework for cyberbullying and online harassment.
  • The legalization and regulation of recreational marijuana: a critical analysis.
  • Exploring the intersection of intellectual property rights and emerging technologies.

Remember to choose a topic that aligns with your interests and research availability, while ensuring that it is adequately focused for a detailed analysis within the scope of your essay.

2. Researching the Topic

Before diving into writing a law essay, it’s essential to conduct thorough research on the chosen topic. This step is critical to ensure that the essay is factually correct, well-supported, and logically structured. Here are some tips on how to research effectively for a law essay:

  • Begin by gathering basic information. Use specialized textbooks, journals, and databases to gain a foundational understanding of the topic.
  • Use secondary sources to gain a broader perspective on the topic. Utilize reputable news sources, government publications, and online legal databases to broaden your search.
  • Access case law. To support your arguments, cite legal cases that illustrate your argument. Access online case law databases that have accessible search functions.
  • Use primary sources. Primary sources include statutes, regulation, and the constitution. It’s important to have a good grasp of the primary sources since they are the basis of much of legal research.
  • Take notes. Keep track of all relevant information, including sources and citations. Use an organized format that will make outlining and writing the essay a simpler process.
  • Evaluate and analyze. Through the research process, it’s important to analyze the information found. Determine what is and is not relevant, and how it factors into your argument.

By conducting thorough research, you will be able to support your argument with a well-evidenced and structured essay. Remember to keep track of all sources and citations as they will be necessary in the writing process.

3. Developing Strong Thesis Statement

Developing a strong thesis statement is essential when writing a law essay. This powerful statement sets the tone for the entire article and guides the reader’s understanding of your argument. To create an effective thesis statement, you must first fully understand the topic and question at hand. Take your time to research and gather relevant information to support your viewpoint. As you delve deeper into the subject, analyze different perspectives and identify the key arguments surrounding the topic. Once you have a clear understanding of the various viewpoints, narrow down your focus and craft a concise and persuasive thesis statement that clearly states your position. Remember, a strong thesis statement should be debatable, specific, and assertive. Spend time honing your thesis to ensure it effectively conveys your argument and engages the reader’s interest.

Example thesis statement:

“The death penalty should be abolished in the United States because it violates the Eighth Amendment, fails to act as an effective deterrent, and disproportionately affects marginalized communities.”

4. Structuring the Law Essay

Structuring your law essay is crucial to ensure clarity, coherence, and a logical flow of ideas. Here’s a breakdown of how to structure your law essay:

Introduction:

  • Provide a brief overview of the topic and its significance.
  • Present the thesis statement, clearly stating your argument.

Background and Context:

  • Provide necessary background information to help the reader understand the topic.
  • Explain relevant legal concepts, principles, or statutes related to your argument.
  • Start each paragraph with a topic sentence that relates to your thesis statement.
  • Present your arguments and support them with evidence, case law, or legal authorities.
  • Use clear and concise language to explain your points and provide analysis.

Counter-Argument:

  • Acknowledge and present the counter-argument(s) objectively and logically.
  • Refute the counter-argument(s) with reasoned explanations and supportive evidence.

Conclusion:

  • Summarize your main arguments and their supporting evidence.
  • Restate your thesis statement and highlight its significance.
  • Offer some final thoughts or suggestions for further research or action.

Remember to use appropriate headings and subheadings to structure your essay effectively. Use transition words and phrases to ensure a smooth flow between paragraphs. Additionally, ensure proper citations and referencing throughout the essay to maintain academic integrity.

5. Writing the Introduction

Writing the introduction is your opportunity to grab the reader’s attention and set the tone for your entire law essay. Here’s how you can effectively structure your introduction:

Start with a hook:

  • Use a compelling statement, anecdote, or a relevant quote to engage the reader and create interest in your topic.

Provide background information:

  • Give a brief overview of the legal issue or topic you will be discussing.
  • Explain the significance and relevance of the topic to the field of law or society at large.

State the purpose and scope of your essay:

  • Clearly state your thesis statement, which should encapsulate your main argument.
  • Mention the key points you will address and the legal principles, cases, or statutes you will analyze.

Outline the essay structure:

  • Provide a brief outline of how your essay will be structured.
  • Mention the main sections or arguments you will present.

Establish the context:

  • Explain any necessary legal concepts, terms, or background information that the reader needs to understand.

Remember to keep your introduction concise and focused. It should provide enough information to orient the reader and generate interest in your essay. However, save the detailed arguments and evidence for the main body of your essay. Aim to make your introduction clear, engaging, and persuasive, setting the stage for the rest of your law essay.

