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How to Write a First-Class Law Essay

Studying law at university entails lots of essay writing. This article takes you through the key steps to writing a top law essay.

Writing a law essay can be a challenging task. As a law student, you’ll be expected to analyse complex legal issues and apply legal principles to real-world scenarios. At the same time, you’ll need to be able to communicate your ideas clearly and persuasively. In this article, we’ll cover some top tips to guide you through the process of planning, researching, structuring and writing a first-class law essay with confidence. 

1. Start In Advance

Give yourself plenty of time to plan, research and write your law essay. Always aim to start your law essay as soon as you have the question. Leaving it until the last minute does not only create unnecessary stress, but it also leaves you insufficient time to write, reference and perfect your work.

2. Understand The Question

Do not begin until you fully comprehend the question. Take the time to read the question carefully and make sure that you understand what it’s asking you to do. Highlight key terms and annotate the question with definitions of key concepts and any questions that you have have. Think about how the question links back to what you’ve learned during your lectures or through your readings.

3. Conduct Thorough Research

Conducting thorough research around your topic is one of the most fundamental parts of the essay writing process. You should aim to use a range of relevant sources, such as cases, academic articles, books and any other legal materials. Ensure that the information you collect is taken from relevant, reliable and up to date sources. Use primary over secondary material as much as possible.

Avoid using outdated laws and obscure blog posts as sources of information. Always aim to choose authoritative sources from experts within the field, such as academics, politicians, lawyers and judges. Using high-quality and authoritative sources and demonstrating profound and critical insight into your topic are what will earn you top marks.

4. Write A Detailed Plan

Once you’ve done your research, it’s time to plan your essay. When writing your plan, you’ll need to create an outline that clearly identifies the main points that you wish to make throughout your article. Try to write down what you wish to achieve in each paragraph, what concepts you want to discuss and arguments you want to make.

Your outline should be organised in a clear, coherent and logical manner to ensure that the person grading your essay can follow your line of thought and arguments easily.  You may also wish to include headings and subheadings to structure your essay effectively This makes it easier when it comes to writing the essay as starting without a plan can get messy. The essay must answer the question and nothing but the question so ensure all of your points relate to it.

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5. Write A Compelling Introduction

A great introduction should, firstly, outline the research topic.  The introduction is one of the most crucial parts of the law essay as it sets the tone for the rest of the paper. It should capture the readers attention and provide the background context on the topic. Most importantly, it should state the thesis of your essay.

When writing your introduction, avoid simply repeating the given question. Secondly, create a road map for the reader, letting them know how the essay will approach the question. Your introduction must be concise. The main body of the essay is where you will go into detail.

6. Include A Strong Thesis Statement

Your thesis should clearly set out the argument you are going to be making throughout your essay and should normally go in the introduction. Your thesis should adopt a clear stance rather than being overly general or wishy-washy. To obtain the best grades, you’ll need to show a unique perspective based upon a critical analysis of the topic rather than adopting the most obvious point of view.

Once you’ve conducted your research and had a chance to reflect on your topic, ask yourself whether you can prove your argument within the given word count or whether you would need to adopt a more modest position for your paper. Always have a clear idea of what your thesis statement is before you begin writing the content of your essay. 

7. Present the Counter-argument

To demonstrate your deeper understanding of the topic, it’s important to show your ability to consider the counter-arguments and address them in a careful and reasoned manner. When presenting your counterarguments, aim to depict them in the best possible light, aiming to be fair and reasonable before moving on to your rebuttal. To ensure that your essay is convincing, you will need to have a strong rebuttal that explains why your argument is stronger and more persuasive. This will demonstrate your capacity for critical analysis, showing the reader that you have carefully considered differing perspectives before coming to a well-supported conclusion.

8. End With A Strong Conclusion

Your conclusion is your opportunity to summarise the key points made throughout your essay and to restate the thesis statement in a clear and concise manner.  Avoid simply repeating what has already been mentioned in the body of the essay. For top grades, you should use the conclusion as an opportunity to provide critical reflection and analysis on the topic. You may also wish to share any further insights or recommendations into alternative avenues to consider or implications for further research that could add value to the topic. 

9. Review The Content Of Your Essay

Make sure you factor in time to edit the content of your essay.  Once you’ve finished your first draft, come back to it the next day. Re-read your essay with a critical perspective. Do your arguments make sense? Do your paragraphs flow in a logical manner? You may also consider asking someone to read your paper and give you critical feedback. They may be able to add another perspective you haven’t considered or suggest another research paper that could add value to your essay. 

10. Proofread For Grammatical Mistakes

Once you’re happy with the content of your essay, the last step is to thoroughly proofread your essay for any grammatical errors. Ensure that you take time to ensure that there are no grammar, spelling or punctuation errors as these can be one of the easiest ways to lose marks. You can ask anyone to proofread your paper, as they would not necessarily need to have a legal background – just strong grammar and spelling skills! 

11. Check Submission Guidelines

Before submitting, ensure that your paper conforms with the style, referencing and presentation guidelines set out by your university. This includes the correct font, font size and line spacing as well as elements such as page numbers, table of content etc. Referencing is also incredibly important as you’ll need to make sure that you are following the correct referencing system chosen by your university. Check your university’s guidelines about what the word count is and whether you need to include your student identification number in your essay as well. Be thorough and don’t lose marks for minor reasons!

12. Use Legal Terms Accurately

Always make sure that you are using legal terms accurately throughout your essay. Check an authoritative resource if you are unsure of any definitions. While being sophisticated is great, legal jargon if not used correctly or appropriately can weaken your essay. Aim to be concise and to stick to the point. Don’t use ten words when only two will do.

12. Create a Vocabulary Bank

One recurring piece of advice from seasoned law students is to take note of phrases from books and articles, key definitions or concepts and even quotes from your professors. When it comes to writing your law essay, you will have a whole range of ideas and vocabulary that will help you to develop your understanding and thoughts on a given topic. This will make writing your law essay even easier!

13. Finally, Take Care of Yourself

Last but certainly not least, looking after your health can improve your attitude towards writing your law essay your coursework in general. Sleep, eat, drink and exercise appropriately. Take regular breaks and try not to stress. Do not forget to enjoy writing the essay!

Words by Karen Fulton

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How to Write a First-Class Law Essay: Mastering the FIRAC Model

Law essays can be challenging, but they contribute significantly to the mastery of legal principles and enhancing a student’s legal research skills. A first-class law essay does not only demonstrate a thorough understanding of legal principles, but is also clearly structured and incredibly well-written. In this article, we will guide you on how to write a first-class law essay, delve into the FIRAC model of legal writing, and address frequently asked questions on law essay writing.

Below is an outline of the points that will be discussed in detail throughout the article:

Understanding the Essay Question and Planning

Comprehensive legal research, writing techniques for a first-class law essay, common faqs on law essay writing.

Table of Contents

The first step in writing a top-notch law essay is to understand the essay question and planning your response. You should take care to read and analyze the question provided, identifying the main issues, required legal areas, and the keywords that will guide your research. Create a rough essay plan, outlining the main arguments and research resources necessary to address the topic.

