We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more

This item is not yet published. Orders will be supplied on publication.


Legal Systems & Skills

Fifth Edition

Scott Slorach, Judith Embley, Catherine Shephard, and Peter Goodchild

09 June 2023

ISBN: 9780192874429

720 pages

Price: £39.99

The only text that fully combines systems and skills, providing an academic and practical foundation for the study of law and beyond



Legal Systems & Skills is the essential contemporary toolkit for law students, equipping them with the tools they need to thrive in their academic studies and onto employment.

  • Accessible and engaging, with a wide range of pedagogical features to help students to apply their knowledge
  • Learning supported by annotated documents, real-life examples, flowcharts, and diagrams, providing visual representations of concepts and processes
  • 'Essential debate' boxes and practical exercises throughout encourage students to think critically about the law
  • Practical focus throughout enhanced by features such as 'What the professionals say', 'Practice tip', and 'Selling your skills'
  • Comprehensive content on employability and commercial awareness, including CV preparation, transferable skills, and interview strategy
  • Content includes contemporary issues such as online communication, digital courts, online exams and academic misconduct, and mental health
  • Also available as an e-book with functionality, navigation features, and links that offer extra learning support

New to this edition

  • New 'Selling your Skills' feature summarises transferable skills learned at each chapter end
  • New chapter on revision and assessment including contemporary methods of assessment such as online exams, reflective portfolios, and MCQs, and contemporary issues such as managing distractions, grade inflation, academic misconduct, wellbeing and mental health
  • Sustantially revised chapter on writing and drafting (to reflect the Office for Student's renewed focus on assessing good writing skills), beginning with how to write well and develop good proofreading skills, and progressing to guidance on writing good essays. Guidance is then given about how to write professional emails and letters and draft professional documents. Coverage includes contemporary issues such as use of emojis, Yammer and Teams chat in a professional context, and digital dictation.
  • Updated chapters on communication include guidance about how to communicate online over video-conference applications such as Zoom and Teams
  • Chapter on research updated to reflect changes to the Lexis platform
  • Increased links made between Parts I, II and III
  • Updated with OSCOLA referencing throughout
  • Updated to provide contemporary examples for this edition

About the Author(s)

Scott Slorach, Professor and Director of Learning & Teaching, University of York, Judith Embley, Former Associate Professor, Catherine Shephard, Reader in Practice-Informed Legal Education, Manchester Law School, Manchester Metropolitan University, and Peter Goodchild, Associate Professor and Programme Director, Law Conversion Courses, University of Law

Scott Slorach (consultant editor) is a Professor and Director of Teaching & Learning at York Law School, University of York. He is also a Visiting Professor at the University of Strathclyde, and has previously held visiting roles in Australia and Singapore. A qualified solicitor with City experience, he is currently co-author of Business Law (OUP). Scott specializes in the design, delivery, assessment, and review of legal education at all levels; he has held various roles with the SRA, and worked on projects with a range of HE institutions, regulators, and law firms.

Judith Embley recently retired as an Associate Professor at the University of Law. She qualified as a solicitor in 1980, practising in a Lincoln’s Inn firm, and began teaching law in 1999 as a Visiting Lecturer at Bellerby’s College and then Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge. She joined the University of Law in 2001, where she has taught contract, commercial, and business financial law. She now contributes to the design of graduate and postgraduate course materials and assessments as a visiting lecturer. She is joint author of Commercial and Intellectual Property Law and Practice and Legal Foundations, two of the University of Law’s Legal Practice Guides.

Peter Goodchild is an Associate Professor and National Programme Director for Law Conversion Courses at the University of Law. He read Politics, Philosophy and Economics at St. Anne's College, Oxford, then attended the University of Law and qualified as a solicitor in 1997, into commercial practice. He joined the University of Law in 2000, where he has taught the English legal system, contract, tort, ethics, commercial, IP, and business structures law. Peter is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. In addition to over twenty years of teaching experience, he has wide experience of designing programmes and has been an author of texts on tort, commercial law, IP law, and the English legal system.

Catherine Shephard is a Reader in Practice-Informed Legal Education at Manchester Law School. She read law at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and practised as a solicitor in corporate finance. Catherine’s work responds to the increasing emphasis on skills and the growing alignment between academic and professional legal education. Drawing on her experience in professional legal practice and leadership in professional and academic legal education, Catherine communicates her ideas through books, journal articles, professional practice publications, conference papers, presentations, and in the classroom. Catherine enjoys working collaboratively with leading law firms, in-house legal departments, legal education providers, widening participation charities, PSRBs, and her colleagues and students.

Table of Contents

    Part I Legal Systems
    1:Introduction to law
    2:Legal systems and sources of law
    3:The court system of England & Wales
    5:Case law
    6:Legal services and ethics
    Part II Legal Skills
    7:Reading cases and legislation
    9:Problem solving and case/matter analysis
    10:Persuasive oral communication and presentations
    11:Client interviews and meetings
    12:Negotiation and mediation
    13:Advocacy and mooting
    14:Writing and drafting
    15:Revision and assessment
    Part III Employability and Commercial Awareness
    16:Making yourself more employable
    17:CVs, applications, and interviews
    18:Understanding clients: individuals and businesses
    19:Businesses and the business environment
    20:Essential economics and finance
    21:Law firms as businesses


"An excellent resource: this well-written book provides a good introduction and overview to a broad range of topics and skills for undergraduate students." - Dr Joe Atkinson, Lecturer in Law, University of Sheffield

"A comprehensive book covering the key aspects of the legal system, legal skills and employability skills—the employability section is particularly important and useful." - Dr Amy Elkington, Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Chichester

"The quality of the book's content is generally very high. The sections on practical skills and commercial awareness are particularly relevant and have a good level of detail and information." - Dr Carmino Massarella, Lecturer in Law, University of Hull

"This textbook is great value for money and has great coverage. Fundamentally, the book puts the law into context, with an excellent number of examples to illustrate key legal skills concepts, and helps students draw introductory links between the different year one modules. I particularly like that the book does not become redundant after first year and is relevant to students throughout their LLB Law journey." - Stephen Clear, Lecturer in Law, Bangor University

"Well-written and structured: Slorach's strength remains the ability to present concisely a variety of topics on content and skills." - Dr Audrey Guinchard, Senior Lecturer and Director of Legal Skills, University of Essex

Additional Resources

The fifth edition is available for students and institutions to purchase in a variety of formats, and is supported by online resources.
· The e-book offers a mobile experience and convenient access along with functionality tools, navigation features and links that offer extra learning support: www.oxfordtextbooks.co.uk/ebooks
· The online resources include self-test questions and links to useful websites for each chapter, interactive diagrams, guidance on the practical exercises, and sample interview questions.

Related Titles