6. Developing the Body Paragraphs

Developing the body paragraphs is the core of your law essay, where you present and support your arguments with evidence and analysis. Here’s how to effectively structure and develop your body paragraphs:

Start with a topic sentence:

  • Each body paragraph should begin with a clear topic sentence that relates to your thesis statement.
  • The topic sentence sets the tone and direction for the paragraph.

Present your argument:

  • Clearly state your argument or point of view in the opening sentences of each paragraph.
  • Provide supporting evidence, such as case law, statutory provisions, or legal principles, to back up your argument.

Analyze and interpret the evidence:

  • Explain the significance of the evidence in relation to your argument.
  • Analyze how the evidence supports and strengthens your position.

Use legal authorities and sources:

  • Cite relevant cases, statutes, or legal commentary to support your arguments.
  • Refer to authoritative legal sources, such as court decisions or academic articles, to provide credibility.

Use clear and concise language:

  • Clearly articulate your ideas using logical transitions and precise language.
  • Avoid unnecessary jargon or overly complex language that may confuse the reader.

Remember to properly structure your paragraphs, provide sufficient evidence and analysis, and link your arguments back to your main thesis statement. Each paragraph should contribute to the overall coherence and flow of your essay, ensuring a convincing and well-supported argument.

7. Present the Counter-argument

Presenting the counter-argument is an essential component of writing a persuasive law essay. Failing to acknowledge opposing viewpoints weakens your argument and makes it appear biased. Therefore, it is crucial to identify different perspectives surrounding the topic and analyze these perspectives objectively. Once you have identified the counter-argument, you can present it in your essay, offering evidence and explanations to support it. Addressing counter-arguments in your essay strengthens your credibility as a writer and demonstrates your ability to look at a topic from multiple perspectives. Additionally, this approach makes your essay more convincing by acknowledging and addressing potential criticism of your argument. Keep in mind that effectively presenting the counter-argument requires thorough research, logical reasoning, and evidence-based arguments. Therefore, take your time to critically analyze opposing views to ensure your argument is backed up by relevant and reliable supporting evidence. By doing so, you can construct a well-reasoned and thoughtful essay that can withstand any counter-argument.

8. Crafting the Conclusion

Crafting a strong conclusion is essential to leave a lasting impression on the reader and effectively summarize your arguments in a law essay. Here are some key steps to consider when writing your conclusion:

Summarize your main points:

  • Recapitulate the main arguments you presented in the body paragraphs.
  • Provide a brief overview of the evidence you presented to support each argument.

Reinforce your thesis statement:

  • Restate your thesis statement in a concise manner to remind the reader of your main argument.
  • Emphasize the significance and relevance of your thesis in the context of the larger legal issue.

Offer a broader perspective:

  • Connect your arguments to the wider legal or societal implications of the topic.
  • Discuss the potential consequences or impact of your findings on the field of law or legal practice.

Suggest areas for further research:

  • Highlight any unanswered questions or areas of debate that may require future exploration.
  • Propose avenues for future research or policy development related to your topic.

Conclude with a compelling closing statement:

  • Leave the reader with a thought-provoking final remark that leaves a lasting impression.
  • Use a concise and powerful statement to tie together your essay and reinforce your main message.

Ensure that your conclusion is concise, focused, and aligned with your overall argument. It should serve as a strong ending to your law essay, leaving the reader with a clear understanding of your position and the importance of the topic discussed.

Use Legal Terms Accurately

In the realm of writing law essays, the accurate and precise use of legal terms is paramount. This subheading focuses on the importance of correctly employing legal terminology in order to craft an exceptional law essay.

Mastering legal terminology is essential for two reasons. Firstly, it demonstrates an understanding and grasp of the subject matter, showcasing your expertise to both professors and potential employers. Secondly, using legal terms accurately enhances the clarity and coherence of your arguments, making your essay more persuasive and compelling. However, it is crucial to strike a balance – overusing legal jargon may alienate readers who are not well-versed in the law.

To ensure accuracy, it is imperative to consult reliable legal sources such as authoritative textbooks, journals, or statutes. Moreover, reading and analyzing sample essays or exemplary legal writing can provide guidance on how to effectively incorporate legal terms into your own work. By diligently honing your legal language skills, you will significantly elevate the quality and impact of your law essays.

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How To Write Law Essay?

23 October, 2020

8 minutes read

Author:  Elizabeth Brown

If you are a law student, you have probably already faced the question of how to write an essay on this discipline. This is not an easy task because the requirements for a law essay often differ. In addition, you need to state your position and back it up with arguments clearly for others to understand. And to help you facilitate this process, we offer some preparation tips and tricks so that you could craft a decent work.

