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The Graduate Diploma in Law offered by the School of Law is recognised by the professional bodies (SRA/Bar/ILEX) as providing the necessary academic qualifications for those wishing to progress to the vocational stage of legal training. It is also suitable for those wishing to broaden their legal knowledge. The programme comprises of modules collectively known as the 'Foundations of Legal Knowledge' together with one additional area of law (the Eighth Legal Subject) which is covered by means of a supervised research project.
Module provides an introduction to the organisation and structure of the English Legal System
This module explores the impact of technology on the future of legal service delivery from the perspective of law firms, the judiciary, and other legal service providers. Students will consider the effect of technology on support services within law firms and substantive legal transactions and case conduct; how digital infrastructure can support client retention and engagement; the manner in which data collection and management is developing; the impact of technology on the Court system, including online dispute resolution and the impact of technology at trial; and how practices¿ business models are changing and must continue to change to accommodate technology-driven services in order to meet client needs.
Business Law & Practice (¿BLP¿) is designed to enable students to appreciate the nature of business media and business transactions, to be able to identify and deal with the steps in such transactions and gain experience through practical exercises from taking instructions through to completion of the advice. During the BLP course students will deal with the legal and commercial issues raised by clients wishing to trade as ¿sole traders¿, a ¿partnership¿ and as a ¿company limited by shares¿. Students will undertake realistic ¿trainee¿ tasks relating to establishing the correct business vehicle, personnel issues, raising finance, dealing with financial difficulties, taxation obligations, protection of the business vehicle, the regulation of commercial relationships and exit strategies. Business Accounts is integrated into the BLP Module to enable students to appreciate the basic principles of business accounting and be aware of how to interpret business accounts to ensure clients are appropriately advised in an number of commercial matters such as options for financing and insolvency. Students will learn to undertake tasks relating to the final accounts for a sole trader, a partnership and a limited company. Students will explore how the information contained in final accounts can be interpreted to provide a better view of the financial performance of a business (the topics making up Business Accounts will be taught after the relevant substantive law on the business entity in question has been covered. For example, Partnership Accounts will be dealt with once students have been introduced to the legal and commercial issues surrounding partnerships). By the end of the module students will have fully understood the Objectives and achieved the Learning Outcomes (which have been designed to meet the individual elements of the BLP Outcomes and the general outcomes, taxation and Professional Conduct and Regulation elements for the new LPC) set out below.
Commercial law is the fastest growing and most internationally orientated area of legal practice and covers a wide range of legal issues affecting businesses of any size. This elective focuses on commercial law with special emphasis on intellectual property, e-commerce and mergers and acquisitions. Commercial law covers a wide range of legal issues affecting businesses from employment law to company law and from marketing agreements to avoidance of liability within contract law. By covering the major issues in these practice areas, once the elective is completed, students will be able to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of commercial law and employ the skills they have acquired in these practice areas so far, whilst continuing to build upon and develop these skills. By setting the elective in a practical context, after its completion, students will be able to use the legal knowledge and skills they have acquired and apply the necessary procedures and behaviours appropriate to each client and each transaction or matter. The students will learn to undertake tasks relating to aspects of the law relating to the affairs of a firm¿s business clients in both a contentious and non-contentious context. They will gain an understanding of the needs of the business client by examining the substantive law covering the commercial field. In addition, the students will become aware of business practices and the practical implications of the substantive law for those practices and gain an understanding of the typical needs of a commercial client and the particular needs of an individual client. The practical nature of the elective which is based upon a transactional model, will involve students undertaking tasks and being encouraged to discuss issues and highlight problems as they arise, therefore allowing students to be able to identify the overall nature of the transaction, plan and progress that transaction or matter through a series of steps and decisions, and where appropriate, to draft relevant documentation.
1. Confirmation of responsibilities ¿ Name and status of fee-earner ¿ Name of supervising partner ¿ Name of person to whom service problems (complaints) should be addressed 2. Client care Explanation of issues, action to be taken and keeping the client informed about progress 3. Costs information Differentiation between the firm¿s charges, VAT and disbursements. Costs information should be given in a way every (individual) client can understand. Costs information should be given in writing ¿ a failure to do so could leave the firm exposed. Funding options In addition fact patterns will also deal with: Rule 1: Core Duties Rule 3: Conflicts of Interest Rule 4: Confidentiality Rule 10: Relations with third parties Rule 11 Litigation and advocacy
The Solicitors¿ Accounts module aims to impress upon students the importance of adhering to the Solicitors Accounts Rules (the Rules) and to give students a thorough understanding of solicitors¿ accounts, such that they are competent to be entrusted with client money. Students will complete realistic exercises that require them to record all the ledger entries that would occur on a typical file, using a double entry bookkeeping system that accords with the Rules. This will entail repeatedly identifying client, office and controlled trust money and the steps that must be taken when handling this money. Students will record the financial transactions that are typical of civil litigation (including conditional fee agreement), property, probate, company and commercial work. Students will also practice preparing completion statements. As well as these transactional exercises, students will encounter stand alone exercises in which they are required to apply the Rules and identify an appropriate course of action. Students will be given an intensive introduction to Solicitors¿ Accounts in the foundation course, with 2 LGS and 2 SGS. This is followed by a further 3 LGS and 3 SGS. Ordinarily a topic will be introduced in LGS before being explored in SGS the following week. As well as these discreet sessions, students will also be required to identify SAR issues as they arise in the Core Practice Areas and deal with these in an appropriate manner. In particular, Solicitors¿ Accounts will be regularly encountered in PLP, Civil Litigation and Probate. Students will have a mock assessment in Solicitors¿ Accounts which will be marked and returned to students, to enable students to reflect on their performance before the assessment.