Legal Advice Case Work

The details
Law (School of)
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 5
Thursday 03 October 2019
Friday 26 June 2020
05 August 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

The module examines, in a clinical setting, a number of issues surrounding the provision of legal advice and involves the student training as an adviser with the University of Essex's Law Clinic. As a result, this provides practical experience of advice work, mainly, but not exclusively, of a legal nature.

The module involves students engaging in a different form of learning to most of their other courses. This form of learning is often called experiential learning because it involves the use of real-life experiences as the basis for learning. In law school, it is usually called clinical legal education. Throughout the world and increasingly in the United Kingdom clinical legal education is becoming central to legal education.

According to one expert, 'Clinical Legal Education involves an intensive small group learning experience in which each student takes responsibility for legal and related work for a client (whether real or simulated) in collaboration with a supervisor. The student takes the opportunity to reflect on matters including their interactions with the client, their colleagues and their supervisor as well as the ethical aspects and impact of the law and legal process'.

The module starts with an induction into clinical advice work. It will first provide students with the skills and ethical frameworks necessary to equip them to provide legal services to community members as an adviser with the University of Essex's Law Clinic (ELC). Then it will provide students with the opportunity both in class and through written assignments to reflect on their experiences in terms of what they have learnt about legal skills, their own professional development, and their work in teams and for ELC clients.

Please note that this module is suitable for students that have not previously undertaken the Essex Law Clinic induction programme. Students that have undertaken the induction should consider enrolling in LW352 Advanced Legal Advice Casework.

Module aims

1. To provide students through experience of clinical practice with a basic knowledge and understanding of some key concepts and principles central to the work of legal advice workers.

2. To provide students with experience of legal advice work in areas such as benefits advice, housing rights, equality and employment law, family law and consumer issues.

3. To encourage an appreciation of the social and political context in which legal advice operates.

4. To introduce students to the practice of reflection on experience in order to improve their performance and understanding of legal work.

Module learning outcomes

On completion of this module the students should be able to:

1. Undertake a range of tasks and activities concerned with legal advice work.

2. Apply legal and, as appropriate, other skills in a practical and focused way to problems or project topics.

3. Assess and reflect on the work undertaken and set the work into the conceptual frameworks developed on the rest of their LLB degree programme.

Module information


In the spring term, skills training will be provided in interviewing, case management (including data protection, keeping a file, etc), practical legal research, letter writing; and one or more advanced skills such as mediation, advocacy, and advising vulnerable clients.

In the autumn term, the focus will be on advice work, together with a mix of seminars, simulations, semimars and reflective case surgeries.

Students will only be able to participate in this module if they apply for and maintain clinic membership, are able to attend clinic sessions, and are prepared to sign a confidentiality policy and uphold the University's equalities policies.

To become a clinic member students must apply, undertake an interview and be accepted.

To apply to become a clinic member please e-mail elawclinic@essex.ac.uk to request an application form. The clinic is only able to take on a limited number of student volunteers in line with available resources. Student numbers on this module will also have to be restricted in line with available resources.

Learning and teaching methods

Teaching will be by way of weekly two-hour classroom sessions in the Autumn term followed by a mix of seminars and reflective case surgeries in the Spring term.

Teaching will also be by way of participation in a variety of clinical activities under supervision. Skills training will be delivered in the form of lecturer instruction and exercises involving simulated legal work.


This module does not appear to have any essential texts. To see non-essential items, please refer to the module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Summative Assignment 1    33.4% 
Coursework   Summative Assignment 2    66.6% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Mr Lee Hansen, email: l.hansen@essex.ac.uk.
Mr Lee Hansen, Prof Donald Nicolson, Elizabeth Fisher-Frank and Dr Jaime Lindsay
Law General Office, 01206 872529, lawugadmin@essex.ac.uk


Travel costs for UK - based unpaid, approved work placements and live projects which are an integral part of a module may be covered by your department. (NB this will usually exclude field trips and site visits). Please check with your module supervisor to ensure that the activity is eligible.

External examiner

Ms Lydia Katherine Bleasdale-Hill
The University of Leeds
Director of the Clinic
Available via Moodle
Of 33 hours, 24 (72.7%) hours available to students:
9 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Law (School of)

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