Law Essay

First things first, let’s discuss the legal essay scheme. It is rightly similar to the social science essay scheme. In both papers, it is necessary to explain a position on a particular issue or comment on a statement. For university law essay, especially in cases of specialties, it’s more complicated. There are several legal essay types :

  • essay on quote explanation . Like in a school essay, the task here is to reveal the meaning of the expression and give a reasoned agreement or disagreement with it.
  • essay on legal theory. The essence of this task is to describe one of the theories of law or any jurisprudence. This can be anything – for example, the theory that touches the Fifth Amendment.
  • jurisprudence essay. In this assignment, you should review a specific case study or analyze the given document. Here, it’s important to adhere to special structure: first read the case, comprehend it, and only then give a critical account of this or that piece.

3 Types of Law Essay

Law Essay Outline

The outline is one of the essential parts of law essay writing. At the point of creating it, you should jot down the structure of the main argument for each and every statement you deem appropriate for a text. This way, it’ll be much easier for you to organize the legal paper and facilitate its readability . 

For example, if you need to comment on the quotation, it’s better to start an essay with brief information about the author. Then, consider the meaning of the citation in the context of his time and compare it to current conditions, as well as note whether you agree with the statement or not. Remember – the main task is to have a solid opinion in which you’re 100% confident. If not, switch the quote.

In the essay on legal theory, state the history of the issue, highlight the advantages and disadvantages of the case you are analyzing. Try to draw a parallel with the present, to indicate how relevant it is now for contemporary law students.

While reviewing a specific legal case or document, you should not be distracted by elements irrelevant or unrelated to the subject and give descriptions of similar situations. Consistently assess the actions of subjects or conduct an in-depth analysis of the provided regulation.

Write all of the crucial points in a short plan and shorten the above information into a couple of sentences. Afterward, you’ll be ready to use the crafted outline and write a law essay according to its key points . 

Law Essay Structure

Structure of the Law Essay

1. Introduction

Like any other type of writing, law essays start with introduction. A successful lead in is the one that captures attention instantly and forces readers to become interested in the law topic. In the beginning, you’ll need to clearly and precisely formulate a thesis statement of the entire piece, which you will then reveal in the following text. A great way to elaborate mediocre introduction with engaging filling is to state a concrete problem, controversy or issue that needs to be resolved.  

2. Main part

This is the main element of the whole legal essay. It should contain an analysis of the quotation, legal theory, specific case, or document. Plus, your opinions about this or that aspect should be argued: for example, by references to other papers or practices. Another beneficial way to develop the main body of your essay is to use specific examples from law classes, including activities and important discussions , if applicable. Also, don’t forget that your law essay should always follow the thesis and develop it throughout the legal paper. This is a critical point to consider, as any departure from the established scheme will distort your work’s content.

3. Conclusion

Your finishing remarks should formulate the outcome of what was written above. A reasonable conclusion should be brief and powerful , as well as connected to the introduction. Besides, a good ending should contain a thesis of the whole law essay. However, don’t try to repeat your thesis word by word. Consider rephrasing it instead of mentioning the same statements so that the information is more easily digested for readers. Plus, you’ll need to provide a critical analysis of your work. For this, explain why your main argument backed up by primary and secondary sources is the highest point of conviction. Hence, your readers will see explicit reasoning and be more inclined to believe the truth you outlined in the paper. 

4. Bibliography

A bibliography is a mandatory part of the work, and also the last one. At the end of your essay, you should list the documents (laws and other regulations) and books that were used in preparation for the article. Works cited page will help you validate the credibility of work and show readers that all statements and opinions are proven with relevant evidence. However, it doesn’t mean that your bibliography ought to be inserted just after you’ve written the entire text. To have a better vision of what source to pick for citing, include the list of used materials before writing the final version of your law essay. Accordingly, you’ll see sources in their entirety and easily cite them whenever needed. 

The sayings of influential and famous people imbue any work with an air of authority . This is especially true for essays on law: professors appreciate it when students reinforce their considerations with the opinion of leaders and experts in their field.

Quotes for an essay on law are quite easy to find on the Internet or specialized digests.

Law essays

If you choose to close the paper with a quote, it’ll be a great hook which will keep readers impressed by the essay long after they digest it. But feel free to add meaningful sayings also in the introduction or in the middle of a paper. Either way, quotes are a tool that helps make your reading highly impactful and appreciated.  

law topics for essays

These were the top advice on how to create a distinct law paper. We hope our advice will help you prepare an interesting and informative essay for college or university studies that’ll be graded with the highest mark. Once you manage to operate on the subtle art of legal essay writing, you’ll adjust to the complexities of its realization without difficulties. If you’re in doubt questioning your writing abilities, use custom essay writer service – we will create the best law essay tailored specifically for you.

