FROM A FORMER LAW LECTURER
To Help You Survive Law School
Starting your law essay can be the most tricky part of the writing process. Yet, based on my experience in lecturing and tutoring law students I am confident that the beginning of the writing process is what matters the most when it comes to getting a first. If you want to find out how to set yourself up for success from the start, check out the tips I shared below.
Recognise the type of question asked
The first thing you need to do when starting your law essay is to identify the type of a question you are asked to answer. Typically, you will be asked to answer a question which is phrased as either an essay or a problem scenario. Problem scenarios are usually long stories about different things that happened to a particular person or a few people. They resemble situations that real people can find themselves in when they approach a solicitor for advice. In case of questions phrased as an essay question, your task is a bit more complicated. First, you will have to identify whether your question is a general essay question, a specific essay question or a quotation question.
Note: Want to learn more about how to approach different types of essay questions? Check out the 1st Class Law Essay Writing Course.
Understand what is required
Your task with problem scenarios is to:
Research the area of law
The next step when starting a law essay is to research the area of law you will be writing about thoroughly, so that you know how to structure your essay and what content to include in it. In order to do that, you need to find out what statute sections and cases you will be talking about in your essay, and what the academics said about those cases and statute sections in their journal articles.
The ‘protocol’ for doing this is very simple:
Structure your essay
Creating an essay structure is where many students get stuck when working on their law assignments. The dreaded question of “how do I start my essay” can really make you feel stuck at this stage of the writing process. Your essay should be structured differently depending on whether you are dealing with a problem scenario, a general essay question, a specific essay question or a quotation essay question. The First Class Essay Writing Course covers all those different types of essay structures which can really help you speed up your writing process, especially at the start. However, in general when structuring your essay you need to cover the following elements:
Note: If you need more support with starting your essay, check out the essay plan sessions which I offer.