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How to Write a First-Class Law Essay

The ability to write a good essay in law school is essential for those who want to earn the best grades. It’s crucial to keep in mind that there isn’t a right way to approach these essays. There’s no set of guidelines that you can follow step-by-step to get a top-quality outcome.

However, there is an outline for success in legal writing that can be adhered to.

From the time we are the essay’s title until the time we turn it in, there are a few fundamental principles we must be aware of, which provide the basis for excellent essay writing. This article is all about. If you stay until the end, I’ll provide you with a no-cost guide to help you further.


Before we begin thinking about the essay we will write There are some basic steps to take. The most crucial of these is to conduct research.

In the beginning, we’ll need to have two distinct areas where we can write our essay and also take notes on our research. Simply open two files on your computer (e.g. in Word) and one of them is titled “essay” and the other called notes. Divide BOTH of these documents into sections with four parts: Introduction, main body conclusion; references.

In this phase – the research phase is all we’re interested in is the notes document.

What question is it you are asking?

For a successful research, we have be aware of what the question wants from us.

Many students are caught in the mistake of trying to figure out the question they wish to know the answer (because they are sure that is more effective) instead of the question that’s actually given to them. Therefore, take some time to think about the question and determine if it requires you to discuss the issue’, evaluate it’s implications’ critically analyse, etc.

What books should you be reading?

After you’ve figured out the answer It’s now time to start studying relevant and appropriate academic sources and other academic materials.

My suggestion is to start reading the relevant sections of two textbooks to ensure that you are fully aware of the subject. Based on this, you will be able to formulate an overall response on the issue. Also, the information you gather from textbooks should help you make a rough assessment of the issue that will drive the deeper study and preparations.

If you have a basic understanding of the question It makes it much easier to find relevant journals, cases and treaties, statutes, and other relevant documents. Additionally, it makes the process of searching Westlaw, LexisNexis, or any other database for legal research faster and more efficient.

If you come across a bit of information that could prove beneficial, make sure to put it in the appropriate section of our notes document. Also, remember to provide a reference immediately. In reality, references can be extremely painful when you don’t take time citing your sources immediately. (The quantity of time that I’ve spent hunting for a source since I didn’t note it down immediately is absurd).

Once we have all the data we require and can begin to think about the structure and write the main part of our essay in our ‘essay’ document.


The introduction to your essay should be succinct.

The goal of your introduction is to make sure you are aware of what the question is asking , and to give your essay a clear focus and have provided clearly the way you’ll answer the question.

Simply put, you have to inform the reader of what you’re planning to talk about and how they’ll be guided from beginning to finish, leading them to the end.

A lot of students use the introduction in a wrong way, seeing it as an opportunity to entice instead of educating. Many students think that essays are similar to a story, and the story’s outcome isn’t revealed until the very end. However, an essay isn’t an actual story. Effective essays will give hints at the final conclusion from the beginning.

Main Body

The body of the law requires you to show three important aspects:

Personal expression
The appropriate style and tone


While you must show that you are knowledgeable about the law and the legal principles that are relevant to the essay topic (i.e. explain) the most important element of writing a first-class essay is the analysis and evaluation.

It is essential to show that you are able to recognize the limitations of a certain law or view Consider where a decision is illogical or incomplete and then develop your own perspective through the entire essay.

A lot of students leave their research until the end which is way too late. Analysis should instead be integrated into the essay itself. Know what your opinions are and challenge legal assumptions and refrain from repeating the opinions of academics.

I’ve discovered that it doesn’t matter how awkward your personal opinion may be, so long as you’ve got an opinion. There’s no right or wrong method to deal with legal gray areas, therefore it is best to form an opinion and present sufficient evidence to support it (from journals, cases and other sources. ).

Importantly, make sure that all of your points are clearly defined. If students aren’t in their element, they’ll show this by shifting to a different topic in a hurry without understanding the argument they’re trying create. Therefore, be familiar with the legal ambiguity regarding your essay and be sure to be able to offer an opinion, and then back it up.

Expression of Yourself

First-class essays are distinctive. As an essayist, you will not only can see that the student is fully aware of the law, but also made a an effort to clearly communicate their thoughts.

It is important to present the most important concepts or ideas in your own terms. This will show that you know what the key concepts or ideas are , without using someone else’s definition.

Students frequently believe that their interpretation or opinion is not as valid as that of academics or professors. However, your view is just as valid. If you think of an idea that is legal or an idea that is legal from a different perspective Don’t be shy to share your thoughts. You’ll be rewarded for it.

In the same way, quotes are not to be used often and, if employed, they should be justified. If you’re quoting academics from other fields frequently, you’ll reduce your own views and thoughts. The excessive use of quotations turns your writing a jumble and re-formulation of ideas from others, and fails to show your ability to analyze the law.

There are only three situations where you need to include direct quotes in your essay:

It confirms something you’ve previously stated in your own words.
It’s hard to summarize an issue using your own terms due to specific technicalities or complexities
It is not as effective to do this (perhaps since the original quote is popular)

Tone and Style

If you are writing an essay that is legal, you have the option of using the persona of the writer (e.g. “I’m arguing that . . .’) or the third person (e.g. “It is claimed that . . . ‘). It’s entirely your decision.

But, as with the two previous points I’ve mentioned it’s important that the tone you use conveys your message. One example with using the third person , is the phrase “it is debated that” could be interpreted as “I am arguing this” as well as “others are arguing that”. If you decide to choose to use using the third person (or your school prefers it this way) be aware of the possible limits in helping you effectively communicate your message.

In addition, make sure that your essay is concise, clear and precise. It is important to understand the law as thoroughly as you can prior to writing your essay. If you’re not sure about the meaning of law or what it means, you’re likely not be able to understanding it properly. It’s as easy as it gets.


The goal of your conclusion is to convincingly summarize and synthesize everything you’ve already said. The most common mistake in law essays is to trying to include a new information, whether it’s a new idea, concept or viewpoint. However, this can diminish the impact of the conclusion. the impact of the conclusion.

The goal of your conclusion is to make your argument concise in one short paragraph and show how it answers the original essay question.


Every claim you make has to be substantiated by a valid reference.

Most of the time, you’ll need to direct the reader to a law of origin (e.g. an act or statute) however, at other times an academic opinion found in books or journal articles can suffice.

The university you attend will probably have their own rules for reference – like OSCOLA So make sure you check this out to make sure you are doing your job correctly (and you’ll lose marks in case you don’t). In an exam, however, reference sheets aren’t required. Just provide the most context you can in an attempt to refer to sources (e.g. Evans stated X regarding this subject or Denning stated Y regarding this subject for instance in Tom Jerry vs. Jerry [2001Tom vs Jerry [2001]).

Final Words

There’s no one that fits all’ approach to creating a top law essay However, following the format and guidelines in this article will get you a long way to where you want to be.