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Due to human nature, we draw conclusions only when life gives us a lesson since the experience of others is not so effective and powerful. Therefore, when analyzing and sorting out common problems we face, we may trace a parallel with well-known book characters or real historical figures. Moreover, we often compare our situations with […]

Ethical Research Paper Topics

Ethical Research Paper Topics

Writing a research paper on ethics is not an easy task, especially if you do not possess excellent writing skills and do not like to contemplate controversial questions. But an ethics course is obligatory in all higher education institutions, and students have to look for a way out and be creative. When you find an […]

Art Research Paper Topics

Art Research Paper Topics

Students obtaining degrees in fine art and art & design programs most commonly need to write a paper on art topics. However, this subject is becoming more popular in educational institutions for expanding students’ horizons. Thus, both groups of receivers of education: those who are into arts and those who only get acquainted with art […]

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Learn How to Perfectly Structure a Law Essay

A law essay needs an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. usually, each body paragraph contains one idea. the introduction features one paragraph that highlights the topic and concludes with a thesis statement. the conclusion is a summary of the introduction and the key points in the body paragraphs. .

Law student on laptop completing digital skills course

Concision is a key issue that requires attention in a law essay. Every point you introduce requires to be supported by authorities. It can be a statute or a case law. Pay attention to the structure and type of law essay you are writing, such as compare and contrast, critical analysis, argumentative, and descriptive. 

Pay attention to the key features of a law essay

A law essay focuses on legal issues which can be both current and historical. You can compare and contrast the application of justice in the past and modern society. You could look at key amendments to the constitution. Sometimes, the lecturer could be specific on the topic to cover. It is beneficial to request help from  assignment services  if you have difficulties writing or lack time. 

The key features of an attractive law essay include the following:

● A strongly defended and clear thesis statement

● Use of correct references and quotations

● Writing concisely in the right style

● Following a well-defined structure and flow

● Expressing a high creativity level based on deeply researched arguments that respond to the essay question. 

● Being attentive to details while focusing on the essay question

● Staying within the legal frameworks and using the simplest language possible

Find an attractive topic

The professor will love your essay if he notices you are keen when selecting the topic. It must be aligned with the essay question and directly address the issue at hand. Every legal paper provides an analysis of the law, which requires you to study the law and research its application widely. The information you get will give you broader ideas on the topic to choose. Structure the topic in a way that makes it attractive in the eyes of the reader. 

Create your writing plan

The amount of information required in a law essay is huge. You will be required to gather it from multiple sources and consolidate it into the most appealing essay. This calls for proper planning from the starting point to the end. Since you require ample time, the first item should be the amount of time you need to complete a detailed law essay. Give yourself enough time and, if possible, the maximum time. 

If you have two weeks to the submission date, plan how you will do your research. Based on the type of essay you are writing, research to know the types of sources that will provide the right information. Plan how you will access each source, the amount of information to get from there, and how to get it. It is crucial to record each source for the sake of references. Create a writing plan based on the information available to you. This includes the points to use in each section and how to use them. 

Develop an outline

The outline helps to make sure you do not leave out any important point or section. If you fail to create a good outline, your essay law essay structure will be flawed. The outline draft includes every point that you will use in the three main parts of an essay. There will be one key point for the introduction, three or four points for the body, and another point for the conclusion. Write guided by the outline and then write the final draft based on the outline draft. Pay attention to these three parts. 

While you create the plan, it is important to note that you need the best resume to apply as an intern or to find your first job. To ensure success, approach a  write my essay for me  service. Getting professional help is your best option to impress the recruiters who scan your CV as the first thing when you apply for a job.

Introduction

In this section, state clearly what the essay is about. Most creatively, inform the reader what your discussion is about. Hook the readers by making the introduction engaging and interesting. The paragraph concludes with a thesis statement that tells the reader how you will interpret the law and its importance in the topic. 

Mostly, the body of a law essay consists of three or four paragraphs. It is the main part of the essay and covers the key arguments. This is the section where you provide your evidence to the point stated in your thesis statement. Each body paragraph is a unique unit that covers one point plus its supporting evidence. 

A good body paragraph structure covers three main sections. It starts with the main sentence, which introduces the key argument. The middle part contains the supporting information to the point. You may include relevant minor points to provide greater weight to the main point. The final section is the concluding sentence which crowns the entire paragraph. It is also the transition sentence into the next paragraph and point. 

The conclusion is the last paragraph of your law essay. It reaffirms your points in the body and the thesis statement. Provide a summary of your main point in this section. You may provide a suggestion about what might need further research but avoid introducing a new point. 

