Problem Questions for Law Students : A Study Guide book cover
1st Edition

Problem Questions for Law Students
A Study Guide

ISBN 9780367646707
Published September 28, 2021 by Routledge
264 Pages 40 Color Illustrations

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Book Description

Law students rarely have experience answering problem questions before university, and lecturers concentrate on teaching content rather than the exam skills needed. This book bridges the gap on how to transpose knowledge and research into structured and coherent answers to problem questions while earning a law degree.

Aimed at undergraduates, international students, and foundation and SQE candidates, the book gives a step-by-step study guide on how to navigate what a problem question is asking you to do. It deconstructs the process using examples from a range of different fields of law, providing essential guidance from research and critical thinking to style and tone.

Including a range of examples to test yourself against, this is an indispensable resource for any law student who wants to tackle problem questions with confidence.

Table of Contents

PART A – About Problem Questions

Part A aims

Understanding CLEO questions

Understanding Problem Questions

The CLEO stages

Understanding the CLEO process

A non-legal work through

PART B – Researching & Writing

Part B aims

Identifying CLAIMS in a PQ

Researching skills

Who’s who in cases

Performing searches

Positive, negative and neutral judgments

Database searching

Turning research into LAW

Order, order


Signposting language for CLAIM

How to write the CLAIM section

End of CLAIM Chapter Questions


Writing the LAW section

Signposting language for LAW

End of LAW Chapter Questions

Alternative note-making styles


Writing the EVALUATION section

Signposting language for EVALUATION

End of EVALUATION Chapter Questions



Hedging language

Signposting language for OUTCOME

Writing the OUTCOME section

End of OUTCOMES Chapter Questions

SQE writing

Writing SQE1 answers

Writing SQE2 answers

PART C – Good Academic Practice

Part C aims

Plagiarism & types of academic misconduct

Citing and Referencing



2-3 book authors

4+ book authors

Contribution to a book


Journal Articles

Online Journal articles


Case law

UK cases post-2001

UK cases pre-2001

Cases from international jurisdictions

UK statues

Parts of an Act


Directly quoting from websites

Directly quoting audio from websites

Judges’ abbreviations

Directly citing judges

Judges citing judges

Quotations within quotations

Adapting sources to suit sentence structure

Long passages from previous judgments (case, book and journal)

Law report abbreviations

Styling and Formatting

Subsequent citations of a case

Adapting judgments to suit

Abbreviations in case names


Other forms of assessment

Written assessments


Short answers

Long answers

Case summary

Case notes

Online tests

Gap fill

Cloze gap fill




True/False/(Not Given)

Multiple answer

Free-text entry


Timed questions

Reflective tasks

University VLEs

Leaflets and guides

Oral assessments

Law clinics




Video presentations


PART D - Resources

Student answers with lecturer commentary

Better Problem Question answer by PARTY

Poor Problem Question answer by PARTY

Better Problem Question answer by ISSUE

Bank of Problem Questions

Using a statute as Problem Question research

Using primary sources to answer a Problem Question

Creating a CLEO plan from statute research

Identification sheet

Planning sheet

Researching sheet

Flashcard ideas

Template writing sheets

PART E Answers

PART A – About Problem Questions

PART B – Researching & Writing

CLAIM answers

LAW answers


OUTCOME answers

PART C – Academic Skills

Further Reading

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Geraint Brown is the Coordinator of English for Specific Purposes and a tutor of English for Academic Purposes at Swansea University. Since 2008, he has taught UK and international students who are about to start their LLMs at Southampton University, as well as master’s and undergraduate law students at Swansea University where he is the Coordinator of the Law Pre-sessional course. He specialises in developing, teaching and delivering medical English, English for Sports, English for Academics, English for International Lecturers in UK universities and, of course, legal English. He is Chair and a panel member of the Academic Integrity Committee deciding on cases where students have been suspected of committing academic misconduct and unfair practice, and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).


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Dr. Mayur Suresh, SOAS, University of London

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Laura Giachardi, Kings College London

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Dr. Fred Cowell, Birkbeck College

"Dr Lammasniemi's book tackles the issues that other dissertation books leave out. Students are given confidence to explore their research interests and the skills to turn enthusiasm into a well-formulated research plan."
Dr Maebh Harding, University College Dublin, Ireland