Law: First year law LL.B (Hons)

Resources for legal research and writing, including guides to broad areas of law.

First year law LL.B (Hons)

Your first law unit in the LL.B (Hons) is Foundations of Law (LAW1111), and is crucial to laying the ground work for your law studies. The Law Library works with you, providing resources and skill building to help you succeed. 


Why should you care about legal research?

Watch this short clip from La Trobe Uni.

What you should you know about academic integrity

screen shot of academic integrity tutorial

Essential resources

Use these databases and websites to find the meaning of legal abbreviations, legal definitions, cases referred to in class, journal articles for your assignment, Victorian Acts of Parliament, and other essential materials held in the Library or online. law book

Useful resources

Try the popular resources listed below for more information. 
You can also find law databases, cases, legislation and secondary sources in the other tabs on the this Library guide.

Locating Cases from a Citation

To locate a case you need to identify the elements of a case citation. For example:     law reports

R v Fitchett (2009) 23 VR 91

Party names = R (appellant) v Fitchett (defendant) (Appeal case)
Year of law report/judgment = 2009
Law report volume = 23
Law report series = VR (Victorian Reports)
Beginning page number = 91

  1. Look up the meaning of the abbreviation
  2. Print cases -  look at the ends of the rows on level 1 to see the law reports shelved in that row. Find the correct volume and check the Table of Cases Reported at the front of the law report volume to find the page number for the case.
  3. Alternatively, look at the Online law reports tab of this Library guide to find the law report online.

How to write a case note assignment

case note assignment

Library Search

Library Search


Advanced search | Sign in | A-Z ejournals | Databases | Help

Ask for help

Post in the Library's Research and Learning Skills forum in your LAW1111 Moodle unit
or come to the Research and Learning Point in the Law Library on Level 1. R&L

Learn Research and Writing Skills

Learn essential research and writing skills for law, so that you will be able to find and evaluate the most relevant resources, and write excellent legal assignments.  learn

In your first semester, you should complete each of the following:

  1. Study Skills - create effective study habits in week 1 and week 2 in this fun half hour session run in collaboration with the LSS Peer Mentor program. Check session times and book here.
  2. Getting Started with Legal Research - explore the why, what and how of legal research skills during your scheduled Foundations of Law (FOL) class in week 1.
  3. Researching Casesduring your scheduled FOL class in week 2.
  4. Research Skills for Law online tutorial - developed to help you get started on your FOL assignment, and available from the LAW1111 Moodle site from week 3.
  5. Evaluating Sources and Writing Effectively for your Assignment - during your scheduled FOL class in week 5.

Note that the Library Research quiz is worth 5% of your LAW1111 mark.

PLUS - Use the online class booking system to book into Law Study Hacks seminars and Law Assignment Strategies seminars run during semester

How to write a good Law research essay



Also, take a look at the materials on Research and Writing for Assignments on the Library's Research and Learning Online site. Find out how to understand the assignment, apply critical thinking, and write effectively.

Videos about writing

Take a look at these short videos to find out how to: thinking

1. Improve your ability to write a clear statement of your position in relation to an assignment question ( NOTE: The question used is not a current assignment question. It asks students to comment on the effects of legal representation on the outcome of a hearing.)

2. Strengthen your argument by using some critical thinking techniques.

Using sources in your writing - Citing legal materials

The Australian Guide to Legal Citation (AGLC) should be used to cite and reference your sources for all Faculty of Law assignments. 
Look at:

Try the resources below to understand more about when and how to cite effectively.

More resources