Issues to pay attention to

A good essay structure should be simple and easy to follow. Stay within the academic writing guidelines and language. Make sure every source used is referenced based on the citation style of law essays. Use phrases such as it is possible that …, this question deals with…, and it can be argued that …

Writing a law essay is different from writing a case file. You are required to demonstrate your understanding of the law in your araguments. Each argument should be systematically and logically developed. Keep the structure neat, coherent, and effective. With the right information, it should not be difficult thing to write a law essay. What is required from you is a high level of creativity and thinking outside the box. 

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Law School Optional Essays: What to Know

E very law school requires applicants to submit a personal statement, typically limited to two or three double-spaced pages, along with a resume typically limited to two pages. These two documents provide applicants with their chief opportunities to detail their interests, goals and path to law school.

Beyond those core documents, many law schools allow other essays, usually optional but sometimes required. Most prominent is a type of essay that used to be called a diversity statement. 

Diversity, Perspective or Background Statements

Until recently, almost every law school offered an optional diversity statement. Prompts for diversity statements varied among law schools, but typically concerned an applicant’s identity and background, past hardships or potential to contribute to a diverse and inclusive campus environment.

After the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed race-conscious admissions policies in June 2023, law schools adapted diversity statements in different ways, which will likely continue to evolve over future admissions cycles.

Currently, most law schools offer one or more optional essay prompts that give applicants an opportunity to discuss their perspective, identity, personal adversity, experience interacting with diverse viewpoints or other topics related to diversity.

While it’s hard to generalize about all these essay prompts, they still differ from personal statements in many ways. They are more reflective, looking backward rather than forward. They often have tighter page or word limits.

The purpose of these optional statements is not solely for applicants to detail their unique background. Everyone is atypical in some ways . Rather, these optional essays are intended to free applicants from having to weave together their background and interests within the same two-page statement.

For example, imagine an Armenian American inspired by the trauma of the Armenian genocide to become an international human rights lawyer. This would make a great topic for a personal statement.

But what if that applicant actually feels most passionate about securities law? It would be counterproductive to force such a candidate to awkwardly cram genocide and securities law into the same essay. This is why schools allow applicants space to tell more complicated stories. 

Other Optional Law School Admission Essays

Beyond personal and diversity statements, some law schools also allow or require extra short essays. Most commonly, a school might ask about why an applicant would be a good fit for the school, often called a “Why this law school?” essay . These are almost always worthwhile to write.

Some schools have short-answer questions on topics like an applicant’s career goals or how an applicant aligns with the school’s values. A few schools, like Stanford University Law School in California and Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., have offbeat essay prompts that tend to vary from year to year.

Finally, some law schools provide dedicated space for applicants wishing to explain issues often covered by an addendum , like underperformance on standardized tests or in their transcripts. 

Are Optional Essays Worth Writing?

A classic mistake applicants make is to write as much as allowed , hoping that something will stick. Many law school applicants fear that if they fail to maximize every possible opportunity to write about themselves, they will appear lazy or disinterested. Therefore, they sabotage themselves by padding their application with redundant and repetitive text.

Applicants can best show their professionalism, communication skills and respect for the reader by writing efficiently and purposefully. Admissions officers have a limited amount of time, perhaps a matter of minutes, to review your application. Anything you write that does not contribute to a coherent argument for your admission risks wasting that time.

Thus, an optional essay is unnecessary if its key points are already adequately communicated through the personal statement or other materials. Optional essays should be used strategically to build your argument for admission. Don’t simply talk about yourself to fill space.

For example, if an optional essay prompt asks for your favorite book, there is no need to lie and claim that it is "The Common Law" by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

On the other hand, before you write about your love of "Harry Potter," consider whether and how that would bolster your application. Unless you can trace your interest in justice to Hermione’s efforts to emancipate house elves, you might be better off choosing another book or skipping the essay altogether.

In sum, optional essays should convey or emphasize something about you that your personal statement and other materials fail to address. If you cannot think of anything else that would strengthen your case, then forgo the essay. Like a lawyer, show meticulousness and fine judgment with restraint, not verbosity.

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Law Tutor

How to Write a Law Essay

Essay wriring.

A law essay is an academic writing assignment that requires you to discuss a particular legal matter. You may have to argue for or against a particular issue, or simply explain the law in your jurisdiction. Law essays are often assigned at the undergraduate and graduate levels. They can also be found on professional exams, such as those for the bar exam or other certifications. If you're looking for tips on how to write a law essay, here are some tips to get started:

Start with a question

When writing an essay, you need to start with a question. The best way to do that is by answering the law essay question. But it's not enough just to answer the question; rather, you should make sure your answer is relevant.

