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Law Search Guide: Write Law Assignments

This guide will show you how to search a law topic using quick and simple methods.

Throughout your law studies, you will need to complete a variety of different assignments. See below to explore four different forms of assignments​​​​​​.

Case Notes

A case note is a summary or a summary and critical analysis of a case.


 A case note will usually include:

  • Citations details-  include the full citation details. 
  • Procedural history-  write about how the matter came to court if there is a history, e.g. is the case on appeal?
  • Facts-  Explain the main points of the dispute or the reason the parties are in court. What orders or decision as they asking the court to make?
  • Legal Issues- Explain what the legal issues are and how they apply to the facts. 
  • Decision summary- What did the court decide and why? What was the ratio (the rule of law on which the decision is based) and was there any obiter (the Judge's opinion that isn't essential to the decision).  Also include and dissenting Judges where applicable. 
  • Critical Analysis- Some case notes will also require you to critically analysis the case, this will involve looking at the case in the wider body of law and discuss the merit or importance of the points of law raised in the case.   

You usually have a strict word count for your case note, because of this limit the detail that you have for the background information and focus on the analysis.  

Tip: Always read through your assignment instructions for specific information that will apply to your assessment task.  

Read advice from other law students on how to survive law school. These links come from the Survive Law Blog.


Learning to write law essays can take time, use these resources to help build your skills. 

This resource uses a visual approach to take students through the process of essay writing for University. Although not law specific this resource will demonstrate formulating, refining and expressing academic essay writing:

One of the best ways to develop your writing skills is to read. Reading will expose you to different styles of writing and through reading you will form your own style. Think about the reports and cases that you read that frustrated you in finding out what the main ratio was. Compare that to this recent well written coroners report: 

Problem Solving Questions

Problem solving questions are about using your critical thinking stills to identify legal issues in a set of facts and about applying the law. 

Read advice from other law students on how to survive law school. These links come from the Survive Law Blog:


Exams come in different formats, they can be:

  • Invigilated open book exam
  • Invigilated closed book exam
  • Take home exam
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