A well-written essay at law school is crucial for getting top marks. However, it’s essential to realize that there’s not a best way to approach the task. There’s not a blueprint could be followed step-by-step in order to get a top-quality result.

But, there’s an effective framework for legal writing that can be adhered to.

From the time we are the essay’s title until the moment we hand it in, there are basic principle that we should be aware of. These principles constitute the basis of great essay writing. That’s exactly what this article is all about. If you stick around until the end I’ll also provide you with a no-cost guide to aid you further.


Before we can even begin the essay we will write There are some first steps. The most important of which is researching.

To begin with we need to have two clearly defined spaces to write our law essays and also take notes on our research. So simply open up 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 Pages into the following sections: Introduction, main body and conclusion, and references.

At this stage – the research phase – we’re only interested in our ‘notes’ document.

What’s the question they are to you?

To conduct a thorough research, we must to be aware of precisely what the question wants from us.

Many students fall into the trap of trying to solve the question they’re trying to know the answer (because they understand the topic superior), rather than the one that’s actually been given. Therefore, take some time to understand the question and whether it demands you to ‘discuss”, “evaluate, ‘critically analyse’, etc

What resources should you read?

Once you’ve got the concept then it’s time to begin researching relevant and appropriate academic resources as well as other materials for scholarly research.

My advice would be to begin reading the relevant sections of two textbooks to ensure that you are fully aware of the topic. Based on this, you will be able to come up with a high-level response to the question. This means that the fundamental information in the textbooks should enable you to draw a rough picture of the issue that will drive the deeper research and preparations.

If you have a basic understanding of your question, it makes it much easier to pinpoint relevant cases, journal articles and treaties, statutes, and others. Additionally, it makes browsing through Westlaw, LexisNexis, or another legal research database much faster and more valuable.

If you stumble across any piece of information that may be useful, remember to drop it into the correct section of the ‘notes’ document and remember to give it a reference straight away. Honestly, references are extremely difficult to find if you don’t spend time citing your sources immediately. (The length of time I’ve spent looking down a source for something because I didn’t write it down right away is ridiculous).

Now we have all the information we need, we can think about the structure and how to write the content of the essay within our “essay” document.


The introduction of your essay should be brief.

The goal of your introduction is to ensure that you are aware of what the question is asking , and to give your essay a clear focus and provide clearly what you’re planning to do in response to the question.

In simple terms, you’ll need to tell the reader what you’re going to discuss and how they’ll be guided from beginning to finish, bringing them to the end.

Many students will use the introduction incorrectly, seeing it as an opportunity for intrigue instead of providing information. They often believe that an essay is an ad-hoc story, in which the ending isn’t known until the end. However, an essay isn’t any story. Effective essays will hint at the eventual conclusion from the beginning.

Main Body

The main body requires you to show three important points:

Personal expression
The appropriate style and tone


Even though you have to prove that you are knowledgeable about the law and the relevant legal concepts behind the essay question (i.e. define) The most important element of writing a first-class essay is evaluation and analysis.

You have to prove that you can identify the limitations of a certain perspective or law take a look at where the judgment is incomplete or illogical and then develop your own viewpoint during the writing process.

Many students will leave their analysis until the conclusion that is late. The analysis should be integrated throughout the essay. Learn what your personal opinion is consider legal implications, and do not repeat the thoughts of academics.

I’ve found that it doesn’t matter how clumsy your personal opinion may be, just as long as you’ve an opinion. There’s no correct method for approaching legal gray areas, so it’s best to have an opinion and present sufficient amounts of supporting evidence (from cases, journals or other documents. ).

Importantly, make sure that all of your points are properly developed. If students aren’t in their depth, they’ll demonstrate this by moving on to a new topic quickly and not fully understanding the argument they’re trying achieve. So get familiar with the legal ambiguity surrounding your essay and be comfortable enough to give an opinion, and then back it up.

Expressing Yourself

First class essays are distinctive. As the reader, you don’t only observe that the student has a thorough understanding of the law, but they have also made clear efforts to communicate their thoughts.

Importantly, you should aim to explain the most important concepts or ideas in your own words. This will show that you know what the key concepts or ideas are , without being dependent on the formulation of others.

Many students believe that their viewpoint or understanding is not as valid as that of professors or other academics. However, your opinion is equally valid. If you are able to see a legal concept or the legal concept from a different perspective Do not be afraid to express your opinion. You’ll be rewarded for it.

Also, quotations should not be used frequently and, when used – with good justification. The problem is, if you’re quoting academics from other fields all the time, you’ll water down your own opinions and thoughts. In addition, it turns your paper a mix and reinterpretation of ideas of other sources, and does not effectively demonstrate your capacity to analyse the law.

There are just three scenarios where you must include direct quotes in your essay:

It reinforces something you’ve already said in your own words
It’s difficult to summarise a topic by using your own personal words due the technical issues or difficulties
It is not as effective to do this (perhaps because the original quote is very famous)

Style and Tone

If you are writing an essay on legality, you can make a choice between creating your essay in first person (e.g. “I’m arguing that . . .’) or the third person (e.g. ‘it is argued that . . . ‘). It’s completely your decision.

As with the two previous issues I’ve discussed, it’s crucial the tone you select is one that is one that conveys your personal message. One example with the 3rd person voice is “it is debated that” could mean “I argue this” in addition to “others argue that”. If you choose to choose to use”third-person” (or the university you attend prefers this way) be aware of the potential limits in helping you effectively communicate your message.

Additionally, ensure that your essay is clear, concise and precise. You should understand the law as well as you can prior to putting pen to paper. If you’re unsure what the law is or what it means, you’re going not have a chance of analysing it effectively. It’s as simple as that.


The point of the conclusion is to persuasively draw together and summarise everything that you have already argued. The most common mistake is to try to add some new information, whether it’s a new idea, concept or point of view. However, this can diminish the impact of the conclusion. the impact of the conclusion.

Your goal with the conclusion is therefore to organize your argument into one short paragraph and show the way in which it addresses the original essay question.


Also, every claim that you make should be supported with an appropriate reference.

Sometimes, you’ll need for the reader to be directed to a law of origin (e.g. an instance or statute) however, at other times the academic opinions in books or journal articles will suffice.

Your institution will probably have its own guidelines for references – such as OSCOLA So make sure you check these out to ensure that you do yours correctly (and you will lose marks for doing it incorrectly). However, in an exam the need for full references isn’t needed. Just provide the most context you can in an attempt to reference sources (e.g. Evans said X regarding this topic, or Denning said Y about this topic in the case of Tom vs Jerry [2001]).

Final Words

There is no ‘one way to do it all’ method for writing an excellent law essay But following the structure and advice in this article will get you on the right path towards where you’re supposed to be.