The Federation Press

The Law Workbook


This book lays the groundwork for you to become a capable legal researcher, whether you aim to work as a lawyer, in legal policy or in an ancillary legal role. Through active learning exercises and reflective journaling you will not only learn how to research but also be able to understand your own strengths and weaknesses, to develop as a legal professional.

Reading this book will not automatically transform you into a researcher just as reading a cookbook will not make you into a chef instantly and reading a woodworking manual will not turn you into a carpenter. You learn by doing and this manual is a tool to help you get your hands dirty.

This edition, a successor to Legal and Justice Studies Workbook, has been largely rewritten from the ground up as a response to the changing nature of research and university learning in the ten years since the first edition. While some of the sub sections remain the same the overall approach has been altered to focus on reflective learning and on the nature of information. We are in an exciting time for researchers as the internet has entirely reshaped the research field and continues to do so. To keep up with these developments we need to ask serious questions about what information is, how we evaluate it and how we apply it in the construction of research projects.

Table of Contents

Part A: Getting Prepared
The Tools
Reading as a Skill
1: Evaluating the contents of the Box

Preparing your Workspace
2: Making plans

Part B: Your Materials
Working with Information
3: Getting on top of all that information

Legal Research Materials
Finding and Citing Legal Sources
4: Understanding the Legal Authorities

Part C: The Construction Process
Building an Original
Using Cases: Originality and Authorities
Example of Legal Problem Solving:
5: An Example of Good Writing

Putting the Pieces Together
6: The One Page Paper

Part D: Projects
Report on A Court Visit
7: The Court Report

Mapping Legal Networks
Some Legal Network Maps
8: Mapping a Legal Network

Part E: Things to Make and Do
Justice Research
9: Giving and Taking Feedback

Law Reform
10: Stepping Back


Of interest...