Tips for writing a law essay

Once a senior lecturer in law at University College London Steven Vaughan asked students to evaluate the law essay written by him during his studies at the University. The students gave this essay a negative mark. With this experiment, Stephen wanted to show students that it is impossible to write a good essay at once, it takes years of experience. He gave some advice on writing a good law essay, which you can read here. And some lifehacks we’ve found in the homework guide

What is a law essay?

According to Steven, each essay has:

  • a clear structure;
  • logical connection;
  • narrative character.

If we talk about the law essay then it is in addition to this list should have well-tested arguments and evidence given from legal and legislative acts. The author should conduct a careful and detailed study of them to defend his point of view.

Student mistakes

Law Essay

Vaughan called the most common mistakes of students when writing law essays:

  • there is no answer to the question, the reasons may be different, but Stephen believes that most often this is due to the fact that students do not fully understand the essence of the task and the question posed to them;
  • lack of logic, consistency and clarity in the presentation of thoughts and material. Vaughan believes that students do not have the patience and perseverance to present the studied material in a coherent and consistent manner;
  • lack of argument. For law essay is characterized by the provision of strong and weighty arguments, otherwise, it is doomed to failure, even in the case of a successful formulation of the main idea.


This part of the essay should not be too voluminous, especially when it comes to law essays. What is important here is brevity and clarity. According to Steven, the introduction should consist of 3 main elements:

  • an argument;
  • statement of its essence;
  • summary of the content of the essay.


Most students do not consult with their teachers about the research. As a rule, they are guided by a reading list that contains information that the student should already be familiar with, as well as additional data that he should study.

Vaughan believes that the study of such lists shall be carried out by groups of students, it will greatly accelerate the process of assimilation of information. This is especially true today when students can create thematic groups in social networks.

Time control

The senior lecturer believes that it is important for students to organize their working time and strictly follow the schedule to successfully complete the task of writing a law essay, which should be given time not only to write but also to relax, it will help you take a fresh look at your essay.

Ask your friends to act as the first readers of your essay, and after reading it to speak about whether you were able to cope with the task of writing it.

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