Legal Research and Writing

TRU Law offers legal research and writing opportunities through mandatory and elective courses, a legal information clinic, the Canadian Journal of Comparative and Contemporary Law, the SLS student conference, research assistant positions, and advocacy opportunities such as moots.

Elective and mandatory courses

A number of elective and mandatory courses provide writing opportunities for students. First-year students have a mandatory writing requirement in their Fundamental Legal Skills course. Upper-year students are required to complete a substantial research paper. Many other upper-year courses also offer opportunities to build research and writing skills. Courses focused on legal research are Advanced Legal Research and Directed Research.

Fundamental Legal Skills

Fundamental Legal Skills is a mandatory course for all first-year law students that aims to give an overview of fundamental legal research, legal citation, legal analysis, legal writing and oral advocacy skills. Students are exposed to effective lawyering and advocacy techniques by participating in the FLS Moot.

Advanced Legal Research

Advanced Legal Research is a mandatory course for upper-year law students. It builds on legal research instruction skills learned in Fundamental Legal Skills. This course provides students with a solid foundation for assessing primary and secondary materials, and provides an opportunity to enhance effective communication skills.

Directed Research

The Directed Research course is an independent study supervised by a faculty member that allows upper-year students to pursue original doctrinal, inter-disciplinary, clinical or empirical research during the course of their study. The course culminates in a final paper and may be used to satisfy the upper-year writing requirement.


Research assistant

Our professors regularly hire students as research assistants to support their research and course development. This gives students a chance to develop their legal research skills.


Canadian Journal of Comparative and Contemporary Law

The Canadian Journal of Comparative and Contemporary Law is a three-credit upper-year elective course available to second- and third-year students. Students develop their legal research and writing skills as student editors. They are involved in all aspects of editing the journal, including coordinating peer-review, copy-editing and citations, and preparing the journal for final publication.


TRU SLS student conference

The Thompson Rivers University Society of Law Students conference is an opportunity to organize and host an annual conference held at the TRU Faculty of Law. The aim of the conference is to provide TRU law students, members of the legal profession and members of the community a meaningful space to engage in a productive discourse about important legal issues. Students put their legal research, writing and analytical skills to use by presenting their own original work at the conference as student presenters. » More information