About the Course
Developed after months of planning and research, feedback, and improvisation, this course by Lawctopus Law School aims to teach law students, young professionals, and academicians the fundamentals of legal research and writing.
Every legal person, whether you are a student, a corporate lawyer, or an academician needs to have strong legal research and writing skills. It’s a skill you cannot live without!
How the course will help you:
The knowledge and skills you learn from the course will help you:
- Develop excellent research and writing skills
- Write excellent, publishable research papers that improve your ‘self’ and your ‘CV’
- Write prize-winning moot court memorials
- Draft high-quality legal opinions as a lawyer
The course contains eight modules:
Module I introduces you to the idea of research generally. It asks: how should research be done? Everyone has a different answer to this seemingly simple question. This module tells you some common answers and asks you to pick the one you like.
Module II is about research design. It tells you the steps of a research process and discusses them briefly – choosing the topic and title, understanding and explaining the framework of your research, coming up with a research problem, making a research question & hypothesis, deciding the research methodology & method, and writing & presenting the research.
Exactly how you take these steps depends, of course, on the philosophy (‘answer’) you pick in Module I.
ASSIGNMENT 1: Choose a research topic, research questions, and get personal feedback from our subject matter experts.
Module III tells you more about research methodology & method. What is “methodology”? What is “method”?
Although you would have already read these terms in Module II, Module III gives you more detail. It also explains how the various research methodologies can be classified under the headings qualitative, quantitative and mixed.
Finally, it tells you which methodologies and methods are best suited to doctrinal/analytical and empirical research.
Module IV dives straight into doctrinal/analytical research methods. How do you research a given legal issue? How do you find the right legislation or case law? This module explains how to best use available resources to find the authority you need.
Module V is the empirical counterpart of Module IV. It discusses the various kinds of research methods under qualitative as well as quantitative methodologies.
ASSIGNMENT 2: Submit a rough draft, with the structure of your paper and literature review spelled out. Get feedback from our subject matter experts.
Module VI addresses how to present legal research in writing.
Module VII explains how to present legal research verbally.
ASSIGNMENT 3: Submit a fair draft, with footnotes, references, etc. Get feedback again!
Module VIII deals with the ethics of legal research. What are the practices you must do during research, and which ones must you avoid? This module explains various scenarios in which ethics become important.
ASSIGNMENT 4: Submission of the final paper.
ASSIGNMENT 5: Presentation of your paper before a panel (for best-performing students)
The course now has a full-fledged ‘Assignments Module’ which addresses the fundamental, practical questions of doing legal research and writing like:
- How do I find literature gaps? “Everything I read seems alright. I don’t know how to produce something novel”.
- What all should I footnote? How do I do that?
- How do I get published in top law journals and win essay competitions?
The course has been prepared by Abhayraj Naik, Shrutanjaya Bhardwaj, and Anupama Sharma. The delivery of the course will be done by the e-learning and subject-matter experts at Lawctopus.
Tanuj Kalia, our CEO, and Jatin Garg (an expert in legal instructional design) worked on the overall coordination and planning of the course.
Abhayraj Naik did his BA LLB (Hons.) from NLSIU Bangalore in 2006 and LLM from Yale Law School in 2009.
He is currently an independent researcher and consultant and has previously taught in colleges like JGLS, Azim Premji University, and NLSIU. He has also been a research fellow at SARAI-CSDS, and a researcher at the Environment Support Group in Bangalore.
Shrutanjaya Bhardwaj is the lead researcher and writer of this course. He completed his BA LLB (Hons.) from NLUD in 2017 where he was awarded the Vice Chancellor’s Gold Medal for the Best Overall Student (Male).
He then worked at the chambers of Gopal Sankarnarayanan for a year and then went on to complete LLM from Michigan Law School in 2019.
Prof. Anupama Sharma is an Assistant Professor at JGLS, Sonipat. She has completed B.A. LL.B. (Hons.) from the NUJS, Kolkata in 2014, and LL.M. from the University of Cambridge, UK in June 2015, and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. from the University of Hong Kong.
She has been a part of various research projects run by institutions and organizations, such as Cambridge Pro Bono Project, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), International Justice Mission, etc. She has also been a Legislative Review Team member for the Journal of Indian Law and Society (JILS).
Who is this course for?
- Undergraduate and postgraduate students of law
- Faculty members in the fields of law, social sciences, and business wishing to strengthen their basics of legal research and writing
- Young lawyers (both litigators and those working in law firms)
- Students of other streams interested in gaining legal research and writing skills
Duration: 8 weeks.
Course fee: Rs. 4800 (inclusive of GST)
Mode of learning:
- Completely online and self-paced
- Recorded video lectures
- 7-8 live lectures for clearing of doubts, discussion on assignments, etc.
- Text-based modules and reading resources
- Online based forum for doubts
- Assignment: submission of a short research paper
- Optional reflective exercises
- Live and exclusive webinars on careers in legal research, CV-building, etc.
We go out of our way to support our students!
- Live orientation session which tells you about our platform and how to make full use of the course.
- 4-6 live sessions with subject matter experts (in these live classes you clarify your doubts, discuss your research projects, and learn about research and writing from another expert).
