TOP TIPS for 4th Year Law students – Writing your dissertation
The count down is on. We are now in September and the Autumn/fall brings something very exciting to all us legal geeks. Yes, the beginning of the academic year.
Do you remember starting first year? I bet it feels like a long time ago now. Every year as I moved forward from First year to second and second to third I swore to myself that I would be better organized. That I would have set times for study and that I would cope with the workload better.
Every single year after the initial weeks I felt one thing ‘SWAMPED”
I realized that 4th Year Law really was hard. I was determined to get through It
You will make it. You can choose the hard way ( if you like) reading and gathering all your notes and sweating and panicking or you can follow these very simple TOP TIPS I learned during my final honours year of LL.B (Hons) at the University of Glasgow.
It really isn’t rocket science but these tips worked for me.
So as you spend the last few weeks on having a lie in, going to the pub or just frantically panicking about your final year, have no fear.
Your fairy godmother is here. Get your self a nice latte and read, slowly and do.
The difference in your final honours year is that you have elective classes plus the dreaded D word. Yes, the dissertation.
Here are MY TOP TIPS for you
1. Time Management
Time management is probably the most important part of 4th year. Before you even step back into a seminar or lecture theatre, before you buy a new rucksack or even look at dissertation topics the first thing to do is make a detailed plan for managing your time.
I worked on a very simple 20 minute principle. It has been reported that the brain operates better during the first 20 minutes of reading. So structure your time in 20 minute chunks
Once the 20 minutes has ended get up, go for a walk or just switch subjects that you are reading. Read outside of Law too even if it’s just a newspaper, twitter a magazine or something unrelated.It helps to switch off for a while.
2. Plan your Work Schedule
Your dissertation is a large part of your 4th year course usually consisting of 30 credits and consisting of around 10-11,000 words.
This isn’t something you should leave till the end.
Start working AS SOON AS YOU CAN – NOW EVEN Before you start back
Do a little bit on a regular basis ( yes EVERY day)
Decide in advance when you’re going to work on your dissertation – set aside time each week or have a particular day to work on it
Give yourself a specific task to do in that time
Do difficult tasks at the times of day you work best
Do easy tasks when you’re tired / less motivated
3. The Library is your friend
Find a quiet spot, you know where they are and make yourself at home You will be here for a long time this year.
Law Libraries are your friend. When you start to tire there will always be someone who will come with you for a chat and coffee.
Read ahead for as many of your classes as you can. Don’t leave your reading until the day before. BE PREPARED
4. D –Day Your dissertation
Your dissertation will be a piece of work that will stay with you forever. I wrote my dissertation in 2008/2009 and It is etched in my brain now forever.
The key to your dissertation management is again Planning and I would suggest working backwards. If your final deadline is the 15th of March give yourself two days and aim to finish and hand in on the 12th.
This way you have a couple of days for catastrophes like binding,dog ate my dissertation or printer breaks.
I found having a think about firstly what area I was interested in and choosing a broad topic/ subject helped as a start.
Then I asked myself some questions. My area was Criminal Law as the broad topic. I asked my self what part of criminal Law interested me.
I decided that I would look at a question spanning different jurisdictions. A comparative question perhaps.
I wrote a few examples of questions and mulled it over ( you could be doing that now as You’ve already studied Law for three years)
Next I met with My supervisor and had a chat about my broad subject.
The next stage was narrowing my topic down. I chose to look specifically at the Law of Double Jeopardy and consider If the Law in Scotland should be changed to allow for a re-trial if fresh DNA evidence became available after an acquittal.
Whooo Hooo I Had a topic. Now to begin
5. READ READ READ some MORE
Lots of people will tell you different ways of working on your dissertation. This way really did work for me.It involves three words
READ, READ and READ
then whilst you are reading
Think about your methodology
Identify primary sources
Identify secondary sources, if appropriate
Make notes / mindmaps BUT DO NOT Write as you go
Organise and analyse your material
ONE WEEK Write up ( This is the easy part – people often think It is the difficult part but I disagree. Once you have crystalized your arguments then committing it to paper is easy.) Don’t let the panic of others stop you for staying calm.
One WEEK HOLIDAY – Once it is finished.Put it down.Walk away. Don’t look at it for a week and then revisit if with a fresh mind.THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT
ASK yourself your question AGAIN
Redraft ( if necessary) / check / proofread
Submit It / Turn It in
6. Structuring your dissertation
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. ( as many Chapters as you need )
Chapter 3. Methodology
Chapter 4. Results and Analysis
Chapter 5. Discussion
Chapter 6. Conclusion
Bibliography & Appendices / Table of Cases
I Hope my Top Tips give you something to think about as you enter your final year of your LL.B (Hons) . Enjoy the challenge and If I can be of any help, please get in touch.
