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Legal Skills

Seventh Edition

Emily Finch and Stefan Fafinski

June 2019

ISBN: 9780198831273

520 pages

In Stock

Price: £33.99

The number one best-selling legal skills guide, covering all the practical and academic skills a student needs throughout their studies



The best-selling legal skills textbook in the market, Legal Skills is the essential guide for law students, encompassing all the academic and practical skills in one manageable volume.

  • Equips students with all the skills they need from finding and using cases at the start of their degree through to final year exams and dissertations
  • Self-test questions and practical activities throughout give students the opportunity to take a hands-on approach to tackling a wide range of legal skills
  • Diagrams, screenshots and examples used throughout to illustrate key concepts
  • Accompanied by comprehensive online resources which include an extensive range of videos, multiple choice questions and answers to the self-test questions and practical exercises from the book

New to this edition

  • A new introductory chapter on what studying law is all about and getting started
  • A completely reworked chapter on study skills that places greater emphasis on developing a reflective approach to skills development and which includes new material on building good study habits, group working and strategies for strengthening performance
  • Commentary on the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 and Brexit
  • Explanation of the different types of Convention rights - absolute, limited and qualified
  • Additional material on reasons to do a dissertation, choosing a topic and getting started, to help students approach dissertations with confidence
  • The section on different sources of literature has been expanded and is supplemented by a new section on managing literature
  • Tips on working effectively and productively with a supervisor including managing problems

About the Author(s)

Emily Finch and Stefan Fafinski

Emily Finch is an experienced law lecturer and has taught criminal law, criminal evidence and cybercrime at a number of institutions. Her overarching research interest is in public perceptions of crime and criminality and the impact of technology on criminal activity, especially the criminogenic potential of the internet. She has a particular interest in jury decision-making and has conducted a number of empirical studies that explore factors that influence jury verdicts in rape, theft and fraud trials. Her current research focus is on dishonesty and the niche vulnerability of older internet users.

Stefan Fafinski has extensive experience in teaching intellectual property law, cyberlaw, and cybercrime. He is interested in the social and legal factors that influence information security and the security challenges presented by networked technologies in general. He is currently a member of the Parole Board for England and Wales.

Table of Contents

    PART I: Getting Started: Sources of Law
    1:Getting started
    3:Finding legislation
    4:Using legislation
    5:Case law
    6:Finding cases
    7:Using cases
    8:Books, journals, and official publications
    9:Finding books, journals, and official publications
    PART II: Academic Legal Skills
    10:Study skills
    11:Writing skills
    12:Legal reasoning and ethics
    13:Referencing and avoiding plagiarism
    14:Essay writing
    15:Answering problem questions
    16:Revision and examination skills
    PART III: Practical Legal Skills
    18:Presentation skills
    19:Mooting skills
    20:Negotiation skills


"I think this book is the best on the market." - Dr Sonya Onwu, Legal Academic Writing Skills (LAWS) Programme Director, London School of Economics

"An all-encompassing but very easy to read guide to the crucial skills many law students might otherwise struggle to master; the book is well-structured and complete with online resources." - Dr Andrey Kotelnikov, Lecturer, Robert Gordon University

"This book remains the leader in the field for legal skills." - Dr Ryan Hill, Senior Lecturer, Anglia Ruskin University

"Very readable and easy to understand - even before I started reading law it was very accessible." - Ross McKirdy, Student, Robert Gordon University

"I really like this book. The commentary is clear and the use of diagrams and examples to illustrate key points throughout the book is extremely useful." - Seema Kandelia, Senior Lecturer, University of Westminster

"The book is really good! It's a must read to help prevent simple mistakes." - Isabella Wong, Student, University of Surrey

"This volume deserves its pre-eminent place in the category. It provides an accessible introduction to key topics and survival skills for new law students, and the depth and range of the coverage are sensitively adapted to its target audience. I have no hesitation in recommending it to students." - Dr Benjamin Spagnolo, Fellow and Lecturer in Law, Trinity College, Cambridge

Additional Resources

This book is accompanied by the following online resources:

-These resources have been developed to enhance students understanding of and engagement with the text, bring aspects of it to life, and help develop legal skills further.
-Students learn the tips and tricks of finding cases and legislation following video screencasts of navigating the Westlaw UK database.
-Lecture and tutorial videos provide inside into how students can best prepare to get the most out of contact hours.
-Advice on good essay writing practice helps students improve writing skills in a legal context.
-Reference materials and practical exercises help students improve revision and examination skills.
-Example answers written by students provide insight into the different approaches that can be taken to the same question; commentary from the authors points out the strengths and weaknesses of each answer.
-Sample moots, including examples of mooting preparation plans and skeleton arguments, provide insight into the process of preparing for and participating in a moot.
-Students can watch mooting in action with video clips of students at key moments of the moot demonstrating effective mooting strategies, illustrating core skills such as outlining their submissions, dealing with judicial interventions, and handling case law. The clips also give an engaging illustration of common mistakes with commentary on how to avoid them.
-Video clips of a negotiation are interspersed with commentary on good and bad technique bringing this activity to life and providing an engaging demonstration of different negotiation styles. Comments from students about their own experiences provide helpful advice for inexperienced negotiators.
-Clips of student performances demonstrate the desirable and undesirable characteristics of presentations and are interspersed with comments from students on their own fears about delivering a presentation and their views on their own performances.
-Answers to self-test questions from the book are provided, along with a commentary to help students understand how and why the correct answer was reached.