Thorough researched is necessary in order to write a first-class law essay.This involves examining relevant cases, statutes, academic articles, and other authoritative sources. It is crucial to:

  • Build a strong foundation of understanding for the specific legal topics involved
  • Identify any contrary viewpoints and conflicting interpretations of the law
  • Familiarize yourself with critical legal developments that may affect your essay’s arguments

It is essential to keep track of your sources and their essential details, as you will need to reference them accurately in your essay.

Structuring a Law Essay: The FIRAC Model

The FIRAC model is a universally recognized method of organizing and presenting legal arguments in writing. It consists of:

Start by providing a concise and relevant summary of the facts and background of the issue beingaddressed. Be objective and neutral in your presentation, ensuring that your readers have a clear understanding of the context.

Clearly identify the specific legal issues that arise from the facts. This may involve direct questions or problems that need to be resolved by referring to legal authorities, such as legislation, case law, or academic commentary.

Set out the relevant legal rules, principles, and precedents that apply to the issues in question. Present a clear and comprehensive explanation of the legal authorities and how they apply to the facts.

d. Analysis:

In this section, critically analyze and weigh the various arguments and approaches concerning the legal issues at hand. Provide a detailed evaluation of the relevant legal authorities,discussing their strengths and weaknesses, and highlighting any ambiguities, disagreements, or gaps in the law that are relevant to the issues being addressed.

e. Conclusion:

Wrap up your essay by summarizing the main points, integrating your key findings and the implications of your analysis. Be sure to address the initial essay question and provide a clear answer or position based on your research and discussion. Finally, offer any recommendations or propose potential legal reforms if appropriate.

To ensure that your law essay stands out as first-class, it is essential to embrace effective writing techniques, such as:

  • Clarity and precision: Use clear, concise language and avoid unnecessary jargon or verbosity. 2.Coherent organization: Organize your essay logically, ensuring that each section flows smoothly into the next.
  • Strong argumentation: Build well-reasoned arguments supported by solid evidence, authoritative sources, and persuasive analysis.
  • Critical thinking: Question assumptions, explore alternative viewpoints, and engage in thoughtful reflection and analysis.
  • Proper citation and referencing: Adhere to a consistent citation style and accurately credit all sources used in your essay.
  • Proofreading and editing: Always proofread and edit your essay meticulously, eliminating grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and awkward phrasing.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about law essay writing:

How long should my law essay be?

The length of your law essay may vary, depending on the specific requirements and guidelines given by your instructor or institution. Typically, law essays range from 1,500 to 3,000 words, but it is crucial to adhere to the specified word count in your assignment.

How do I choose a citation style for my law essay?

Consult your assignment guidelines or ask your instructor for the preferred citation style used in legal writing at your institution, such as the Bluebook, Oxford Standard, or AGLC. Always use one citation style consistently throughout your essay.

Is it acceptable to use non-legal references in my essay?

While law essays primarily rely on legal authorities, it may be appropriate toinclude non-legal references, such as scholarly articles, reports, or empirical studies, to support your arguments or provide additional context. Always check with your instructor or assignment guidelines if you are unsure about using specific non-legal sources.

Can I use headings and subheadings in my law essay?

Headings and subheadings help organize your essay and guide your readers through your arguments. They are generally acceptable in law essays unless prohibited by your institution’s guidelines or your instructor’s preferences. Be sure to use a consistent formatting style for all headings and subheadings.

How can I avoid plagiarism in my law essay?

To avoid plagiarism, always accurately cite and reference any sources you use in your essay,whether they are direct quotes, paraphrased ideas, or summarized information. Also, ensure that your essay is primarily composed of your own original analysis and ideas, rather than relying too heavily on other sources. Make use of plagiarism-checking tools to identify potential areas of concern and correct them prior to submission.

By adhering to these guidelines and employing effective writing techniques, you can enhance the quality of your law essay and increase the likelihood of earning a first-class grade. Always remain diligent, focused, and committed to delivering thorough and engaging legal analysis throughout your academic writing endeavors.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Law Essays

In addition to following the guidelines and writing techniques, it’s important to avoid common mistakes when writing your law essay:

  • Irrelevant or excessive detail : Stay focused on the essay question and avoid providing unnecessary or excessive details that don’t contribute to your central argument.
  • Lack of structure: Ensure that your essay is logically organized, with clearly defined sections and a coherent flow from one section to another.
  • Misunderstanding the question: Read the essay prompt carefully, and make sure you clearly understand what is being asked before drafting your response. Seek clarification if needed.
  • Unsupported claims or arguments: Back up your claims with solid evidence and credible sources. Avoid makingassertions without sufficient justification or analysis.
  • Overly complex language or jargon: Write in a clear and concise manner, using language that is accessible to your readers. Be mindful of using overly technical terms or legal jargon without explanation.
  • Plagiarism: Always provide proper citation and referencing for all sources used. Take the necessary steps to ensure your work is original and does not plagiarize from other sources.
  • Inadequate proofreading: Thoroughly proofread and edit your essay to correct grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and clumsy phrasing. Additionally, make sure your citations and references are accurate and formatted correctly.

By avoiding these common mistakes and adhering to the aforementioned guidelines andwriting techniques, you will significantly improve the quality of your law essay and increase your chances of achieving a high grade. Remember that practice makes perfect, and continually refining your skills in legal writing and analysis will contribute to your overall success in your academic and professional pursuits. So, stay committed, diligent, and focused on producing well-reasoned and coherent essays that demonstrate your understanding and mastery of legal principles and concepts. 

Happy writing!

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  • Writing a Student Note
  • Writing Process

The Writing Process

Typical outline of a note.

  • Introduction : The Introduction should include a description of the problem, a thesis statement, and a roadmap of the argument to follow.
  • Part I : This section should be used to set forth the background information on which the later analysis in your Note will depend. It should be a general and broad review of the important issues relevant to your topic that educates your readers about everything they must know in order to understand your Note. When writing this section, be sure to use language that a reader who is not familiar with your Note topic can easily understand.
  • Part II : This section should examine the major cases and statutes that your Note will be analyzing. It will contain the main portion of your analysis of how the law stands. For example, if your topic focuses on a circuit split, Part II is where you would explain the conflicting holdings and rationales. You may also choose to discuss what other commentators have said about your topic and these cases.
  • Part III : This section is where you will contribute your own analysis of and views on the topic. You will say why you feel the cases/commentary you analyzed are wrong and what should be done instead. In the case of a circuit split, say which side is better and why. Part III is where you should place your original thoughts and contributions, along with the conclusion of your Note.
  • Conclusion : The Conclusion should briefly restate what you have already said. You should not focus too much on this section when preparing this Prospectus.

Tips on Legal Writing—Patrick Garlinger ’09

While some may have a greater facility for language than others, there is nothing natural about good writing. It comes from practice—and from rewriting.

Advice on writing is easily dispensed but difficult to follow. This is largely because writing requires enormous discipline. The following are six basic principles that provide a structure for the writing process. They are not specific to academic writing or to legal writing in particular but may be especially helpful in a law school environment where time to write is a precious commodity. Over the years these guidelines have given me the discipline to start and finish, among other academic texts, a student Note.

Writing is like a muscle: Exercise it regularly.