Michelle L Hynes LL.B (Hons) DipLP
Law dissertations can be demanding because of the need to find relevant regulations, cases and data in order to successfully address the research problem. It is of utmost importance to critically examine facts before framing any dissertation question. Selection of the most appropriate legal terms and legal authorities, whether online or in print, can be challenging especially if you have not tackled a law dissertation project before.
To help you select an intriguing lawdissertation topic,this blog post suggests some topics in various areas of law including trust law, EU law, family law, employment and equality law, public law, tort law, intellectual property rights, commercial law, evidence and criminal law, and human rights and immigration law.
“Our expert dissertation writers can help you with all stages of the dissertation writing process including topic research and selection, dissertation plan, dissertation proposal, methodology, statistical analysis, primary and secondary research, findings and analysis and complete dissertation writing. Learn more about Research Prospect dissertation writing services. “
Law Dissertation Topics 2017-2018
Title: World Bank Developmental Projects and Greater Accountability
Purpose: Examine communities impacted by development operations under the World Bank Development project schemes using the project law model to understand the lack of participation and successful influence of these communities in order to improve accountability and good governance.
Title: The Right to Bear Arms: Rethinking the Second Amendment
Purpose: Gun control and the right to bear arms has been an ever evolving web discourse in the United States. The research aims at analysing how gun control laws have changed in the USA since specifically focusing on the 2nd Amendment and its original framework.
Title:Rethinking the international legal framework protecting journalists in war and conflict zones.
Research Question: Is the current legal framework still appropriate for protecting journalists in today’s conflict zones?
Purpose: The primary body of law that is set out to protect journalists includes the Geneva Conventions and their additional Protocols. However, since the time they have been drafted and decades after, there has been conspicuous changes to the way warfare is conducted. It is imperative to examine this body of law in order to improve it as journalists have now become prime targets in warzones and conflict areas because of their profession.
Title: A critical analysis of employment law of disabled individuals in UK and what new policies can be integrated to increase its efficiency
Purpose: Employment or labor law has always been under limelight. Many critiques and researchers have proposed different amendments to be made in the existing law pertaining to labor and employee. The main aim of the research is to critically analyze the employment law of disabled individuals in UK along with effective recommendations which needs to be done in order to make the existing law more efficient and effective.
Title: A critical evaluation of racial discrimination laws in developed countries and how it impacts the workplace environment
Purpose: Racial discrimination has always been a controversial issue in almost every part of the World. However, many developed countries (companies) are facing severe racial discrimination issues which are directly impacting their name and brand value. Therefore, this research provides a critical evaluation of the racial discrimination laws particularly in developed countries. Moreover, the research will be focusing on how racial discrimination laws are impacting the workplace environment.
Title: A comparative analysis of legislation, policy and guidelines of domestic abuse between UK and USA.
Purpose: Domestic laws basically deal with and provide criminal rules for punishing individuals who have physically or emotionally harmed their own family members. It has been found out that many domestic abuses are not reported to the concern authority. Due to this reason, the main focus of the research is to conduct a comparative analysis of legislation, policy and guidelines of domestic abuses between UK and USA and how effective both the countries have been in order to minimize domestic abuse.
Title: Analyzing the negative impact of technology in protecting intellectual property rights of the corporations.
Purpose: Intellectual property has gained significant importance after the emergence of counterfeit products coming from different parts of the world. It has been found out that there are many factors which have motivated the sale of counterfeit products. Therefore, this research aims at analyzing the negative impact of technology in protecting intellectual propert rights of products and corporations.
Title: A critical assessment of terrorism act of 2010 and its impact on Muslims living around the Globe.
Purpose: Since the incident of 9/11, the entire world has been under the pressure of terrorism activities especially Muslims living around the world. Therefore, this research intends to critically assess the terrorism act of 2010 and its impact ton Muslims living around the Globe.
Trust Law Dissertation Topics
The trust law requires the settler to meet the three certainties including the object, intention and subject matter. As posted to a moral obligation or mere gift, certainty of intention can be best described as clarity of intention. Some interesting dissertation topics in the field of trust law are listed below:
- To investigate the attitude of the courts to trusts supporting political agendas
- To identify and discuss principles on which half-secret and full secret trusts are enforced? – A review of the literature to highlight circumstances where it is important to take into consideration whether such trusts are constructive and express?
