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Society for Advanced Legal Studies Lectures

Introduction to Legal Research Methods Course for MPhil/PhD Students

07 January 2013 - 18 January 2013

Course Director: Professor Lisa Webley, Professor of Emprical Legal Studies, University of Westminster.
Organised by:
Institute of Advanced Legal Studies
Event Type:
Research Training
Venue Details:
Institute of Advanced Legal Studies
Charles Clore House
17 Russell Square


Dates:  Formal Classes run from 7 January to 16 January 2013.  Meetings for Further Assistance with Method & Feedback Exercises will take place on 17 and 18 January 2012.

Aims and Objectives:

This course aims to introduce a range of research methodologies  that may be relevant to M.Phil/Ph.D. research in law and legally related fields.  It also aims to improve your doctrinal research methods and/ or socio-legal research and allied skills depending on the parallel sessions that you choose to attend.  At the end of the course you should:

  1. be familiar with the main schools of research theory;
  2. be able to explain the relative merits and demerits of basic qualitative and quantitative research methodologies for a given legal research project;
  3. be familiar with and have an understanding of qualitative and quantitative research methods (if you have selected these sessions as part of your optional classes);
  4. be able to select an appropriate legal research methodology for a given legal research project and
  5. be aware of how you would go about using the methodology;
  6. be able to use each of the main legal research techniques for a given research project;
  7. be able to assess the relative importance of the main legal research techniques for a given research project;
  8. have a basic understanding of data analysis issues, whether doctrinal or empirical;
  9. be able to present legal research findings more effectively.


This course will be taught over 14 plenary 2 ½ hour sessions, with additional parallel sessions.  Two days are reserved for appointments to discuss methodological issues. We encourage you to attend as many of the sessions as you can, although we understand that you may have covered some of the skills previously and you may also have PhD supervisions and teaching to attend too. Classes will be a combination of lecture and seminar formats, which will vary depending upon the subject matter of the session.  Each member of the teaching team will decide the most appropriate teaching methodology for their class.

The course is an introduction to legal research methods rather than an advanced in-depth course that teaches you all you need to know about carrying out legal research. It is hoped that during your own Ph.D. research you will build on your understanding of legal research methods that are particularly relevant to your research study.

REGISTRATION AND PAYMENTS:  For on-line booking and payments please click here.

Registration fee:  £430.00.

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