For most students, the Note is the first experience with publishable academic writing. In college, all-nighters might produce passable term papers, but that approach certainly won’t do here. Nor will exam writing really prepare you for legal academic writing. Instead, good academic writing requires regular practice. Law school does little to assist here, since all too often the periods for working on one’s Note are isolated and scattered due to the time constraints imposed by classes, journal work, clinics, and extra-curricular activities. You may pursue a Directed Research as a way to carve out a block of time dedicated to the note or, alternately, write your note to fulfill the writing requirement of a seminar. Winter break is also a great time to make substantial progress on a first draft. Either way, you should try to work steadily on the Note so as to avoid losing momentum and focus.

Good writing does not come naturally: Read good writers.

While some may have a greater facility for language than others, there is nothing natural about good writing. It comes from practice—and from rewriting. To practice without models of good writing is, however, pointless. You must read other legal writers carefully, for both their analysis and their style. As a starting point, find a few sources that inspire your intellectual juices and, over time, keep adding to the list. Read and analyze how those writers introduce their topic and communicate their thesis. Look carefully at the architecture of their argument, their lexicon and sentence structure. In short, read them as both legal scholars and writers. Emulate (but do not copy, of course). Additionally, you may benefit from style guides that provide specific guidelines for legal writing (e.g., Bryan Garner’s Legal Writing in Plain English ). Avoid legalese. A student note should not read like a law school exam or a brief.

Know your thesis: Say it in a single sentence.

One of the most difficult tasks facing a student writer is finding a topic and narrowing the thesis. The student Note is rather short—and because you need to provide background information for your generalist readers, there is little room for sweeping analysis. As such, you should target a very discrete issue. Yet, in my experience, articulating, not finding, the topic is the most difficult task facing a student writer.

You should be able to state your thesis in one or two sentences at most. Anything longer suggests that the topic too unwieldy for a student note or, more probably, that the writer still has not fully understood the nature of the project. Pith not protraction should be your goal. If you can state your thesis in a single sentence, that clarity and concision will guide you throughout the rest of the writing process, helping to avoid unfortunate meanderings or excess material that is not essential to the argument. Simply put, if you cannot summarize your note in one or two sentences, you don’t have a thesis.

Know your writing mode: Respect your rhythm.

Everyone has a writing mode—when you are most inclined to write and how you go about composing. Some of us are “whittlers.” We write and write and write. Later, we will edit and “whittle” away the excess. We refine our ideas in the process of writing, often repeating the same thoughts in multiple guises until we hit on just the right formulation. Others are “refiners” who write just a few sentences or a paragraph and then revise and polish it to perfection before moving on. Similarly, you may have a natural rhythm when it comes to the time of day when your writing seems to flow most easily. A friend of mine prefers to write in the mornings before she has any tea or coffee, using what I call the “carrot” method of motivation.

Respect your writing style; recognizing how you work is important to maximizing it. It may prove futile to try to write against your natural rhythm. If I try to refine as I write, or if I write in the middle of the afternoon, I find myself producing very little.

Everyone suffers from writer’s block: Switch gears or put it down and rest.

Even when you know your writing mode, writing can be a difficult process; your energy comes in fits and spurts, your love for your topic waxes and wanes. When you hit a road block, change it up. Sometimes very simple changes can give you a boost. When I find myself struggling, I switch fonts, or change the spacing from single to double. Often the effect is just to defamiliarize the text, so you see it differently. If writer’s block still persists and the words elude you, take a break. Sometimes a day or two can make a difference in how the argument reads to you—the logical leaps, grammatical errors or infelicitous word choices will leap off the page.

There is a danger, though, in always caving at the first resistance to writing. Writing is hard work. It requires endurance and persistence. Force yourself to try to write for at least 10-15 minutes. A mentor was fond of saying, “Screw your a-- to the chair and don’t get up.” Like exercise, sometimes the thought of writing is more painful than the actual practice, and once you start, you find it comes more easily than anticipated.

Never fall in love with your own writing: Edit with a vengeance.

This piece of advice is owed to a former mentor who repeated it as a mantra. Whether you are a whittler, a refiner, or somewhere in between, we often fall in love with our own prose, unable to let go of a snappy sentence or an ingenious turn of phrase. Editing is the key to good writing, however, and you cannot be afraid to leave material on the cutting room floor.

Place yourself in the reader’s position and ask yourself if the sentence/paragraph/section is really essential. Because we often think we know what our words mean, we fail to realize that our readers may not find our thoughts to be so crystalline. Defamiliarize your own writing by putting the text away or it may be helpful to print out and proofread in hard copy; words will look different on the page than on the computer screen. Finally, avoid the fetish of the footnote as the last refuge for material that should be cut. It is cliché but true that less is often more.

Additional Resources

  • Writing Workshop Video : A September 2008 presentation by Vice Dean Barry Friedman, Professor Florencia Marotta-Wurgler, Patrick Garlinger, ’09, and Ilana Harmati, ’10, on student legal writing.
  • Eugene Volokh, Academic Legal Writing: Law Review Articles, Student Notes, and Seminar Papers (2003)
  • The Bluebook : the guide to legal citation to use in writing and editing legal scholarship.

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Gareth Evans

Writing a First Class Law Essay – A Framework for Success

structure of a law essay

Table of Contents

😁 Introduction

❤️ main body, 🎉 conclusion, 📝 references, 🙌 final words.

Writing a decent essay in law school is crucial if we want to get top grades. But it’s important to remember that there’s rarely every one single correct way to approach them. There is no blueprint that we can follow step-by-step to give us a first-class result. 

Nevertheless, there is a framework for success in legal essays that CAN be followed. 

From the moment we get given our essay title to the moment we hand it in, there are some basic principle that we should be aware of that form the foundation of excellent essay writing. And that’s what this article is all about. If you stick around until the end I’ll also be giving you a free guide to help you out even more.

Before we even think about writing our essay, there are a few preliminary steps. The most important of which is research. 

To begin with we need to have two clearly designated areas to write our essay and take our research notes. So simply open up two documents on your computer (e.g. in Word), with one titled ‘essay’ and the other titled ‘notes’. Then divide BOTH of these pages into four sections: introduction; main body; conclusion; and references.

structure of a law essay

At this stage – the research stage – we’re only interested in our ‘notes’ document. 

What is the question asking you?

To research effectively we need to be aware of precisely what the question is asking from us. 

Many students fall into the trap of trying to answer the question that they want to answer (because they know that area better), rather than the one that’s actually been given. So spend some time to wrap your head around the question and whether it expects you to ‘discuss’, ‘evaluate’, ‘critically analyse’, etc

What resources should you read?

Once you’ve understood the question, it’s time to begin reading relevant and appropriate academic resources and other scholarly materials.

My advice would be to begin reading the relevant sections of 1-2 textbooks to ensure you have a full appreciation of the topic. From this, you should be able to form a high-level response to the question. In other words, the basic information from the textbooks should allow you to form a rough opinion on the question that drives your deeper research and preparations. 

By having a rough understanding of your answer, it makes it a lot easier to identify relevant cases, journal articles, statutes, treaties, and so on. Plus, it will make searching through Westlaw, LexisNexis, or some other legal research database quicker and more useful. 

Whenever you find a piece of information that may be useful, remember to drop it into the correct section of our ‘notes’ document and remember to give it a reference straight away. Honestly, references can be incredibly painful if you don’t spend the time to cite your sources straight away. (The amount of time I’ve wasted hunting down a source for something because I didn’t write it down straight away is ridiculous). 

