Legal Advice Case Work

The details
Law (School of)
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 5
Thursday 07 October 2021
Friday 01 July 2022
12 August 2021


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.

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

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.

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.

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. You will be expected to have watched these lectures before the tutorials. In the Spring Term, the teaching will begin with a 50-minute webinar and 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 advice under 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. Your tutorials 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 regular small assessed activities to enable 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.


  • (no date) Civil Procedure Rules (take a look at these).
  • Ridsdale, Georgina. (2020) 'The Nature, Extent, and Recovery of Legal Costs', in Civil Litigation 2020-2021: Oxford University Press, USA., pp.33-50
  • Ridsdale, Georgina. (2020) 'Starting Your Court Action and Serving It on the Defendant', in Civil Litigation 2020-2021: Oxford University Press, USA., pp.132-169
  • Webb, Julian S. (2005) 'Learning to Live in the Swamp', in Lawyering skills and the legal process, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Heslop, Elaine. (©2014) 'The Client', in Giving legal advice: an adviser's handbook, London: Legal Action Group.
  • Gibbs, Graham. (1988) Learning by Doing: a guide to teaching and learning methods.
  • Ridsdale, Georgina. (2020) 'A Modern Litigation Approach', in Civil Litigation 2020-2021: Oxford University Press, USA., pp.8-16
  • Gillespie, Alisdair A.; Weare, Siobhan. (2019) 'Funding Civil Litigation', in The English legal system, Oxford: Oxford University Press., pp.557-584
  • (2011) 'Ethics and professional conduct in clinic and pro bono', in A student guide to clinical legal education and pro bono, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Ridsdale, Georgina. (2020) 'Costs Information to the Client and Funding Options', in Civil Litigation 2020-2021: Oxford University Press, USA., pp.17-32
  • Roberts, Simon; Palmer, Michael. (2005) Dispute processes: ADR and the primary forms of decision-making, New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • The Law Society. (no date) Pro Bono Manual: A Practical Guide and Resource Kit for Solicitors.
  • Roberts, Simon; Palmer, Michael. (©2005) 'Negotiations', in Dispute processes: ADR and the primary forms of decision-making, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press., pp.113-152
  • Rylance, Paul. (©2012) Chapter 13, Letters: Language, Tone, Politeness and Humanity in Writing and drafting in legal practice, New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Boyle, Fiona. (2005) 'Practical Legal Research', in A practical guide to lawyering skills, London: Cavendish.
  • Butt, Peter. (2013) 'Some Benefits of Drafting in Plain English', in Modern legal drafting: a guide to using clearer language, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service website, https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/court-and-tribunal-forms
  • (no date) Civil Legal Aid eligibility KEYCARD 55 – Issued April 2020.
  • Casey, Timothy. (2014) 'Reflective Practice in Legal Education: The Stages of Reflection', in Clinical Law Review. vol. 20 (2) , pp.317-354
  • Crowdfunding: democratising access to the legal system | Dispute Resolution blog, http://disputeresolutionblog.practicallaw.com/crowdfunding-democratising-access-to-the-legal-system/
  • Haigh, Rupert. (2018) 'Correspondence, memoranda and essays', in Legal English, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
  • Leering, Michele. (no date) Conceptualizing Reflective Practice for Legal Professionals.

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this 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.
Lee Hansen, Donald Nicolson, Elizabeth Fisher-Frank, Jaime Lindsay, Lucy Davies, Timea Tallodi
Law UG Education Administrators - 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 348 hours, 0 (0%) hours available to students:
343 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
5 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Law (School of)

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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