LW7123 - Civil Professional Practice

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What will I learn on this module?

The Civil Professional Practice module is year-long module on the Bar Course and is delivered across the portfolio of Bar programmes at Northumbria University. It is designed to reflect the nature of civil cases encountered during pupillage and early years of practice.

This module involves the study of civil professional practice in the context of realistic scenarios which incorporate fact management, case analysis, legal research, advocacy, drafting, opinion writing and conference skills, linked to the relevant procedural framework and ethical considerations as in practice, including cases that settle. The module involves a number of different cases which raise legal and procedural scenarios of the kind that practitioners at the civil Bar regularly encounter in practice. Examples of the areas that will be covered include: Drafting pleadings: drafting opinions on liability and /or quantum; arguing interim applications and appeals. It is designed to ensure that each student appreciates the importance of identifying legal, procedural, tactical and ethical issues when they arise.

The Civil Professional Practice module is designed to build on existing legal knowledge and allows the acquisition of the knowledge, skills and attributes necessary for practice as an effective and successful civil practitioner at the Bar. The module is supported throughout by research rich and practice informed learning and technology enhanced learning which are crucial to current legal practice in a demanding, rapidly changing legal landscape.

How will I learn on this module?

The module will be delivered through large group sessions, small group sessions, directed learning and independent learning.

The large group sessions will be delivered to the whole group of students and will be as interactive as possible.

The small group sessions will:
- give an overview of the module area;
- prioritise learning points within a topic;
- explain, emphasise and demonstrate, with examples, substantive or procedural points within the context of given scenarios;
- focus on areas that pose particular difficulties and require further explanation or examples;
- encourage students to consider the module from a practical perspective as they will do later in pupillage;
- develop problem solving and other legal skills;
- promote intellectual inquiry;
- implement knowledge in a practical way to solve legal problems;
- develop individual presentation skills;
- develop advocacy skills
- develop conferencing skills;
- develop written skills of drafting and opinion writing.

You will be given directed learning in advance of SPSs and will be expected to carry out independent learning to expand on materials covered in SPSs.

Experiential learning is present in the simulated practical exercises that take place in each SPS, following which you will be expected to complete self-assessment in order to ensure that you have taken on board the comments made by the tutor.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The University is well-placed to support you in learning and research with excellent library and teaching facilities; access to on-line legal databases and resources and appropriate software.

This module will be managed by your designated Module Tutor who will be responsible for guiding you in your engagement and learning on the module. All relevant materials and instructions will be accessible online through the module eLP site (maintained by your Module Tutor) where you will find guidance on legal skills, assessment and self-study materials. You may communicate with your Module Tutor by email or telephone and are encouraged to make contact if you encounter any difficulties relating to any aspect of the module.

Academic support is also available through feedback directly from your tutor in small group sessions and via the eLP and from your peers. At a programme level, you will be supported by the Programme Leader and Guidance Tutor who will provide pastoral support throughout the module and the programme as a whole.

The Programme Administration and Student Progress teams are responsible for the non-academic administration of the module; they will contact you throughout the duration of your module with details about assessment and other issues.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

• Demonstrate up-to-date knowledge and understanding of the key legal and procedural rules and principles of civil law and practice as specified by the Bar Standards Board, including an understanding of how lawyers apply legal rules in practice.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• Demonstrate good communication, case analysis and problem solving skills; an ability to locate and make effective use of legal source materials, together with an awareness of professional conduct issues and professionalism.
• Demonstrate a high level ability to draft legal documents and skeleton arguments and write opinions in a civil practice context, which are clear, concise and well-structured using cogent legal and factual analysis and developed reasoned argument supported by evidence in compliance with appropriate formalities, practice direction and other protocols


Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

• Display a professional and responsible approach to the course, staff and other students; to observe the requirements of the Bar Standards Board Professional Statement and Handbook
• Act in way that demonstrates an awareness of diversity and is non-discriminatory

How will I be assessed?

Formative Assessment:

This module will consist of a number of workshops. These will cover and develop a variety of different skills including conferencing, advocacy, opinion writing, drafting and ethics – with a focus on Drafting and Opinion Writing. The student will be set advanced preparation prior to the workshop.

Formal formative assessments will take place in Drafting and Opinion Writing. Individual feedback will be given.


Summative Assessment: The module will be assessed by two written assessments set by the University but prescribed by the BSB.

Drafting: This will be a supervised written assessment based on a substantive statement of case.

Opinion writing: A written assessment of 4000 words which will include an assessment of legal research skills. The student will have 1 calendar week in which to complete the assessment. Both opinion writing and legal research will be submitted at the same time, but feedback will be given separately. If either component of the assessment is failed but the other passed, the candidate will be able to re-sit a discrete assessment in the failed component.

Pre-requisite(s)

NA

Co-requisite(s)

NA

Module abstract

The Civil Professional Practice module on the Bar Course is delivered across the portfolio of Bar programmes at Northumbria University. It is designed to reflect the nature of civil cases encountered during pupillage and early years of practice. This year-long module involves the study of civil professional practice in the context of realistic scenarios that will also develop skills of fact management, case analysis, legal research, oral communication, advocacy (written and oral), conferencing, opinion writing and drafting. The module involves a number of different cases which reflect legal and procedural scenarios of the kind that practitioners at the civil Bar regularly encounter in practice. Examples of the areas that will be covered include: Drafting pleadings: drafting opinions on liability and /or quantum; arguing interim applications and appeals It is designed to ensure that each student appreciates the importance of identifying legal, procedural, tactical and ethical issues when they arise.

This Civil Professional Practice module is designed to build on existing legal knowledge and allows the acquisition of the knowledge, skills and attributes necessary for practice as an effective and successful legal professional in civil practice at the Bar. The module is supported throughout by research rich and practice informed learning and technology enhanced learning which are crucial to current legal practice in a demanding, rapidly changing legal landscape.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full-time
1 other options available

Department Northumbria Law School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

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