Now we have all the information we need, we can think about the structure and writing the substantive part of the essay within our ‘essay’ document.

The introduction of your essay should be concise. 

The purpose of the introduction is to ensure you have understood what the question is asking you, give the essay an appropriate focus, and presented a clear structure as to how you’re going to answer the question.

Put simply, you need to tell the reader what you’re going to discuss and how they’re going to be led from start to finish, bringing them to your eventual conclusion. 

Many students will use the introduction incorrectly, seeing it as an opportunity to intrigue rather than inform. They often believe that an essay is like a story, where the outcome can’t be revealed until the end. But an essay isn’t like a story at all. And effective essays will hint at the eventual conclusion right away. 

Check out my introduction on an essay I wrote to give you an example of what, I think, is a pretty decent introduction:

structure of a law essay

Although you need to demonstrate you understand the law and the relevant legal concepts behind the essay question (i.e. describe), the most crucial aspect of first-class essay writing is analysis and evaluation.

You need to demonstrate that you can identify the limitation of a particular law or point of view, consider where a judgment is incomplete or illogical, and developing your own viewpoint throughout the essay. 

Many students will leave their analysis until the conclusion, which is far too late. Instead, analysis needs to be intertwined throughout the essay itself. Understand what your opinion is, question legal assumptions, and avoid regurgitating the opinion of academics. 

I’ve found that it doesn’t matter how clumsy your own opinion is, as long as you have an opinion. There is never a correct way to approach legal grey areas, so it’s best to have an opinion and provide sufficient amounts of supporting evidence (from cases, journals, etc.). 

Crucially, ensure that each of your points are well-developed. When students feel out of their depth, they will demonstrate this by moving on to a new topic quickly without getting to grips with the point they’re trying to make. So get comfortable with the legal uncertainty surrounding your essay and be confident enough to have an opinion and back it up. 

Expressing Yourself

First class essays are truly unique. As a reader, you not only see that the student has fully understood the law but has made a clear effort to express themselves.

Importantly, you should aim to explain key concepts or ideas in your own words. This shows that you actually understand what these key concepts or ideas are without relying on someone else’s formulation. 

Students often think that their opinion or interpretation is less valid compared to professors or other academics. The truth is, your opinion is equally valid. If you see a legal concept or a legal idea from a different angle, don’t be afraid to let that known. You’ll be rewarded for doing so. 

Similarly, quotations should be rarely used and – when they are used – with good justification. The problem is, if you’re quoting other academics too often, you will water down your own opinions and ideas. Excessive quotations makes your essay into a patchwork and reformulation of thoughts from other people, and doesn’t adequately demonstrate your own ability to analyse the law.

There are really only three instances you should be putting direct quotations into your essay:

  • It supports something you’ve already said in your own words
  • It’s difficult to summarise a topic in your own words due to certain complexities or technicalities
  • It would be less effective to do so (perhaps because the original quotation is very well-known)

Style and Tone

When you write a legal essay you have a choice between writing in the first person (e.g. ‘I argue that . . .’) or the third person (e.g. ‘it is argued that . . . ‘). It’s completely up to you.

However, like with the previous two points I’ve made, it’s crucial the tone you choose gets your own point across. For instance, the problem with the third person is that the phrase “it is argued that” could mean “I argue that” or “others argue that”. So, if you do opt for the third person (or your university prefers it that way) be aware of the potential limitations in helping you to make your point. 

Other than that, ensure your essay is clear, concise and accurate. You should understand the law as fully as possible before putting pen to paper. If you’re not too sure what the law is or what something means you’re going to have no chance of analysing it effectively. It really is as simple as that.

The purpose of the conclusion is to persuasively draw together and summarise everything that you have already argued. The classic mistake here is try to add some new piece of information, whether that be some new material, thought, or a point of view. But, this will ultimately weaken the conclusion and reduce its impact.

Your goal with the conclusion therefore is simple: package your argument into a short paragraph and demonstrate how that answers the original essay question.

Finally every claim you make must be supported with an appropriate reference. 

Often, you will need to point the reader to a primary law (e.g. a case or statute), but other times the academic opinion in journal articles or books will suffice.

Your university will likely have its own guidelines for references – such as OSCOLA – so do check this out to ensure you do yours correctly (and you will lose marks if you do it wrong). However, in an exam full references aren’t necessary. Simply provide as much context as you can to provide some attempt to reference the source (e.g. Evans said X about this topic or Denning said Y about this topic in the case of Tom vs Jerry [2001]). 

If you want, you can  download my FREE OSCOLA reference guide !

There is no ‘one size fits all’ for writing a great law essay, but following the structure and guidance from this article will take you much of the way to where you need to be.

Nevertheless, if you need further guidance, please  download my FREE guide  where you can find even more information on this topic.

Thanks for reading!

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How to Write a Law Essay

Last Updated: August 11, 2023

This article was co-authored by Clinton M. Sandvick, JD, PhD . Clinton M. Sandvick worked as a civil litigator in California for over 7 years. He received his JD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1998 and his PhD in American History from the University of Oregon in 2013. This article has been viewed 241,103 times.

In a college legal studies course, and in some law school courses, you may be required to write a research paper addressing a legal topic. These essays can be tricky, because the law is constantly evolving. To secure a top grade, your essay must be well-researched and coherently argued. With proper planning and research, you can write a stellar legal essay. [Note: this article does not address how to write law school essay exams or bar exam questions, which require different techniques and strategies.]

Choosing an Essay Topic

Step 1 Carefully read the assignment prompt.

  • A narrow essay prompt might read, "Discuss the evolution and impact of the exclusionary rule of evidence in the United States." A broad prompt might read, "Discuss how a civil rights movement led to changes in federal and/or state law."
  • If you are invited to choose your own topic, your professor may require you to submit a written proposal or outline to ensure that your chosen topic complies with the prompt. If you are not sure if your topic is within the parameters of the prompt, propose your topic to your professor after class or during his or her office hours.

Step 2 Read any required materials.

  • Hopefully, your course readings, lectures, and class discussions will have given you enough background knowledge to select a topic. If not, review your class notes and browse online for additional background information.
  • It is not uncommon to change your topic after doing some research. You may end up narrowing the questions your essay will answer, or changing your topic completely.

Step 4 Choose an essay topic of interest to you.

  • If you can, try to focus on an are of the law that affects you. For example, if your family is involved in agriculture, you may be interested in writing about water use regulations .

Researching Your Topic

Step 1 Identify what types of sources you are required to use.

  • If you are prohibited from citing internet resources, you can still use online research to guide you to physical primary and secondary sources in your local library or bookstore.

Step 2 Begin with tertiary sources.

  • Look at footnotes, citations, and indexes in tertiary sources. These are great for finding books, articles, and legal cases that are relevant to your topic. Also take note of the names of authors, who may have written multiple works on your topic.

Step 3 Speak to a librarian.

  • Also find search engines for related fields, such as history or political science. Ask your librarian to recommend specialized search engines tailored to other disciplines that may have contributed to your topic.

Step 5 Gather sources and read them.

  • Never cut and paste from the web into your notes or essay. This often leads to inadvertent plagiarism because students forget what is a quotation and what is paraphrasing. When gathering sources, paraphrase or add quotation marks in your outline.
  • Plagiarism is a serious offense. If you ultimately hope to be a lawyer, an accusation of plagiarism could prevent you from passing the character and fitness review.

