Legal Advice Case Work

The details
Law (School of)
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 5
Thursday 08 October 2020
Friday 02 July 2021
21 October 2020


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 apply their newly developed legal advice skills and 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.

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.

Please note that this module may only be undertaken by members of the Essex Law Clinic either as:
* Level 5 students that have successfully applied to the Essex Law Clinic for direct entry in 2020/21 (See below for details on how to apply); or
* Level 5 students that have successfully advanced from Bronze to Silver membership level during the 2019/20 academic year (whether or not they have undertaken any skills training as Bronze members).

To apply to become a Clinic member please e-mail lawclinic@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.

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

To undertake cases students must complete all compulsory induction sessions. Students must maintain Clinic membership, be able to attend clinic sessions, and be prepared to sign a confidentiality policy and uphold the University's equalities policies.

Module aims

* 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.

* 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.

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

* 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:

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

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

* 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 autumn term, skills training will be provided in interviewing, practical legal research, letter writing; and one or more advanced skills such as negotiation and advising vulnerable clients. Other areas covered to support student's legal advice casework may include topics such as legal ethics, civil litigation, alternative sources of funding for client's cases, effective signposting and referral and wellbeing in legal practice.

In the spring term, the focus will be on advice work within the Clinic (either on campus, in the community or through online provision), together with a mix of seminars and reflective case surgeries (tutorials).

Learning and teaching methods

In the Autumn Term, this module consists of 10 weekly 50-minute small group tutorials. Each week before your tutorials, the module teaching team will make available on Moodle two or more pre-recorded video lectures that they have prepared and produced. In total, the duration of each week's video lectures will be approximately 50 minutes. Youwill be expected to have watched these lectures before the tutorials.In the Spring Term, the teaching will begin with a 50-minute webinarand will then consist of fortnightly 50-minute case surgeries in which you will reflect together with your peers on your cases and experiences within the Clinic. The module teaching team will also prepare, produce and upload to Moodle two or more pre-recorded video lectures to be watched before the case surgeries. In the Spring Term there will also be a greater focus on advice work. Therefore, learning and teaching will also be by way of participation in a variety of clinical activities(for example interviewing a client and preparing a letter of adviceunder supervision).The module teaching team will also produce and make available on Moodle short guidance notes for each weekly tutorial or case surgery. These notes will introduce any set readings and preparation that must be completed in advance of each tutorial or case surgery. You will be expected to have completed the readings and preparation in advance of your tutorials. Yourtutorials will enable you to discuss the readings in the context of specific tutorial questions, to obtain feedback on your pre-class preparation and to deepen your understanding of key concepts. In skills-based sessions, the tutorials will enable you to apply and develop your skills and again to obtain feedback on the development of your skills. To help you prepare in the best possible way for your tutorials, you will be completing regularsmall assessed activities toenable you to track your progress, understand what you are doing well, and give you clear feedback to help you manage your studies and your progress.


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   Skills-based Coursework Assignment    20% 
Coursework   Summative Essay    60% 
Practical   Online Forum Participation    20% 

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, Dr Timea Tallodi
Law General Office, 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

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
Of 1761 hours, 20 (1.1%) hours available to students:
1741 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)

Disclaimer: The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its Module Directory is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to programmes, modules, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to modules may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery or assessment of modules and other services, to discontinue modules and other services and to merge or combine modules. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications and module directory.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.