Law Dissertation

  • Last updated Jul 21, 2016 4:37:41 PM
  • By Billy Sexton, Editor, AllAboutLaw.co.uk

The final year of your LLB is here, which means it’s time to put together a lovely 10,000 or so word law dissertation.

Gone are the days of first year where a casual 2,000 word essay would be enough to secure 50% of your module marks. Even the tougher second year essays, where word counts were raised up to 3,500 words, now seem like a walk in the park when faced with the mammoth dissertation.

Many law students before you have faced the mountain that is a dissertation, so don’t worry. If they do it, you can too!

A dissertation is a marathon, not a sprint (so no last minute late nights) and working on your dissertation should be treated like eating salami (bear with us on this). You wouldn’t eat a whole salami at once as it’s much tastier in thinner slices.

Therefore, you shouldn’t do your whole dissertation at once. Put it together bit-by-bit, and it will be a much stronger piece of work!

Law dissertation ideas

What you base your law dissertation on is entirely your choice… to a certain extent. You will need to find a supervisor for your dissertation so you won’t be able to do a dissertation on a specific issue if there’s no lecturer at your university who specialises in that topic!

However, presuming there is a lecturer to guide you along the long and bumpy dissertation path, you have free choice over what you’d like to study. Usually first class dissertations carry originality and research depth.

If you’re stuck for ideas or broad topic areas, let us help you out. We can’t cover every individual area of law but here are ideas for some of the core areas:

Contract Law – The influence of the EU on contract law, including anti-discrimination directives, a comparison of contract law in different jurisdictions or penalty clauses in contracts.

Criminal Law – Philosophical issues surrounding criminal law, human rights in criminal procedure or social dimensions of crime.

EU Law – Immigration and the law, the law of the European Convention for Human Rights and how this affects human rights within national borders or the impact of the EU on environmental legislation.

Public Law – Public understanding or law and education, state responsibility or historical developments in public law.

These are just a handful of suggestion and may or may not tickle your fancy. It’s best to talk to a range of potential supervisors to get a feel for how they could help you. Start looking early though, as supervisors get snapped up pretty quickly!

Law dissertation structure

Your university should tell you how to structure your dissertation, but usually an introduction highlighting the objectives of the dissertation should also put forward any issues or knowledge the reader will need to be aware of in order when they progress.

Next up is your methodology and literature review. This basically means pointing out what you’re going to research and how and summarising the key arguments already out there.

Then comes the juicy bit, the evidence. This should be what you discovered from your research and a detailed analysis of this.

Finally, the conclusion should outline what you discovered and your conclusion of this.

Writing a law dissertation can be stressful and it’s highly likely you might lose a bit of sleep over it. But at the same time it’s a great opportunity to stick your teeth into a subject you’re really passionate about and gain some good marks that will contribute significantly toward your overall degree mark. 

More like this

  • What you should be doing in the final year of your law degreeBy Billy Sexton, Editor, AllAboutLaw.co.uk

    Final year, eh? That came around quickly, didn’t it!? Well not to worry, it means you’re a year closer to landing a training contract with your dream law firm. Speaking of

  • Overcoming problem areas in academic qualificationsExtract adapted from 'Working in Law' by Charlie Philips

    Application systems across the legal profession are heavily focused on academic grades. The general requirements for most employers will be A grades at A-level and GCSE, at least a 2:1 in