Step 7 Look for arguments on both sides of an issue.

Drafting the Essay

Step 1 Write your thesis statement.

  • An effective introduction takes the reader out of his world and into the world of your essay. [2] X Trustworthy Source University of North Carolina Writing Center UNC's on-campus and online instructional service that provides assistance to students, faculty, and others during the writing process Go to source Explain why the subject is important and briefly summarizes the rest of your argument. After reading your introduction, your reader should know what you are going to discuss and in what order you will be discussing it.
  • Be prepared to revise your introduction later. Summarizing your essay will be easier after you have written it, especially if you deviate from your outline.

Step 4 Develop your arguments.

  • State each argument of your essay as a statement that, if true, would support your thesis statement.
  • Provide supporting information drawn from primary and secondary sources that support your argument. Remember to cite your sources.
  • Provide your own original analysis, explaining to the reader that based on the primary and secondary sources you have presented, the reader should be persuaded by your argument.

Step 5 Outline counter-arguments.

Formatting Your Essay

Step 1 Review your essay prompt.

Proofreading the Essay

Step 1 Read the essay backwards.

  • Open up a Word document. On the Quick Access Toolbar at the top, click on the down arrow. The words “Customize Quick Access Toolbar” will appear when you hover over the arrow for two seconds.
  • Click on the arrow. Then click on “More Commands.”
  • In the “Choose commands from” drop-down box, choose “All commands.”
  • Scroll down to find “Speak.” Highlight this and then click “add.” Then click “okay.” Now the Speak function should appear on your Quick Access Toolbar.
  • Highlight the text you want read back to you, and then click on the Speak icon. The text will be read back to you.

Step 3 Search for common typographical errors.

  • Do not rely on a spell checker exclusively, as it will not catch typos like "statute" versus "statue."

Revising the Essay

Step 1 Share the essay with a classmate.

  • You can share the essay with someone outside of class, but a classmate more likely has the requisite knowledge to understand the subject matter of the essay.

Step 2 Incorporate your professor’s comments.

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  • ↑ https://owl.english.purdue.edu/engagement/2/2/53/
  • ↑ http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/introductions/
  • ↑ https://www.legalbluebook.com/
  • ↑ https://support.office.com/en-ca/article/Using-the-Speak-text-to-speech-feature-459e7704-a76d-4fe2-ab48-189d6b83333c

About This Article

Clinton M. Sandvick, JD, PhD

To write a law essay, start by writing a thesis statement on your chosen topic. Phrase your thesis statement as an argument, using words like “because” or “therefore” to state your point. Write an outline of the arguments you will use to support your thesis statement, then use that outline to build the body of your paper. Include any counter-arguments, but use your evidence to convince the reader why your point of view is valid, and the counter-arguments are not. Be sure to cite all of your sources in the format preferred by your professor. For tips from our reviewer on finding the best sources for your topic, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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How to Write a Law Essay: 8 Steps

December 28, 2023

1. Choosing an Essay Topic

When it comes to writing a law essay, choosing an appropriate topic is crucial. A well-chosen topic will make your research and writing process smoother and more enjoyable, while a poorly chosen topic can lead to frustration and a lackluster essay.

Firstly, consider what has piqued your interest in your law studies so far. Perhaps there was a case or topic that you found particularly intriguing, or an aspect of law that you feel needs further exploration. Alternatively, you could focus on a current legal issue that you feel strongly about and want to delve deeper into.

It’s also important to make sure your topic isn’t too broad or too narrow. Too broad of a topic can result in a lack of focus, while a topic that is too narrow won’t give you enough research material to work with.

Ultimately, choosing a law essay topic is about finding a balance between your personal interests and the practical aspects of your assignment. Take the time to carefully consider your options, and don’t be afraid to ask for input or guidance from your professor or classmates.

Possible Law Essay Topics

  • The impact of social media on defamation laws.
  • Analyzing the constitutionality of mandatory minimum sentencing.
  • The effectiveness of restorative justice in reducing recidivism rates.
  • Legal implications of artificial intelligence in the workplace.
  • Exploring the rights of privacy versus national security in the digital age.
  • Examining the legal and ethical issues surrounding euthanasia.
  • Assessing the role of international law in combating climate change.
  • Analyzing the legal framework for cyberbullying and online harassment.
  • The legalization and regulation of recreational marijuana: a critical analysis.
  • Exploring the intersection of intellectual property rights and emerging technologies.

Remember to choose a topic that aligns with your interests and research availability, while ensuring that it is adequately focused for a detailed analysis within the scope of your essay.

2. Researching the Topic

Before diving into writing a law essay, it’s essential to conduct thorough research on the chosen topic. This step is critical to ensure that the essay is factually correct, well-supported, and logically structured. Here are some tips on how to research effectively for a law essay:

  • Begin by gathering basic information. Use specialized textbooks, journals, and databases to gain a foundational understanding of the topic.
  • Use secondary sources to gain a broader perspective on the topic. Utilize reputable news sources, government publications, and online legal databases to broaden your search.
  • Access case law. To support your arguments, cite legal cases that illustrate your argument. Access online case law databases that have accessible search functions.
  • Use primary sources. Primary sources include statutes, regulation, and the constitution. It’s important to have a good grasp of the primary sources since they are the basis of much of legal research.
  • Take notes. Keep track of all relevant information, including sources and citations. Use an organized format that will make outlining and writing the essay a simpler process.
  • Evaluate and analyze. Through the research process, it’s important to analyze the information found. Determine what is and is not relevant, and how it factors into your argument.

By conducting thorough research, you will be able to support your argument with a well-evidenced and structured essay. Remember to keep track of all sources and citations as they will be necessary in the writing process.

3. Developing Strong Thesis Statement

Developing a strong thesis statement is essential when writing a law essay. This powerful statement sets the tone for the entire article and guides the reader’s understanding of your argument. To create an effective thesis statement, you must first fully understand the topic and question at hand. Take your time to research and gather relevant information to support your viewpoint. As you delve deeper into the subject, analyze different perspectives and identify the key arguments surrounding the topic. Once you have a clear understanding of the various viewpoints, narrow down your focus and craft a concise and persuasive thesis statement that clearly states your position. Remember, a strong thesis statement should be debatable, specific, and assertive. Spend time honing your thesis to ensure it effectively conveys your argument and engages the reader’s interest.

Example thesis statement:

“The death penalty should be abolished in the United States because it violates the Eighth Amendment, fails to act as an effective deterrent, and disproportionately affects marginalized communities.”

4. Structuring the Law Essay

Structuring your law essay is crucial to ensure clarity, coherence, and a logical flow of ideas. Here’s a breakdown of how to structure your law essay:

Introduction:

  • Provide a brief overview of the topic and its significance.
  • Present the thesis statement, clearly stating your argument.

Background and Context:

  • Provide necessary background information to help the reader understand the topic.
  • Explain relevant legal concepts, principles, or statutes related to your argument.
  • Start each paragraph with a topic sentence that relates to your thesis statement.
  • Present your arguments and support them with evidence, case law, or legal authorities.
  • Use clear and concise language to explain your points and provide analysis.

Counter-Argument:

  • Acknowledge and present the counter-argument(s) objectively and logically.
  • Refute the counter-argument(s) with reasoned explanations and supportive evidence.

