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LX452Z: LEGAL STORYTELLING (2023-2024)

Last modified: 05 Oct 2023 08:46


Course Overview

Storytelling is firmly embedded within the law. Advocates use narrative techniques to present their clients’ stories and to evoke responses from audiences. Histories of our laws and legal institutions are taught to us from an early age. But who has the power to decide which stories get told? Which stories are ignored, forgotten, or marginalised?

The aim of the course is to critically examine the use of legal storytelling in scholarship and practice. Through close readings of texts and other media, it will encourage students to reflect on how legal stories are created and challenged.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
Co-ordinators
  • Dr Erin Ferguson

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Undergraduate Programme
  • One of Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4 or Programme Level 5

What other courses must be taken with this course?

None.

What courses cannot be taken with this course?

Are there a limited number of places available?

Yes

One or more of these courses have a limited number of places. Priority access will be given to students for whom this course is compulsory. Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions for more details on this process.


Course Description

The aim of the course is to critically examine the use of legal storytelling in scholarship and practice. It adopts a socio-legal approach that encourages students to reflect on how narratives of the law are created, reproduced, and challenged by alternative stories. It will involve close readings of texts and other media. In particular, it will focus on the use storytelling techniques by ‘outgroups’ as a way of challenging the dominant narratives within law.

The course will also provide a forum for applied legal storytelling, through reflective writing on seminar reading and the use of storytelling techniques in an assessed essay. Students will have the opportunity to develop these skills throughout the course and receive ongoing formative feedback.

The course schedule will include one introductory information session, followed by six substantive seminars. The seminar topics will vary from year to year, but, as an indicative list, could include the following:

  • Exploring and exposing legal myths
  • Alternative legal judgments (e.g. feminist judgments)
  • The use of visual media and other non-textual formats as a means of legal storytelling
  • Advocacy as storytelling
  • Storytelling about the law
  • Attempts by outgroups to challenge dominant narratives in/about the law

 


Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers


Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

Project Plan, Summary or Abstract

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 20
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

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Feedback

Students will submit a 1000-word project proposal prior to the final assessment. The aim of the proposal is for students to identify their topics early in the course and to receive feedback that can be reflected on and incorporated into the final essay.

The goal is for the project proposal to be submitted in good time for the course team to provide feedback before the spring holidays, so that students are able to use this feedback for the final assessment.

Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ConceptualEvaluateTo critically evaluate the use of storytelling techniques by legal scholars and practitioners
ConceptualEvaluateTo appraise multiple or competing narratives in legal scholarship, judicial opinions, and other course reading
ProceduralUnderstandTo locate relevant sources of information through independent legal research
ReflectionApplyTo apply legal storytelling techniques in written assessments

Essay

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 50
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

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Feedback

Individual feedback and a mark based on the CGS will be provided electronically.

Word Count 2750
Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ConceptualEvaluateTo critically evaluate the use of storytelling techniques by legal scholars and practitioners
ConceptualEvaluateTo appraise multiple or competing narratives in legal scholarship, judicial opinions, and other course reading
ProceduralUnderstandTo locate relevant sources of information through independent legal research
ReflectionApplyTo apply legal storytelling techniques in written assessments

Reflective Report

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 30
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

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Feedback

Reflective Seminar Reading Journal. Students will keep a live, reflective journal of their seminar reading throughout the course. Students will be asked to make a minimum number of posts to a class discussion board (using the discussion board feature in MyAberdeen or a similar tool) and to contribute to other students’ posts.

Ongoing feedback will be provided during the course (via the online discussion board). Individual summative feedback and a mark will be provided upon submission of the completed reading journal.

Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ConceptualEvaluateTo critically evaluate the use of storytelling techniques by legal scholars and practitioners
ConceptualEvaluateTo appraise multiple or competing narratives in legal scholarship, judicial opinions, and other course reading
ProceduralUnderstandTo locate relevant sources of information through independent legal research
ReflectionApplyTo apply legal storytelling techniques in written assessments

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ConceptualEvaluateTo appraise multiple or competing narratives in legal scholarship, judicial opinions, and other course reading
ConceptualEvaluateTo critically evaluate the use of storytelling techniques by legal scholars and practitioners
ProceduralUnderstandTo locate relevant sources of information through independent legal research
ReflectionApplyTo apply legal storytelling techniques in written assessments

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