DMU Logo

Alwyn & Martin Davis (team teacher)

LLBP3020 Lawyering: Theory, Skills and Ethics (a final year optional module on a law degree)

Level of students: Final year

By their final year, law students have spent a lot of time studying legal rules and principles.  They have spent many hours analysing texts.


They have generally spent little or no time learning “lawyering” skills such as client interviewing, negotiation and advocacy.  Also, optional modules on Medical Law and Ethics have become popular, which creates the anomaly that law students on most law degrees can engage in academic study of the ethical dilemmas that health care professionals experience – but not the ethical dilemmas that lawyers face.


This module aims to plug both gaps.  The seminar that you see aims to help students to develop aspects of their interviewing skills.  In other seminars, the students engage in practical exercises, using their skills, or theoretical discussion of ethical issues such as confidentiality and conflicts of interest.

They are assessed using interview, advocacy and negotiation exercises which are recorded on DVD for the students’ use, written critiques which bring theory and practice together and a longer, research-based “mini-project”. 

Student feedback on the module has been very encouraging.  In a recent student feedback exercise, 100% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that module guidance was clear, there was good quality teaching material, they could keep up with the pace of work, the module was communicated clearly, the module was conveyed with enthusiasm, delivery stimulated students to think further, staff encouraged participation, sufficient help was provided as students prepared for the assessment, the feedback provided was helpful, this was an enjoyable module and they would recommend the module to other students (100% of students responding “strongly agreed” that they would recommend the module to other students which is especially encouraging.