Conclusion:

  • Summarize your main arguments and their supporting evidence.
  • Restate your thesis statement and highlight its significance.
  • Offer some final thoughts or suggestions for further research or action.

Remember to use appropriate headings and subheadings to structure your essay effectively. Use transition words and phrases to ensure a smooth flow between paragraphs. Additionally, ensure proper citations and referencing throughout the essay to maintain academic integrity.

5. Writing the Introduction

Writing the introduction is your opportunity to grab the reader’s attention and set the tone for your entire law essay. Here’s how you can effectively structure your introduction:

Start with a hook:

  • Use a compelling statement, anecdote, or a relevant quote to engage the reader and create interest in your topic.

Provide background information:

  • Give a brief overview of the legal issue or topic you will be discussing.
  • Explain the significance and relevance of the topic to the field of law or society at large.

State the purpose and scope of your essay:

  • Clearly state your thesis statement, which should encapsulate your main argument.
  • Mention the key points you will address and the legal principles, cases, or statutes you will analyze.

Outline the essay structure:

  • Provide a brief outline of how your essay will be structured.
  • Mention the main sections or arguments you will present.

Establish the context:

  • Explain any necessary legal concepts, terms, or background information that the reader needs to understand.

Remember to keep your introduction concise and focused. It should provide enough information to orient the reader and generate interest in your essay. However, save the detailed arguments and evidence for the main body of your essay. Aim to make your introduction clear, engaging, and persuasive, setting the stage for the rest of your law essay.

6. Developing the Body Paragraphs

Developing the body paragraphs is the core of your law essay, where you present and support your arguments with evidence and analysis. Here’s how to effectively structure and develop your body paragraphs:

Start with a topic sentence:

  • Each body paragraph should begin with a clear topic sentence that relates to your thesis statement.
  • The topic sentence sets the tone and direction for the paragraph.

Present your argument:

  • Clearly state your argument or point of view in the opening sentences of each paragraph.
  • Provide supporting evidence, such as case law, statutory provisions, or legal principles, to back up your argument.

Analyze and interpret the evidence:

  • Explain the significance of the evidence in relation to your argument.
  • Analyze how the evidence supports and strengthens your position.

Use legal authorities and sources:

  • Cite relevant cases, statutes, or legal commentary to support your arguments.
  • Refer to authoritative legal sources, such as court decisions or academic articles, to provide credibility.

Use clear and concise language:

  • Clearly articulate your ideas using logical transitions and precise language.
  • Avoid unnecessary jargon or overly complex language that may confuse the reader.

Remember to properly structure your paragraphs, provide sufficient evidence and analysis, and link your arguments back to your main thesis statement. Each paragraph should contribute to the overall coherence and flow of your essay, ensuring a convincing and well-supported argument.

7. Present the Counter-argument

Presenting the counter-argument is an essential component of writing a persuasive law essay. Failing to acknowledge opposing viewpoints weakens your argument and makes it appear biased. Therefore, it is crucial to identify different perspectives surrounding the topic and analyze these perspectives objectively. Once you have identified the counter-argument, you can present it in your essay, offering evidence and explanations to support it. Addressing counter-arguments in your essay strengthens your credibility as a writer and demonstrates your ability to look at a topic from multiple perspectives. Additionally, this approach makes your essay more convincing by acknowledging and addressing potential criticism of your argument. Keep in mind that effectively presenting the counter-argument requires thorough research, logical reasoning, and evidence-based arguments. Therefore, take your time to critically analyze opposing views to ensure your argument is backed up by relevant and reliable supporting evidence. By doing so, you can construct a well-reasoned and thoughtful essay that can withstand any counter-argument.

8. Crafting the Conclusion

Crafting a strong conclusion is essential to leave a lasting impression on the reader and effectively summarize your arguments in a law essay. Here are some key steps to consider when writing your conclusion:

Summarize your main points:

  • Recapitulate the main arguments you presented in the body paragraphs.
  • Provide a brief overview of the evidence you presented to support each argument.

Reinforce your thesis statement:

  • Restate your thesis statement in a concise manner to remind the reader of your main argument.
  • Emphasize the significance and relevance of your thesis in the context of the larger legal issue.

Offer a broader perspective:

  • Connect your arguments to the wider legal or societal implications of the topic.
  • Discuss the potential consequences or impact of your findings on the field of law or legal practice.

Suggest areas for further research:

  • Highlight any unanswered questions or areas of debate that may require future exploration.
  • Propose avenues for future research or policy development related to your topic.

Conclude with a compelling closing statement:

  • Leave the reader with a thought-provoking final remark that leaves a lasting impression.
  • Use a concise and powerful statement to tie together your essay and reinforce your main message.

Ensure that your conclusion is concise, focused, and aligned with your overall argument. It should serve as a strong ending to your law essay, leaving the reader with a clear understanding of your position and the importance of the topic discussed.

Use Legal Terms Accurately

In the realm of writing law essays, the accurate and precise use of legal terms is paramount. This subheading focuses on the importance of correctly employing legal terminology in order to craft an exceptional law essay.

Mastering legal terminology is essential for two reasons. Firstly, it demonstrates an understanding and grasp of the subject matter, showcasing your expertise to both professors and potential employers. Secondly, using legal terms accurately enhances the clarity and coherence of your arguments, making your essay more persuasive and compelling. However, it is crucial to strike a balance – overusing legal jargon may alienate readers who are not well-versed in the law.

To ensure accuracy, it is imperative to consult reliable legal sources such as authoritative textbooks, journals, or statutes. Moreover, reading and analyzing sample essays or exemplary legal writing can provide guidance on how to effectively incorporate legal terms into your own work. By diligently honing your legal language skills, you will significantly elevate the quality and impact of your law essays.

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Learn How to Perfectly Structure a Law Essay

A law essay needs an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. usually, each body paragraph contains one idea. the introduction features one paragraph that highlights the topic and concludes with a thesis statement. the conclusion is a summary of the introduction and the key points in the body paragraphs. .

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Concision is a key issue that requires attention in a law essay. Every point you introduce requires to be supported by authorities. It can be a statute or a case law. Pay attention to the structure and type of law essay you are writing, such as compare and contrast, critical analysis, argumentative, and descriptive. 

Pay attention to the key features of a law essay

A law essay focuses on legal issues which can be both current and historical. You can compare and contrast the application of justice in the past and modern society. You could look at key amendments to the constitution. Sometimes, the lecturer could be specific on the topic to cover. It is beneficial to request help from  assignment services  if you have difficulties writing or lack time. 

The key features of an attractive law essay include the following:

● A strongly defended and clear thesis statement

● Use of correct references and quotations

● Writing concisely in the right style

● Following a well-defined structure and flow

● Expressing a high creativity level based on deeply researched arguments that respond to the essay question. 

● Being attentive to details while focusing on the essay question

● Staying within the legal frameworks and using the simplest language possible

Find an attractive topic

The professor will love your essay if he notices you are keen when selecting the topic. It must be aligned with the essay question and directly address the issue at hand. Every legal paper provides an analysis of the law, which requires you to study the law and research its application widely. The information you get will give you broader ideas on the topic to choose. Structure the topic in a way that makes it attractive in the eyes of the reader. 