- The role and impact of trust law as asset portioning and fiduciary governance
- From law to faith: Letting go of secret trusts
- Critical analysis of the statement “Traditionally, equity and the law of trusts have been concerned with providing justice to balance out the rigour of the common law” in regards to the development/operation of modern equity
- Should the assumption of resulting trusts and progression be abolished in this modern age? A critical review of the literature
- A critical examination of the courts’ concern of financial reward in the context of “trustee powers of investment”
- Does the doctrine of cy-press do justice to the intentions of the testator?
- The impact of the decision of Harrison v Gibson on the law of the clarity of intention?
- The approval of trustees in the Zimbabwean law of trusts
European Law Dissertation Topics
European law has attracted wide attention from the academic world in the recent times, thanks to the growing influence of European Law on UK constitution and consequently the administration law. It should be noted that every aspect of UK life is significantly affected by European law, and therefore this area of research has gained tremendously popularity. Some interesting and specific research areas are given below:
- A critical review of the European anti-discrimination Law
- To investigate the economic and history of European Law
- An investigation of the European human rights law
- Investigating the impact of “Freedom of Speech” on the UK economy
- How UK parliamentary sovereignty has been affected by the European Union
- Uniform interpretation of European patent law with a special view on the creation of a common patent court
- The impact of European consensus in the jurisprudence of the European court of human rights
- The impact of European convention on human rights on the international human rights law
- A critical analysis of the tensions between European trade and social policy
- To investigate the European Union enforcement actions and policies against member countries
Family Law Dissertation Topics
A wide array of topics can be covered under the field of family law and the law of child. Essentially, this area of law takes into consideration the registration of marriages, statutory rights concerning marriage, the effects of a decree, void and voidable marriages, the impact of the Human Rights Act, the legal stature of unmarried and married individuals, and the case for reform of UK family law. Other areas of research include enforcing financial responsibilities in the Magistrates court, enforcing the arrears of maintenance payments, the award of maintenance, enforcing financial responsibilities to children or a child, financial orders for children, and the Child Support Act. An extremely intriguing area of law that has gained tremendously popularity the modern era, some specific dissertation topics in this area of law studies are listed below:
- Investigating therapeutic and theoretical approaches to deal with spouse abuse in light of UK government’s latest research on domestic violence
- Unmarried fathers’ access to parental responsibility – Does the current law to enforce rights and responsibilities towards children?
- To study the criminal justice process involving a child witness
- The children’s right to participation – Rhetoric or Reality? – A critical review of literature from the past two decades
- To study the position of unmarried fathers in the UK
- Does the UK Family law need a major reform?
- A critical review of the rights of married women in real estate
- Child welfare and the role of local authorities
- To study the legal and social foundations of parenting, civil partnership and marriage
- To examine whether child maintenance has been positively influenced by the Child Support Act?
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Employment Law Dissertation Topics
Employment and equality law governs the relationship between the government, trade unions, employers and employees. Employment and equality law in the UK is a body of law which prevents against bias and negative attitude towards someone based on their ethnicity or race rather than work skills and experience. Some interesting dissertation topics in this area of law are below:
- A critical investigation of the right to fair labour practices in United Kingdom
- To determine the inherent requirements of the job as a defence to unfair discrimination or a claim – A comparison between United Kingdom and Canada
- The role of the South African Labour Relations Act in providing unhappy staff sufficient protection against unfair dismissals and discrimination at workplace
- To investigate the impact of HIV/AIDS on the lives of employees with focus on unfair dismissal and discrimination
- To assess ethnic discrimination in the European Union: Derogations from the ban on discrimination – Sexual harassment – Equal pay for work of equal value
- To study the international employment contract – Regulation, perception and reality
- To identify and discuss challenges associated with equality at work
- A study of the legal aspects of the relationship between employer and employee
- How influential is the role of trade unions in English employment law?
- A critical review of discrimination policies in the UK
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Commercial Law Dissertation Topics
Commercial law, also known as business law, is the whole of body of substantive jurisprudence applicable to the conduct, relations and rights of sales, trade, merchandising, and businesses and persons associated with commerce. Important issues of law that are covered by commercial law include real estate, secured transactions, credit transactions, bankruptcy, banking and contracts. An intriguing area of law within the UK, specific topics for your law dissertation are listed below:
- The impact of legislation for the regulation of investments services with EU economic area on the EU financial services market
- Handling regulatory involvement in corporate organisational structure and strategy
- A study of convergence and complementarities with respect to international corporate governance
- How drafting and diffusion of uniform norms can be help to harmonise the law of international commercial arbitration?