- A broadcast only Whatsapp group to check updates easily and fast.
- 4-level feedback on your assignment (submission of a research paper)
- Get a certificate issued by Lawctopus after the successful completion of the course
- Free career counseling, CV, and career guidance webinars for everyone
- Get preferable internship slots (for the top-performing 2-4 students in each batch)
- A chance to get published on Academike, Lawctopus’ Law Journal (ISSN: 2349-9796)
- An opportunity to mentor future batches for senior students, academicians, and practitioners (this is a paid, part-time, work-from-position at Lawctopus)
If you have any questions, please leave a comment on this post or email at email@example.com
Some achievements of the students of Lawctopus’ Legal Research and Writing Course till now:
1. One student has got published in NUALS Law Journal. She’ll also present the paper in an international seminar on Liberty!
2. Another student got her article published on LiveLaw.in.
3. A third student got his piece published in Law School Policy Review and has got Research Assistantship with a Professor from Oxford University. He’ll be working on a legal history project in the Bombay High Court.
4. A fourth student got a research internship with a leading education provider.
5. Thanks to the excellent research, writing, and editing skills, many of our students submit better CVs and writing samples which has lead to a dozen of internship offers.
6. Many of our students have won the country’s best legal essay writing competitions after this course!
These are just indicative list of achievements. While these achievements are due to the students’ own initiative and hard work, they have told us that the course helped them towards these, and we couldn’t be happier!
This course teaches you Legal Research and Writing from A to Z!
Whether you are a 1st-year law student from a lesser ranked law college, or whether you are an experienced faculty member who already has a PhD or you may even be a practicing lawyer wishing to know what the exact process behind quality legal research and writing can look like, you’ll find this course of great utility and spark!
1. Do we have a live class every day?
No. We have:
- Recorded lectures by Mr. Abhayraj Naik
- Four-five 90-minute live classes spread throughout the course conducted by our subject matter experts (Prof. Anupama Sharma, Advocate Shrutanjaya Bhardwaj and other equally accomplished experts). The exact schedule of the classes is released beforehand.
- A well-researched reading material
- A discussion forum (for addressing doubts)
- 1 large assignment (divided into 4 mini-assignments)
- Orientation sessions and competition sessions
- Open sessions
- Add-on webinars on various career aspects
2. How many hours should I spend every day to complete the course?
We suggest that you spend approximately 3-5 hours/week in doing the course.
When you spend these 3-5 hours is up to you. You may spend around 40 minutes each day or do it over the weekend.
3. I have never done any research or writing. Can I do this course?
Yes, this course is designed to help an absolute newbie to learn the fundamentals and nuances of legal research and writing.
Even senior academicians find the course of immense use.
If you are a professional looking to improve their research and writing skills, this course will help you too.
4. The course duration is 2 months long. Can I access the course after the 2 months are over?
Yes, you can access the course for a total of 4 months [2 months to complete the course + 2 months to review the course].
Please note that the course is complete by the end of the 2nd month. We have strict deadlines for submission of the 4 mini-assignments which have to be followed.
However, if you want to revisit and revise the material in the course, you can do that for 2 months after the completion of the course.
So the access is given for 4 months.
5. What if I miss a live class?
We encourage you to attend the live classes after thorough preparations.
Just like the real charm of a live match/performance is watching it live, the real value of a live class is in attending it live! A lot of new, practical things are covered; and of course, your questions are addressed too.
However, if you miss the live class, you can watch the recorded version of the live class which is uploaded for the specific batch only.
6. How will this course help me in my career?
Good research and writing skills are absolutely crucial (no questions asked) for any knowledge professional.
Every legal professional, whether a corporate lawyer or a litigator, a judge or an academician, requires good legal research and writing skills.
Through this course you’ll learn these core skills.
Consider this: even your CV and cover letters are evaluated by recruiters as short writing samples. Is it written well, formatted well? Interestingly, our students have told us that after this course their internship applications which were rejected earlier were not getting accepted!
Good research and writing skills are transferable to multiple domains.
The course will also help you do well in moots, publications, and conferences and seminars.
7. What are the assignments in the course?
There is only one compulsory assignment: submission of a 1500-2500 word short research essay.
The assignment is divided into 4 mini-assignments. Submission of:
- A research topic and questions
- An initial literature review and a rought structure
- Rough draft with references and footnotes
- Final research paper
Each mini-assignment is followed by feedback from the faculty. Each student is given feedback. We pride on being able to give 4-level feedback.
8. Will the course help me do an ‘X’ or a ‘Y’ draft?
The intention of the course is to teach you legal research and writing skills.
Any type of legal drafting, civil or criminal or corporate, requires good research and writing skills.
The focus of this course is not on particular drafts, but on legal research and writing as the broader skill-set.
9. Can I do this course without having access to Manupatra, SCCOnline, library?
There are many free, open sources available online which can help you with your research. SSRN, Google Scholar, ResearchGate, IndianKanoon, Government websites, and many free and open law journals (both from India and abroad), are excellent repository of knowledge, information, and insights. We also provide a list of such sources.