You need to know the law, and this means having a firm understanding of what is stated in case law and statutes. You'll also have to analyse the question so that you can form an argument on behalf of one side or another of a legal issue. This will involve discussing arguments for each side and then deciding which one is more convincing or fits better with precedent cases.

Don't just describe the law; instead, try taking a clear and concise line of argument regarding how judges might interpret particular pieces of legislation when faced with new situations or scenarios that fall under their scope but weren't contemplated at its inception—and don't forget signposts!

To do this, you will need to use evidence to support your legal argument and show that you have understood the question. The best way to answer the law question is by using at least two pieces of evidence, one from your own work and one from someone else’s work. You can do this by quoting cases or legal literature, or by quoting experts in the field who have written books or articles about it.

Make sure the answer is relevant

In order to make sure your answer is relevant, you must ask yourself a few questions. What does this question mean? Is there a particular aspect of the question that I need to address? How can I best address this aspect of the question in my answer?

If you don't understand what a question is asking, reread it until you do. Your instructor can be very specific about how they want their questions answered. If they haven't provided any guidance on how they would like their questions answered, or if it seems like there are multiple ways to answer them, then ask them for clarification before starting any research for your essay.

Don't waffle on when answering your essay topics! If there's not much information available about an issue or topic you're writing about in your essay and no one has ever studied it before, then don't generalize too much: just state what we do know and keep going from there.

Discuss each argument critically

In your essay, you should discuss whether you agree or disagree with the viewpoint expressed by each side. Keep in mind that your analysis does not have to be purely objective; if you wish, you may express your personal opinion and explain why.

You should also note any weaknesses in either argument and highlight any important information that was omitted from one or both sides' arguments. You could even include examples from court cases or legislation that support or refute the points made by each side.

It is important that you avoid over-reliance on any one source of information when writing your essay—this means textbooks, journals, and other academic writing can't replace direct experience as a lawyer!

Consider the law in relation to other legal authorities

You should make sure you are referring to the right laws and legal authorities. It is important to know what other legal agreements have been made in relation to your topic, as well as any other relevant legislation.

If you are discussing healthcare law, for example, it would be a good idea to look at how other countries deal with similar issues and how they differ from your system.

Use signposts, and other markers of structure, in your essay

Another way you can make your essay easier to read is by using signposting. Signposting is a method of writing that helps the reader follow your argument and shows them how the different parts of an essay relate to one another. You can use it to explain your argument, like this:

As this signpost suggests, there are two parts—a positive statement ("medical marijuana can be effective") and a negative ("but it has side effects"). The second part helps readers understand the first part better by describing why medical marijuana has side effects (because it's not treated like other drugs).

This kind of structure enables you and others who read your essay later on down the road (for example, if someone wants to cite it in their own work) to see what goes where within each paragraph:

●       Introduction: establishes topic & thesis statement

●       3 supporting paragraphs each with 1 or 2 sub-points from above

●       Conclusion: reiterates topic & thesis statement

Take a line of argument that is both concise and clear

This is the main point you are going to make, so it needs to be both concise and clear.

Concise means that you don't repeat yourself—or anything already said by someone else.

Clear means easy-to-understand language with no ambiguity or overly technical vocabulary included unless absolutely necessary for clarity purposes; again, think about how frustrating it can be when something doesn't make sense!

Write an introduction that is concise and coherent

The introduction should be concise and coherent. It should not be too long, as it will put off the reader and make them lose interest in your argument. The first paragraph is the most important section of your essay and it should summarise what you are going to discuss in more detail later on. You can also include a question that has been posed by a previous scholar or judge if you want to start with an interesting question or topic for discussion.

Write an analytic conclusion that addresses the question directly

You've already done the hard work in writing your introduction and body paragraphs, so there’s no need to introduce any new ideas in the conclusion. Instead, you should be focusing on summarising the main points of your essay.

In particular:

●       Reiterate and restate the question (this will help you focus on exactly what you were asked)

●       Summarise each of your main points in turn - but don't spend too long on this or you'll risk repeating yourself (a good rule of thumb is that a paragraph should take up about one-third of a page).

Reorganise – reword – rewrite – revise as you go along until you are satisfied that it addresses the question

It is important to be prepared to do a lot of rewriting and reorganizing as you go along. This is because the process of organizing your thoughts will cause you to change them, and this is where your essay will really come into its own. You should not be afraid of making big changes at this stage, as it will help you write an excellent essay. Your marker will not penalise you for making changes, especially if they improve the quality of your ideas or writing style. The only thing that matters is that when they are finished reading your essay, they feel satisfied by what they have read – so if there are any areas that need addressing then do so in order to make sure that this happens!

