Law coursework is the body of assignments assigned for a class in law. The majority of law coursework is comprised of reading and analyzing case law. Some law classes may also require a learner to compose a legal brief or a legal reference project.
The writing a student composes for law coursework will likely differ significantly from the writing assignments a student completes for other classes. This is because legal writing is very straightforward, very analytic, uses its own citation system, and incorporates legal terminology that is typically unfamiliar to most individuals outside the study of law. Students will therefore need to familiarize themselves with others' legal writing before embarking on their own assignments.
Most law courseworks will focus on preparing for class discussions. Therefore, most law coursework entails the close examination and analysis of case law—written opinions determined by appellate courts. To prepare for class, students are typically asked to brief the case. Briefing a case requires the student to summarize the facts of the case, identify the central legal issue of the case, explain the legal reasoning behind the court's decision, and assess that reasoning. When briefing a case in preparation for class, the student must adopt the legal writing style. This means that the student should organize the document using a system of headings that clearly identify the various sections and subsections of the brief, and that the writing in each of those sections is straightforward, precise, and free of superfluity. To be free of superfluity means to be free of excess language that does not contribute to the meaning of the document. While in many academic texts, learners will embellish their writing with adjectives and long, eloquent sentences, it is best to avoid such excesses in legal writing. Good legal writing gets to the point and speaks plainly.
Sometimes, law coursework will demand a formal writing assignment such as a legal brief or a legal reference project. These should be written in the same fashion as class assignments, but will carry the extra responsibility of multiple citations. When citing the law in a law term paper, it is best to present the exact wording of the law as it appears on public record. This is because the law is often interpreted differently, and those interpretations are often dependent upon the language of the law. Each time a law is cited, the writer must reference from where that law comes. The Harvard Law Review Association publishes a citation manual known as the Blue Book, which outlines exactly how these citations should be formatted.
Premium Essays Involving "Law Coursework"
Tutorial Videos on Academic Writing