Create your writing plan

The amount of information required in a law essay is huge. You will be required to gather it from multiple sources and consolidate it into the most appealing essay. This calls for proper planning from the starting point to the end. Since you require ample time, the first item should be the amount of time you need to complete a detailed law essay. Give yourself enough time and, if possible, the maximum time. 

If you have two weeks to the submission date, plan how you will do your research. Based on the type of essay you are writing, research to know the types of sources that will provide the right information. Plan how you will access each source, the amount of information to get from there, and how to get it. It is crucial to record each source for the sake of references. Create a writing plan based on the information available to you. This includes the points to use in each section and how to use them. 

Develop an outline

The outline helps to make sure you do not leave out any important point or section. If you fail to create a good outline, your essay law essay structure will be flawed. The outline draft includes every point that you will use in the three main parts of an essay. There will be one key point for the introduction, three or four points for the body, and another point for the conclusion. Write guided by the outline and then write the final draft based on the outline draft. Pay attention to these three parts. 

While you create the plan, it is important to note that you need the best resume to apply as an intern or to find your first job. To ensure success, approach a  write my essay for me  service. Getting professional help is your best option to impress the recruiters who scan your CV as the first thing when you apply for a job.

Introduction

In this section, state clearly what the essay is about. Most creatively, inform the reader what your discussion is about. Hook the readers by making the introduction engaging and interesting. The paragraph concludes with a thesis statement that tells the reader how you will interpret the law and its importance in the topic. 

Mostly, the body of a law essay consists of three or four paragraphs. It is the main part of the essay and covers the key arguments. This is the section where you provide your evidence to the point stated in your thesis statement. Each body paragraph is a unique unit that covers one point plus its supporting evidence. 

A good body paragraph structure covers three main sections. It starts with the main sentence, which introduces the key argument. The middle part contains the supporting information to the point. You may include relevant minor points to provide greater weight to the main point. The final section is the concluding sentence which crowns the entire paragraph. It is also the transition sentence into the next paragraph and point. 

The conclusion is the last paragraph of your law essay. It reaffirms your points in the body and the thesis statement. Provide a summary of your main point in this section. You may provide a suggestion about what might need further research but avoid introducing a new point. 

Issues to pay attention to

A good essay structure should be simple and easy to follow. Stay within the academic writing guidelines and language. Make sure every source used is referenced based on the citation style of law essays. Use phrases such as it is possible that …, this question deals with…, and it can be argued that …

Writing a law essay is different from writing a case file. You are required to demonstrate your understanding of the law in your araguments. Each argument should be systematically and logically developed. Keep the structure neat, coherent, and effective. With the right information, it should not be difficult thing to write a law essay. What is required from you is a high level of creativity and thinking outside the box. 

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General Comments about Writing a Law Essay

·            The purpose of your article is to state and prove your thesis. You need to persuade your reader that your prescriptive proposal, i.e., the solution to the selected legal problem, is doctrinally sound. In other words, you need to convince the reader that your thesis is correct and that it is the best way of solving the problem you have identified.

·            You need to find authority for every question of law and matter of fact.

·            Make sure your ideas are really your own ideas, even if you think of an idea on your own, preemption check the idea and cite others with similar ideas in order to avoid plagiarism.

·            Use meaningful titles to introduce the article and each section.

·            Transition smoothly between issues to assure logical flow.

·            Address the opposing arguments that others could make against your thesis.

·            Place periods and commas before footnotes and quotation marks. (e.g., “ Place periods and commas. ” [1] )

Structure of a Law Essay

·            The title should:

o          persuade people to read the article;

o          frame readers’ thinking, i.e., focus the attention of the reader on a specific angle or aspect of the problem that you want them to focus on;

o          help readers remember your article.

Introduction

·            The introduction acquaints the reader with the topic. Its purpose is to get the readers’ attention and make them want to read the essay. For this reason, you should try to make your introduction interesting, engaging, and original.  

·            A good way to attract attention is to show that there is an important and interesting problem that needs to be resolved. The most compelling problems are concrete.

·            Organization of the essay : The introduction must also help organize the essay. It should tell the readers what you are going to say in your essay.

·            The introduction should be short, simple, and clear.

·            The most important aspect of your introduction is your thesis.

o          The thesis should clearly and specifically convey your point.

o          The thesis should deal with a legal problem, e.g., an unresolved issue, a legal controversy, etc.

o          The most interesting theses are those that combine a descriptive (a claim about what the law is or was) and prescriptive (a proposal about what should be done) claim.

·            Context : You also need to place your thesis into some larger context.

Background or overview of the problem

·            This section explains the problem you seek to address, in other words, why you are writing this paper.  If the problem is the status quo, you need to explain why it is a problem. If the status quo is not a problem, you need to explain why it is not and why you are writing about it.

·            You need to explain the legal and factual frameworks that are necessary to understand your article.

·            Support your assertions with facts and with authors who have recognized a similar problem.

Thesis development

(several sections, each with its own thematic subheading)

·            You need to develop your thesis, i.e., you need to prove your point.

·            Find arguments to support your thesis.

·            Use examples from class, including class activities, class discussions, and required readings.

·            Make reference to theories and problems analyzed in class.

·            Think of possible counterarguments and discuss them.

·            Analyze the law.

·            This is your own critical analysis of the law and how it bears on the problem you identified.

·            Make your analysis in light of the theoretical framework analyzed in class, including the notions of law, traditions, functions, dysfunctions, sources, types of law, and classifications.

·            Consider policy arguments and social consequences of your arguments.

·            Include the implications and connections that are necessary to a full understanding of your point.

·            Use thematic subheadings to introduce every argument, idea, or example.

·            Divide your arguments in body paragraphs. Each body paragraph should make just one point that clearly develops and supports the thesis. In the same way that you have a thesis to indicate the point of the essay, you should have a topic sentence for each body paragraph . T he topic sentence states the point of the paragraph, and all of the other sentences should support, develop, and explain that point. Because the topic sentence plays an important role in your paragraph, it must be crafted with care.

·            The purpose of the conclusion is to bring the essay to a satisfying close. You should avoid bringing up a new point in your conclusion and you should avoid lengthy and excessive summary. The most successful conclusions are thoughtful and reflective.

·            Back to context. After having presented your topic and proven your thesis, you want to be able to make an overarching statement based on that information. Just as the introduction sought to place the paper in the larger context about the topic, so should the conclusion insist on returning the reader to that ongoing conversation .

·            Summarize your thesis and main arguments.

Sources on academic legal writing:

·            Gerald Lebovits, The Legal Writer. Academic Legal Writing: How to Write and Publish, 64 NYSBA 2006, 50.

·            Eugene Volokh, Academic Legal Writing: Law Review Articles, Student Notes, Seminars, Papers, and Getting on Law Review 24 (3 rd . 2007).

·            Florida Gulf Coast University’s Writing Center and Dartmouth University’ Writing Program.

·            Aaron Schwabach, Anatomy of a Law Review Article, Thomas Jefferson Law Review Association 2005.

Legal databases:

·            Quicklaw (Wishart Library website)

·            Heinonline (Wishart Library website)

·            JSTOR (Wishart Library website)

·            www.canlii.org

[1] Gerald Lebovits, The Legal Writer. Academic Legal Writing: How to Write and Publish, 64 NYSBA 2006, 51.

