Revision time can be stressful for every student at both high school and university. There are many subjects to balance a workload for, and you still want to have a little bit of a social life!
Luckily, today there are a selection of mediums that facilitate law and legal studies revision for aspiring lawyers in Australia. This means you can find resources to help with your course and learning in a number of places; Online resources, published books, revision and study guides, film and tv, and podcasts, to name a few.
In this article we will look at some of the best law revision guides that you can use throughout your time studying the legal and justice system, both as a student in high school enrolled in year 12 legal studies and as a uni student undertaking an undergraduate bachelor, honours, or master degree law.
Revision Guides for High School Legal Studies Students
First of all, we'll take a look at some of the revision guides that are available for students in Australia that are studying law for their year 12 exams. Legal studies as a subject differ slightly in each Australian state, but the core principles are the same, you'll learn about:
- The overall legal system in Australia
- The justice system
- The rule of law in Australia
- The protection of rights
Learning about these things prepares you to study for an undergraduate bachelor degree, honours degree, or master degree of law at university. These are the foundations and principles of Australian law, and every practicing lawyer must abide by them.
We will try to include resources from as many states as possible, but there are also some overarching places where all Australian students can find helpful information.
ATAR Notes is a helpful website that provides VCE, HSC, and QCE students with a goldmine of notes and resources on a number of academic subjects including legal studies. The bulk of the content on their website is free to access, and they have extensive up to date notes on all units of your course.
As well as this, ATAR Notes offers their own study guides for a variety of subjects that you can purchase a physical copy of. This is split into two sections:
- Legal Studies Units 1&2
- Legal Studies Units 3&4
Each set of units has two books attached to it, these are titled:
- Legal Studies - Complete Course Notes
- Legal Studies - Topic Tests
These will be invaluable tools to students who are revising for their upcoming VCE, HSC, or QCE exams. Topic tests are great as they put your knowledge into practice and let you challenge yourself.
The full price for all four books would come to $132, which isn't too bad considering it covers your entire course from year 11 to year 12.
Legal Studies for VCE: Access and Justice
As you can see this is a legal guide for VCE students published by Oxford. It is written by highly experienced authors and aims to make your journey through VCE legal studies an easy one.
There are two books, one for units 1&2 and another for units 3&4. At each chapter there are aims and learning goals for you to strive for, and you can see discussion and information points throughout the text.
You can purchase both books for around $130!
Excel HSC Legal Studies
This is a comprehensive book that encompasses all units of your legal course in New South Wales. The book itself is linked to the syllabus of the course, so you can see on every page how the information you are learning relates back to your course and how exams are marked.
This book can be found online for about $40.
Creelman Exam Question on Politics and Law for WACE
This is a helpful resource if you have upcoming exams and you wish to practice some questions beforehand. The book is composed of exam questions arranged into topics within WACE politics and law, and provides model answers to each.
Seeing a professional's model answer can be very useful if you write your own first and then compare and take notes.
Wherever you are from in Australia, though, you can still take advantage of past exam papers and marking sheets by simply searching on google for the previous years exam papers.
Study Guides for University Law Students
If you're studying an undergraduate bachelor degree, honours degree, or master degree of law at a university in Australia, then it's likely that you already have a fair few books that can help you revise and study for exams. For a start, you'll have to have your course textbooks, which in a sense is a bit like a study guide already!
Even still, we'll look at a couple of university level revision guides that might be handy to have in your arsenal of books.
Commercial Law - LexisNexis
This is a revision guide for university law students who have decided to specialise in Commercial Law during their undergraduate bachelor degree. It is made by a publishing company called LexisNexis, which specialises in creating resources for law students.
This particular study guide gives you an insight to the foundations of commercial law in Australia, as well as taking a look at other slightly forgotten aspects of the law which aren't necessarily in use today.
You can find study guides for most areas of law from LexisNexis, and they are a go to publisher for law students at university. This guide and other likely it normally cost around $142, which can be a bit steep for some!
Taxation Law in Australia
Originally published in 1996, this guide to taxation law in Australia is now on it's fourth edition after being regularly updated. Students wishing to study tax laws should get the most from this book which tells us this about itself:
It presents an analysis of the tax rulings and determinations in recent years on topics such as capital gains tax, self-assessment and the general anti-avoidance provision, Part 1VA. Included is an examination of recent case law and legislation such as the new entertainment and substantiation rules, the fringe benefits 'cost of compliance' changes, the value-shifting provision and deficit deferral tax.
If that sounds like it could be the missing piece in your revision for Australian taxation, then it can be yours for around $100.
Consumer and Commercial Law - Law Express
Law Express is another publishing company, like Lexis Nexis, that creates a lot of revision resources for university students undertaking an undergraduate bachelor degree, honours degree, or master degree of law.
Within the multitude of study guides that they have published, each on a different topic or area of law, they have this guide about consumer and commercial law in Australia. This guide allows you to review all the key information before your exams, like cases, statutes, legislation, and legal terminology.
There is expert advice throughout the pages and helpful sections that tell you common mistakes and places that students go wrong.
Other Ways to Revise
If the study guides are out of budget, or you want a varied approach to your study of law, you can always turn to other methods of revision.
Seeking out online resources is another way that you can revise for both your high school legal course and an undergraduate bachelor degree of law at university. There are plenty of websites with a full database of notes waiting for you to browse through them and learn something new. We already mentioned one such site earlier - ATAR Notes.
Of course, there are the traditional methods of reading your textbook and notes from throughout the semester, making flowcharts and flashcards etc. These are still all great methods today it simply depends on how your brain works, you can revise in any style if it gets you prepared and the learning done.
Other than this you can look up the past exam papers of your subjects to see what topics have recently come up and get an idea of the style of questions and the layout of the paper itself.
If you try all of these and find that nothing is quite working for you, or you need some extra motivation to keep you on the right track, private tuition with a professional tutor is always a path you can take.
With Superprof it is easy to find experienced law and legal tutors in your area of Australia that has the knowledge to prepare you for your exams and spend time in the areas that you need to improve.
Taking private lessons with an Australian law tutor is one of the best ways to revise, as you have your own personal teacher. Without their attention going to other students, your professional law tutor can guide and support you through any difficult unit or complex legislation.
Whatever steps you take to manage your law revision, work hard and stay positive, and remember to take a break once in awhile!
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