Teaching legal studies in business degrees: a review of a method and its practice

Diane Kraal, Andrew Coleman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


The legal studies teaching methodology IRAC (issue, rule, application, conclusion) is widely used in universities by both law and business schools. This paper examines the effectiveness of IRAC from a teaching perspective and its usefulness for business students. Data is generated from an Australian university case study using teacher interviews and a student survey. The findings suggest that, because of its flexibility and logical structure, the practice of IRAC has become normalised. However it is only effective if teachers disseminate these features consistently in their teaching. Students in the study understood the usefulness of IRAC for classwork, but encountered application difficulties in assessment tasks. Although the study sample is limited, legal studies teachers in other tertiary and secondary settings can benefit from the findings, and the recommendations that periodic reflection and greater collaborative efforts are required when using IRAC to progress students’ legal studies skills.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-41
Number of pages24
JournalAustralian Journal of Teacher Education
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • legal studies
  • higher education
  • teaching method

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