Legal Research

Subject LAWS50039 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 5 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2013:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable


Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 1-4 hours per week.
Total Time Commitment:

144 hours.

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2013
Not offered in 2013
Not offered in 2013
Not offered in 2013
Semester 2
Not offered in 2013
Not offered in 2013
Not offered in 2013
Not offered in 2013
Not offered in 2013
Not offered in 2013
Not offered in 2013
Not offered in 2013


Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

The Melbourne Law School welcomes applications from students with disabilities. It is University and Law School policy to take all reasonable steps to enable the participation of students with disabilities, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student’s participation in the School’s programs.

The inherent academic requirements for the study in the Melbourne Law School are:

  1. The ability to attend classes and actively engage in the analysis of complex materials and debate;
  2. The ability to read, analyse and comprehend complex written legal materials and complex interdisciplinary materials;
  3. The ability to clearly and independently communicate in writing a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  4. The ability to clearly and independently communicate orally a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  5. The ability to work independently and as a part of a group;
  6. The ability to present orally and in writing legal analysis to a professional standard.

Students must possess behavioural and social attributes that enable them to participate in a complex learning environment. Students are required to take responsibility for their own participation and learning. They also contribute to the learning of other students in collaborative learning environments, demonstrating interpersonal skills and an understanding of the needs of other students. Assessment may include the outcomes of tasks completed in collaboration with other students.

Students who feel their disability will prevent them from participating in tasks involving these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact the Disability Liaison Unit:


Prof Jennifer Morgan


Melbourne Law School Student Centre
Tel: +61 3 8344 4475

Subject Overview:

This subject is a core element of the JD degree. It provides students in their final year with a capstone supervised research experience. It does so through supervised research seminars or structured projects, generally offered in a small group setting. Students will have the opportunity to work closely with a member of the academic staff in pursuing a particular research interest. In each semester, a range of seminars and projects will be offered. Some may have special entry requirements and enrolment limits. Each seminar or project will include a research skills component and seminar or project-based supervision on a legal issue.


The subject involves study of a selected area of law at an advanced level; the subject allows the student to engage in self-directed research, under the supervision of a member of staff with expertise in the student’s field of inquiry, and/or the methodology they have chosen to use. The principal aims of this seminar will be:

  • To require students to develop their own sophisticated and relevant research question;
  • To require students to plan and execute a substantial research-based project;
  • To require students to produce a substantial piece of legal research, with a view to publication;
  • To refresh, reinforce and develop to an advanced level research and writing skills that students have acquired during their undergraduate degree and law studies;
  • To give upper year students and faculty the opportunity to experience a small enrolment, discussion-based seminar or staff supervision of a project.

  • Class or project participation evidenced by oral presentation (hurdle);
  • 8,000-word written research work project or equivalent (100%).

Prescribed Texts:


Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of the subject, students should have demonstrated the following skills:

  • Ability to develop and frame a sophisticated legal research question;
  • Employing complex research methodologies well-suited to answering the research question;
  • Ability to identify and critically analyse a diverse range of pertinent and complex materials;
  • Capacity for advanced critical and independent thought and reflection;
  • Capacity to communicate the research results, clearly, comprehensively and persuasively.

Related Course(s): Juris Doctor

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