Learn to write essays

We have been working in this industry for years and we have seen every kind of problem imaginable when it comes to law essay writing. Our team knows how to write an effective essay and how to ensure that it will get you the grade that you need.

writing a law essay

How to Write Essays

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American College of Employee Benefits Counsel Employee Benefits Writing Competition

Papers written by law school students may be entered in the 20th annual American College of Employee Benefits Counsel (ACEBC®) Employee Benefits Writing Competition between February 1, 2024 and June 1, 2024 . ACEBC® will recognize up to two winning papers with cash awards of $2,500 each. ACEBC® will also pay travel and lodging expenses to the winning authors to attend the ACEBC® annual meeting in Washington D.C. on September 14, 2024. The primary purposes of the writing competition are to encourage legal scholarship in areas of concern or interest in the employee benefits field and to foster interest in promising students in the practice of employee benefits law.

If you are in a law school career development office, please post a copy of this announcement on your student bulletin boards, whether virtual or physical; on your website where students can access the information; and in any other prominent place where students gather. Please also forward this email to any full-time or adjunct professors teaching employee benefits law, tax law, or labor and employment law at your law school, or who might otherwise be in a position to identify students who might be interested in entering a paper in the writing competition.

We encourage any interested law school student, including LLM or SJD candidates, to submit a paper on a legal topic of the student's choice in the employee benefits field. Please check the ACEBC® website for additional information, including a list of winning papers over the years, at ACEBC Employee Benefits Writing Competition for Law Students | ACEBC or you may direct specific questions to Frances King Quick at fquick@maynardnexsen .com with a copy to [email protected] . Past writing competitions have received papers from students at schools across the nation. Last year's winners were from NYU School of Law and the University of Akron School of Law.

The American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to elevating the standards and advancing the public's understanding of the practice of employee benefits law. In pursuit of these goals, the ACEBC® encourages the study and development of employee benefits laws, initiates professional discussions of significant employee benefits issues, and sponsors this writing competition, a moot court competition, and topical continuing legal education programs.

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COMMENTS

  1. How to Structure & Write A First-Class Law Essay: Key Tips

    Writing a law essay can be a challenging task. As a law student, you'll be expected to analyse complex legal issues and apply legal principles to real-world scenarios. At the same time, you'll need to be able to communicate your ideas clearly and persuasively.

  2. How to Write a Law Essay (with Pictures)

    How to Write a Law Essay Download Article parts 1 Choosing an Essay Topic 2 Researching Your Topic 3 Drafting the Essay + Show 3 more... Other Sections Related Articles References Article Summary Co-authored by Clinton M. Sandvick, JD, PhD Last Updated: August 11, 2023

  3. How to Structure a Law Essay (Tips from a Former LLB Lecturer)

    Typically, an essay of 2,500 words will have around 3-4 supporting arguments, each of which will contain a detailed discussion of the relevant cases and/or statute sections. You will be able to identify the supporting arguments by reading the lecture slides, the textbook and the relevant journal articles on the topic.

  4. Law: Legal essay

    1. Starting your answer The first step to a successful law essay is understanding the question. One of the most effective ways of breaking down the question is to identify the direction, content, and scope or limiting words. For example, look at the following essay question:

  5. Learn How to Write a Law Essay: Main Points

    Like any other work, a legal essay should consist of at least 3 parts: an introduction, the main part, and conclusions. Introduction Define the problem and formulate the topic of the essay. Be concise. A well-written introduction encourages the reader to be interested and read the entire work.

  6. Example Law Essays

    The example law essays below were written by students to help you with your own studies. If you are looking for help with your law essay then we offer a comprehensive writing service provided by fully qualified academics in your field of study. Law Essay Writing Service Example Law Essays & Related Services Example Law Essays (Page 1)

  7. How To Write a 1st Class Law Essay

    3. Clear, accurate writing. Good grammar, syntax, spelling and punctuation will be expected. Don't worry, the writing does not have to be flawless, but only a few mistakes will be tolerated. Eloquence, clarity and fluency of expression will always be appreciated and rewarded.

  8. Writing a Law essay? Remember to argue!

    Writing a Law essay? Remember to argue! Posted on February 16, 2022 Mark Elliott Providing advice in the abstract about how to write Law essays is difficult because so much depends on the nature of the question you are answering.

  9. How to Write a Law Essay Introduction (Law Lecturer's Guide)

    A law essay generally requires you to select a controversial or polarising issue and then present evidence and arguments for both sides of the debate. That's why in the introduction of your essay you should include evidence of previous academic debates that's relevant to the specific topic of your essay.