- Convergence and adaption in corporate governance to transnational standards in India
- A critical review of the international commercial arbitration system
- Analysing the international commercial law on risk transfer
- The role of tripartite financial system in the UK on economic development
- A comparative analysis of European contract law, international commercial contracts law and English commercial contracts law
- Is the European contracts law meeting the needs of the commercial community?
- A critical review of anti-corruption legislation in the UK
- The problems of director accountability in the UK and the impact of soft and hard law on corporate governance
Criminal and Evidence Law Dissertation Topics
Criminal law can be defined as a system of law dealing with the punishment of criminals. Criminal evidence, on the other hand, concerns evidence/testimony presented in relation to a criminal charges. Evidence can be presented in various forms in order to prove and establish crimes. A wide array of topics can be covered under this subject area. To help you narrow down your research focus, some interesting topics are suggested below:
- The politics of criminal law reform with focus on lower-court decision making
- To understand and establish the historical relationship between human rights and Islamic criminal law
- Investigating the rights of victims in internal criminal courts
- The efficacy of the law of rape in order to prevent misuse by bogus victims and to protect rightful victims
- To assess the criminal law’s approach to Omissions
- To investigate the issues associated with identification of the distribution, extent and nature of crime
- A critical review of the Bad Samaritan laws and the law of omissions liability
- How international criminal law has been significant influenced by the “war on terrors”?
- The efficacy of modern approaches to the definition of intention in International criminal law
- The efficacy of the law of corporate manslaughter
Company Law Dissertation Topics
Company law, also known as the law of business associations, is the body of law that deals with business organisations and their formation, registration, incorporation, governance, dissolution and administration. Some suggestions for company law dissertation topics are listed below:
- Developing equity markets in growing economies and the importance of corporate law
- A critical review of English company law and its effects on member workers and creditors
- To investigate the essential aspects of corporate law
- To study business responsibilities for human rights
- Identifying disparities in corporate governance – Theories and Realities
- The external relations of company groups in Zambian Corporate law
- To study corporate governance practices concerning the minority stakeholders
- Establishing and evaluating arguments for and against “stakeholder theory”
- The importance of non-executive directors in the British corporate legal system
- Investigating regulation of the UK public company
Intellectual property and tort law dissertation topics
All forms of legal injury are dealt with under the subject area of tort law. Essentially, tort law helps to establish the circumstances whereby a person may be held responsible for another person’s injury caused by either accidents on intentional acts. Intellectual property, on the other hand, covers areas of law such as copyright, patents and trademark. Trademark dissertation topics trademarks directive, trademarks act, infringement of trademarks such as revocation, invalidity and the use of similar marks. Some interesting dissertation ideas and topics of tort law and intellectual property are suggested below to help you in your law studies.
- The efficacy of intellectual property rights in the UK under influence of European Law
- The efficacy of UK copyright law concerning the needs of rights users and holders
- The impact of intellectual property right on economic development
- To investigate right of confidence in the UK
- Do the trademark law ensure sufficient protection in England?
- The impact of European Law on intellectual property rights in the UK
- The end of the road for loss of a chance?
- To assess the success ration of psychiatric injury claims in the UK
- Should a no-fault system be implemented into UK law or should the law of negligence apply to personal injury claims?
- A critical review of economic loss in 21st century tort law
Human rights and immigration law
The primary objective of human rights and immigration law is to ensure and protect human rights at domestic, regional and international levels. With world becoming a global village, both the human rights and immigration laws have attracted significant attention from the academicians and policy makers. Some interesting law dissertation topics in this subject area are suggested below:
- To assess the efficacy of the common European Asylum system in terms of immigration detention
- A historical analysis of Britain’s immigration and asylum policies
- A critical analysis of immigration policy in Britain since 1990
- A critical analysis of the right of the police and the public right to protest under PACE 1984
- The right of prisoners to vote under the European law of human rights
- Arguments for and against death penalty in English Law with focus on human rights treatise
- A critical analysis of the right to a private life and family for failed asylum seekers
- The impact of UK immigration policies on current education industry
- How beneficial the points system has really been in regards to create a cap in the British immigration system
- To study the impact of privatisation on immigration detention and related functions in the UK
More Law Dissertation Topics
- A critical analysis of employment law of disabled individuals in UK and what new policies can be integrated to increase its efficiency
- A critical evaluation of racial discrimination laws in developed countries and how it impacts the workplace environment
- A comparative analysis of legislation, policy and guidelines of domestic abuse between UK and USA.
- Analyzing the negative impact of technology in protecting intellectual property rights of the corporations.
- A critical assessment of terrorism act of 2010 and its impact on Muslims living around the Globe.
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