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Applied Law

Dear Prospective Law student,

The Law affects everyone one of us. ‘The Law’ is the rules society makes to regulate behaviour - and there are penalties for going against these rules! Knowledge of the Law and how it works is essential for every citizen. At some point in their lives, almost every one will come into contact with the Law: perhaps as a witness, victim, perpetrator, or juror. The law extends into many spheres of life: you might be involved in a civil dispute with a neighbour, or have bought a product that is faulty. Knowing your rights and responsibilities will help you make sure the Law works for you. 

The skills you need for the study of Law are curiosity, attention to detail and critical thinking. Here are a range of resources and activities for you to do before you start the subject in September.

Read: ‘The Secret Barrister’ - by the Secret Barrister. This is an insider’s account of the Law, how it works and how sometimes it doesn't. 

Keep up to date with current affairs. Legal matters are part of everyday life. Read a quality newspaper, such as the Independent, The Times or The Guardian, or the online newspaper www.huffingtonpost.co.uk Cut out and keep - or copy and paste stories relating to: 

  • Criminal or civil trials

  • The Courts

  • Cuts to Legal Aid

  • Terrorism 

  • New Laws

Listen: There are various podcasts of programmes related to the Law. Here are 3 suggestions. LIsten to at least 2 episodes, and make notes. Then write a summary of the main issues raised in the programme

Watch: There are plenty of TV dramas and documentaries. Get started with these ones: 


The Briefs: real life criminal law documentary series https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWTcg8Ye6fI


Silk - TV drama about a chamber of barristers, starring Maxine Peake

The Strange Case of the Law: Series of short programmes about history and development of the Law https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vjat4GSlMAc&list=PLcvEcrsF_9zJYPFPrQy0x_C9NwE7ky781&index=1

Taking it further: research the legal principle of Double Jeopardy - why it is important, and why it has been partially abolished… https://www.open.edu/openlearn/society-politics-law/law/what-double-jeopardy?in_menu=771443

Ms Fleming
a.fleming@sfx.ac.uk