  10. Steps in Writing First-Class Law Essays

    Writing a first-class law essay requires a deep understanding of legal principles, critical analysis, and effective communication. Take your time, conduct thorough research, and ensure your arguments are supported by credible sources and legal reasoning. Here are the steps you can follow to write a successful law essay:

  11. How to Write a Good Law Essay?

    How to Write a Good Law Essay? Updated 11 Oct 2023 Table of contents How to start a legal essay Law essay structure What makes a good legal essay introduction? Body Paragraph Conclusion Overall guidelines for legal writing Different Types of Law Essays

  12. How to Write a Law Essay? 15 Excellent Tips (Guide for 2024)

    8. Proofreading and Editing is Must. Proofreading and editing are crucial steps in writing a law essay. Before submitting your essay, ensure that your work effectively communicates your ideas. Dedicate time to proofread and edit thoroughly. Check for grammatical errors, typos, and inconsistencies in formatting.

  13. Academic Writing in Law

    In legal writing, issues are the core of the essay. This part of the essay should: Identify and state the issue; Name those involved (plaintiff and defendant) and briefly describe their individual issues; Work out what body of law may govern the resolution of the issue (e.g. Contract Law)

  14. How To Write A Law Essay?

    Whether you're a law student or a practicing lawyer, our guide to writing a law essay is a must-read. Discover tips for research, structure, and citation to create a compelling essay.

  15. How To Write A Good Law Essay

    How To Write A Good Law Essay | Law Tutor<br/> Crafting a strong law essay requires careful planning and attention to detail. Our guide will show you how to write a winning essay that showcases your legal knowledge.

  16. 'Don't just vomit on the page': how to write a legal essay

    Writing a law essay is about digging deep to uncover uncertainty and complexity within the law, and to use this to argue a position. Law isn't The Hunger Games. There's no reason you can't...

  17. How To Write A Law Essay Plan?

    Strategies to write a law essay: A high-quality law paper should be well-written, with a solid opening, a persuasive body, and a conclusion that will leave readers looking for more than the paper could have provided. The following steps should be followed in order: Create an engaging introduction.

  18. How to Write a Law Essay

    1. Choosing an Essay Topic When it comes to writing a law essay, choosing an appropriate topic is crucial. A well-chosen topic will make your research and writing process smoother and more enjoyable, while a poorly chosen topic can lead to frustration and a lackluster essay.

  19. Learn to Write With Our Great Law Essay Example

    1. Introduction 2. Main part 3. Conclusion 4. Bibliography 5. Quotes First things first, let's discuss the legal essay scheme. It is rightly similar to the social science essay scheme. In both papers, it is necessary to explain a position on a particular issue or comment on a statement.

  20. How to Write a Law Essay Conclusion (Law Lecturer Reveals)

    How to Write a Law Essay Conclusion 10/14/2022 Writing a conclusion is perhaps the most tedious part of the law essay writing process. You have already put so much effort into researching the relevant cases and statute sections, writing up an introduction and doing the whole "evaluate and analyse" part in the main body of your essay.

  21. Learn How to Perfectly Structure a Law Essay

    Writing a law essay is different from writing a case file. You are required to demonstrate your understanding of the law in your araguments. Each argument should be systematically and logically developed. Keep the structure neat, coherent, and effective. With the right information, it should not be difficult thing to write a law essay.

  22. How to write a Law Essay

    1. Analyse the Question. The starting point in writing a law is essay is to analyse the question and understand clearly what the question is all about. Ideally, one should start by identifying the area or topic of law. Once the topic is identified, the writer should analyse the question in light of the area of the law and understand what is it ...

  23. Law School Optional Essays: What to Know

    A few schools, like Stanford University Law School in California and Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., have offbeat essay prompts that tend to vary from year to year.

  24. How to Write a Law Essay

    How to Write a Law Essay | Law Tutor<br/> Are you struggling with your first law essay? Our guide will walk you through the process step by step, from understanding the question to writing a strong conclusion.

  25. Principles of Prosecutor Lenience by Jeffrey Bellin :: SSRN

    Once "the Darth Vader of academic writing," American prosecutors are making a comeback. In recent years, "progressive prosecutors" have leveraged the power of lenience to "reform the criminal justice system from the inside." ... But American criminal law covers a broad array of offenses with substantial differences in punitiveness ...

  26. American College of Employee Benefits Counsel Employee Benefits Writing

    Last year's winners were from NYU School of Law and the University of Akron School of Law. The American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to elevating the standards and advancing the public's understanding of the practice of employee benefits law.

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