Law Essay Examples

Nova A.

10+ Winning Law Essays Examples | Boost Your Grades Now

Published on: May 8, 2023

Last updated on: Jan 30, 2024

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Are you looking for inspiration to get started on your law essay? If so keep reading! 

As a law student, you're expected to have excellent writing skills. Your essays should be well-structured, articulate, and persuasive. However, it's not always easy to know where to start or how to approach your writing. 

That's where law essay examples come in - they provide a valuable resource that can help guide you through the process.

In this blog, we'll explore the law essay examples on different topics. Moreover, we will analyze the structure and format of a law essay. 

So, let's get started!

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What is a Law Essay? 

A law essay is a written assignment that requires the writer to analyze and evaluate legal issues, cases, or concepts. 

The purpose of a law essay is to demonstrate a student's understanding of the subject matter. It also shows the student's ability to present an argument in a concise manner. 

Want to gain more knowledge on how to write a high-quality law essay? Check out this video for insightful tips!

University Law Essay Examples

Let's take a closer look at some excellent university law essay examples that highlight the proper use of references.

Law Reflective Essay Example

Law Enforcement Essay Example

Law Reform Essay Example

Law Research Essay Example

Below, you will find some additional law essay samples that you may come across in your university assignments.

First Class Law Essay Example

Law School Transfer Essay Example

Law School Why X Essay Example

Law Essay Format and Structure

A well-structured and formatted law essay is essential for receiving high marks. Here are some key elements that should be included:

1. Introduction

  • The introduction should introduce the main arguments of the essay.
  • The first sentence should be attention-grabbing.
  • The introduction should provide concise information about the broader significance of the topic.
  • It should lead into the body of the essay.
  • Each paragraph should have a clear topic sentence.
  • The paragraph should include supporting evidence and analysis.
  • The paragraphs should be logically connected.

3. Conclusion:

  • The conclusion should summarize the main arguments of the essay.
  • It should not introduce new information.
  • It should demonstrate the significance of the arguments.

Let's take a look at an example of a well-structured law essay:

The pharmaceutical industry is one of the most important industries in the world, contributing significantly to the economy and improving the quality of life for millions of people. Intellectual property rights play a crucial role in this industry, as they protect the investments made by pharmaceutical companies in research and development. This essay will examine the impact of intellectual property rights on the pharmaceutical industry and argue that these rights are necessary to incentivize innovation and maintain a competitive market.

Discuss the importance of intellectual property rights in the pharmaceutical industry
Examine the role of patents in protecting innovation in the industry
Analyze the impact of patent expiration on the industry and the introduction of generic drugs
Discuss the controversy surrounding high drug prices and the role of intellectual property rights
Examine the international framework for intellectual property rights and its impact on the pharmaceutical industry

In conclusion, the pharmaceutical industry relies heavily on intellectual property rights to incentivize innovation and maintain a competitive market. Patents play a crucial role in protecting the investments made by pharmaceutical companies in research and development, while the expiration of patents and the introduction of generic drugs provide affordable options for consumers. However, the controversy surrounding high drug prices highlights the need for a balanced approach to intellectual property rights. The international framework for intellectual property rights also plays an important role in the industry, as it provides a global framework for protecting innovation.

Check out the following pdfs for a better understanding:

Law Essay Format pdf

Law Essay Introduction Example pdf

Specific Law Essay Topics

Let's take a look at some specific law essay topic examples that can provide a foundation for deeper analysis.

Criminal Law Essay Example

Case Law Essay Example

Law Case Analysis Essay Example

Contract Law Essay Example

Ilac Law Essay Example

Public Law Essay Example

Critical Analysis Law Essay Example

Contract Law Essay Example Offer Acceptance

Additional Law Essay Samples

Let's explore some of the most frequently assigned law essay topics for writing assignments.

Development of Welfare Legislation for Animal Testing

Legal Analysis of Donald Trump's Leadership Style

Torts of Negligence and Battery in Medical Law

The Frustration of Contract in the Coronation Cases

Effectiveness of Gun Control Laws in the United States

The Unjust Intersection of Police Brutality and Racism

Nike Faces Gender Discrimination Lawsuit

A Dream to Become a Lawyer

Hate Crime Laws

Law Essay Writing Tips and Best Practices

Writing a law essay can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. Here are some tips and best practices to help you write a successful law essay:

  • Understand the assignment: Before you start writing your essay, make sure you understand the assignment requirements. This includes the topic, formatting requirements, and any specific instructions from your professor.
  • Research extensively: A good law essay requires thorough research on the topic. Make use of primary and secondary sources, such as case law, legal journals, and academic articles, to support your arguments.
  • Plan your essay: Before you start writing, plan your essay structure. This includes an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. The body paragraphs should be organized logically, with each paragraph focusing on a specific point or argument.
  • Use clear and concise language: The language used in a law essay should be clear, concise, and precise. Avoid using jargon or technical terms that may be unfamiliar to the reader. Use plain language that is easy to understand.
  • Cite your sources: In a law essay, it is important to cite your sources properly. Use the appropriate citation style, such as APA or MLA.  Make sure to include a bibliography or reference list at the end of your essay.
  • Use reputable sources: Ensure that your sources are reputable and reliable. Use academic databases, such as LexisNexis or Westlaw, to find legal cases and journal articles.
  • Seek feedback: It can be helpful to seek feedback from your professor or a peer before submitting your essay. This can help you identify any areas that need improvement and ensure that your arguments are persuasive and well-supported

Common Mistakes To Avoid In Law Essay Writing

Here are some most common mistakes to avoid when writing a law essay:

  • Failing to answer the question: Make sure that your essay clearly answers the question posed.
  • Lack of clarity: Ensure that your essay is clear, concise, and well-organized.
  • Plagiarism: Avoid plagiarism by properly citing all sources used in your essay.
  • Inaccurate legal analysis: Ensure that your legal analysis is accurate and supported by legal authority.
  • Poor syntax: Use proper grammar and syntax to ensure that your essay is well-written and easy to understand.

How To Edit And Proofread Your Law Essay 

Here are some great tips to perfect your law essay:

  • Take a break: Take a break before editing and proofreading to ensure a fresh perspective.
  • Review for clarity: Review your essay for clarity, ensuring that your arguments are well-supported and easy to understand.
  • Check for accuracy: Check your essay for accuracy, including legal analysis and citations.
  • Check for grammar and spelling: Check for proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
  • Read aloud: Read your essay aloud to catch any errors or awkward phrasing.

To sum it up!

Writing a law essay requires careful planning, extensive research, and attention to detail. Throughout this blog, we have explored different law essay examples. We have also discussed the format and structure of a well-written law essay. 

By avoiding common mistakes and following best practices, you can write a successful essay. However, if you find yourself struggling with your law essay, do not hesitate to seek help from CollegeEssay.org .

We offer top-quality essay writing service to students at all academic levels. 

Get in touch with our law essay writing service now and say ' write my essay ' and let us help you achieve your academic goals!

Also, give our AI essay writing tools a try!

Nova A. (Literature, Marketing)

As a Digital Content Strategist, Nova Allison has eight years of experience in writing both technical and scientific content. With a focus on developing online content plans that engage audiences, Nova strives to write pieces that are not only informative but captivating as well.

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structure of a law essay

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