Module SXL-3151:
Startup Law

Module Facts

Run by School of Law

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Organiser: Ms Andrea Knox

Overall aims and purpose

The purpose of this module is to allow students to have an experience of what is like to really work as a lawyer while still doing their LLB. Law firms have repeatedly pointed out that LLB students do not engage in enough critical thinking, are not trained in work resembling what they will be asked to do in practice and lack commercial awareness skills. In addition, students are expected understand that when applying law in practice, it does not come in self-contained silos and it is up to them to identify the key problems and draw on their expertise on what areas of law that may be applicable.

It is expected the module will help the employability of our students by allowing them to gain relevant skills and by exposing them to one or two law firms who will be invited to help with the delivery of the sessions.

Course content

This module addresses the need of students wishing to move into legal practice of having an experiential contact with situations inspired in reality through a made up scenario. Students will be put in the position of having to help a tech-based startup go through different legal issues it faces.

Before each seminar the students will have a lecture to introduce them to the key points on the legal area being discussed that week.

Each of the seminars will be roughly focused on a discussion around a specific area of law but as the module progresses the decisions taken in earlier seminars inform the content of the following ones. For instance, the decisions on what company type is the most adequate are going to have consequences on the commercial law and tax law sessions.

For example, on Seminar 1, students will be explained what is expected from them and the scenario will be set. Their preparation for seminar two will entail finding out if a certain name can be registered as a trademark and what its cost and process. They will also need to find out how a company can be incorporated and the costs involved.

The outcome of Seminar 1 will then feed into Seminar 2 (dedicated to company law) where the students will have to think about what content should be included in the articles of incorporation and draft a founder’s agreement.

The remaining seminars will follow the same structure of short “fact finding” homework feeding into the next seminar. Tentatively, the remaining seminars will be focused on commercial law, intellectual property, taxation, raising finance, negotiation, employment law and e-commerce, consumer protection and data protection.

Assessment Criteria


An answer which, while always in the main accurate and correct, fails to distinguish between relevant and irrelevant material and is lacking in criticism. An answer which while reliable with regard to correctness is either not comprehensive or not entirely pertinent.


A comprehensive answer, containing all the material relevant to the question and no irrelevancy, all the material and references being accurate and correct, there being no inaccuracy or error, the whole presented in an argument which, while clear, logical and critical, leaves room for improvement in its construction and presentation. An answer which shows complete competence in the subject.


An outstanding, possibly brilliant, answer, containing all the material relevant to the question and no irrelevancy, all the material and references being accurate and correct, there being no inaccuracy or error, the whole presented in a clear, logical, critical argument with little room for improvement. An answer which demonstrates a complete mastery of the subject.

Learning outcomes

  1. Develop critical legal reasoning skills;

  2. Be able to critically identify what areas of the law are relevant for specific legal problems;

  3. Develop the capacity to work in teams to solve practical legal problems;

  4. Be resourceful in locating, evaluating and using relevant legal and non-legal information sources;

  5. Understand the need for identifying and applying law without the benefit of knowing the specific legal areas in advance;

  6. Analyse and develop a sustained legal argument appropriate to the level of study.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Examination 50
Written assignment 1 20
Written assignment 2 30

Teaching and Learning Strategy


The teaching is divided into lectures and seminars. The weekly two-hour lectures aim to introduce the students to the key points of the area of the law being discussed on the seminar that week.

Private study 156

The primary strategy to deliver content on this module is by weekly seminars each covering a different area of law based on a single underlying scenario (tech startup). For each seminar students will have to undertake a task relevant for its topic and will have to provide their legal opinion. Seminars will be focused on discussing the different options brought by the students and others on the topic of the seminar. Practical exercises will be used to allow and encourage students to develop an ability to apply their knowledge in practical situations so as to identify issues, think critically, carry out appropriate research and work together in groups.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Mentoring - Able to support, help, guide, inspire and/or coach others
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
  • Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in

Subject specific skills

  • Develop the ability to interpret legal rules and employ techniques of legal reasoning competently and efficiently in order to offer a range of solutions and conclusions to actual or hypothetical complex legal problems, all supported by relevant academic literature, jurisprudence and legislative research. Such solutions will be clearly communicated and presented
  • Develop the ability to analyse complex legal issues, set against the background of the political, social, economic or cultural contexts in which they may arise
  • Develop those skills which are necessary for scholarship and research in legal subjects, namely the ability to identify relevant primary and secondary legal sources and to retrieve accurate legal information using paper and electronic sources

Courses including this module

Optional in courses: