LAW 298 - Legal Research Writing and Communications

Credit points: 10 points
Offered: Full-year
Contact hours: One Introductory Lecture; Compulsory workshops - 2 hours a fortnight
Course Director: Bronwyn Davies 
Prerequisites: LAW 121G & LAW 131
Restriction: LAW 299

Course description

LAW 298 is designed to help you transition into your law studies. It is designed as an interactive, skills-based course in which you will conduct tasks designed to help you build confidence in handling legal materials and to prepare for your assessments in all subjects on the LLB.

Part 1: Legal research within New Zealand’s jurisdiction

The course starts by looking at the language and structure of legal information, case law, legislation, textbooks and journal articles and the systems and processes involved in doing legal research. You will use legal materials in both print and electronic format.

Part 2: Legal Writing

Most assessments on the LLB will involve some element of writing. Therefore in this part of the course you will consider the different forms of legal writing required for law school and you will learn good writing practices, strategies and habits. We will first cover general principles of effective writing before looking at the specifics of how to write essays for law school. In semester two, the course focuses on learning how to write answers to problem questions in exams and how to draft legal memoranda of advice.

The final part of the course focuses on the skills of argument and persuasion within the context of a simulated legal negotiation.

Learning how to navigate your way through law school is a skill all by itself so in addition to learning skills for legal research, writing and communication, LAW 298 has a strong focus on student well-being. In this course we encourage you to discuss with your classmates and tutors the issues that you may be facing with your law studies.


100% on-course assessment. More information about the assessment will be provided at the beginning of the course.

Procedures are in place for exceptional cases where students need to attend an alternative tutorial (for example, for medical reasons). The procedure will be outlined in the 2018 handbook.

Prescribed text

Geoff McLay, Christopher Murray and Jonathan Orpin, New Zealand Law Style Guide (3rd ed, Thomson Reuters, Wellington, 2018).

Available at