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Legal Systems & Skills

Third Edition

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

April 2017

ISBN: 9780198785903

568 pages

In Stock

Price: £31.99

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



This innovative text offers a combined approach, covering legal systems, skills, and employability to provide an academic and practical foundation for the study of law and life as a professional.

  • A truly innovative solution: the only textbook to fully combine material on both legal systems and legal skills; parts I and II give students a thorough understanding of essential concepts and skills
  • Supports students' professional development - as well as their academic development - through an additional focus on commercial awareness and employability; part III focuses on developing employability skills and honing transferable skills
  • Provides a much more holistic and contemporary understanding of the purpose and practical application of law than is usually found in textbooks on this subject; students are guided through life as a professional and through the economic and political events influencing the legal profession
  • Demonstrates step-by-step approaches to core legal skills which students can employ both in their legal studies and in subsequent employment; a wide range of features and annotated documents help students to reflect on their progress and see legal skills in practice

New to this edition

  • Part I Legal Systems has been fully revised and expanded for this edition to include new content following the outcome of the UK referendum on Brexit; further coverage of common law and civil law systems aimed at not only explaining the differences but also encouraging students to analyse their own legal system; a more detailed chapter on legislation which will help students to consider the context surrounding the introduction of new legislation; and expanded content on international law and Sharia Law.
  • Part II Legal Skills now provides guidance to OSCOLA referencing along with expanded coverage on skeleton arguments, new content on how to create a case bundle, and updated commercial awareness interview questions which are broken down using an easy-to-apply chunking down technique designed to help students understand how to approach these types of question at interview. The sections on statutes, case notes, email etiquette, and mooting have also been revised.
  • Part III has been fully updated for this edition to ensure that it continues to support students to practically apply their skills and knowledge whilst also building their commercial awareness through case studies and activities. In particular, chapter 15 considers how Brexit's economic impact may affect or concern businesses and clients. The importance of reflection has also been highlighted in a revised section on professional development.
  • Throughout the text new examples, case studies, figures, and essential explanations have been added to aid understanding, along with additional suggestions for further reading.

About the Author(s)

Scott Slorach, Director of Learning & Teaching, York Law School, University of York, Judith Embley, Associate Professor, University of Law, Peter Goodchild, Associate Professor, University of Law, and Catherine Shephard, Senior Lecturer, Manchester Metropolitan University

Scott Slorach is a Professor and Director of Teaching & Learning at York Law School at the University of York. He is a Visiting Professor at the University of Strathclyde and a Visiting Fellow of the College of Law Australia. He has over twenty-five years' experience in the design and delivery of undergraduate, postgraduate and professional legal education programmes. A qualified solicitor with City experience, he was author of Corporate Finance (OUP) and is currently co-author of Business Law (OUP).

Judith Embley is 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 is now Module Lead for the LPC Commercial Law and Practice module and the LLB Transactions module. 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 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. In addition to over fifteen 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 Senior Lecturer and Subject Leader of corporate practice, company law in a global context, practical legal research and professional skills in practice at Manchester Law School. She read law at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, practised as a solicitor in corporate finance and has significant experience of designing, delivering and assessing a wide range of skills, law and management programmes to solicitors in practice and to students at Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Law. Catherine is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and External Examiner at Northumbria Law School.

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
    4: Legislation
    5: Case law
    6: Legal services
    Part II Legal Skills
    7: Reading and understanding law
    8: Legal research
    9: Problem solving
    10: Advocacy, mooting, and professional communication
    11: Writing and drafting
    Part III Employability and Commercial Awareness
    12: Making yourself more employable
    13: Understanding clients: individuals and businesses
    14: Businesses and the business environment
    15: Essential economics and finance
    16: Law firms as businesses
    17: CVs, applications, and interviews


Review from previous edition An imaginative approach which will enthuse students about the law. - Pamela Henderson, Senior Lecturer in Law, Nottingham Trent University

This book is an invaluable resource for students and lecturers alike. Its extensive coverage of legal study and practice skills along with its focus on employability and commercial awareness makes it stand out from its competitors and helps to comprehensively prepare students for success in their legal studies and beyond. - Dr Emma Roberts, Lecturer in Law, University of Chester

This comprehensive, accessible and well-structured book will appeal to any aspiring student beginning their journey into law. - Dr Andreas Yiannaros, Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Bedfordshire

The authors style is brilliant - it's easy to understand and interesting to read. The section on commercial awareness is excellent as it provides a good insight in to a topic which is of the utmost importance. - Staci-Louise Quinn, law student at Liverpool John Moores University

Additional Resources

This text is accompanied by an Online Resource Centre offering students the following stimulating resources:
- Self-test questions
- A library of web links that direct students to useful websites and relevant media
- The authors' guidance to answering the thought-provoking questions in the book
- Additional content providing guidance on effective teamwork, meetings and presentations
- Regular updates in the law
- Sample interview questions to help students identify which areas of commercial awareness they need to focus on

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