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Fall 2018

Paralegal Courses:

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PLG201 - Legal Research and Writing

Credits: 4

Catalog Description: Uses a law library, performs legal research, analyzes legal problems, and writes a legal memorandum. Locates and uses both primary and secondary legal resources to solve legal problems and to present solutions in the appropriate legal format. Introduces use of databases and the Internet as legal research tools and resources. Prerequisite: PLG 114 and ENG102, or consent of the program director.

Lecture: 4 hrs.

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs):
Upon the successful completion of this course, as documented by several tests and written assignments, students will be able to:

1.Distinguish between mandatory (binding) and persuasive (non-binding) legal authority.
* 2. Identify and explain at least three (3) of the advantages and at least three (3) disadvantages of the major components of secondary legal research.
* 3. Name and describe the four (4) sources for conducting primary legal research.
4. Demonstrate the appropriate use of both primary legal research resources and secondary legal research resources by incorporating each in a written assignment.
5.Demonstrate the ability to properly use an on-line legal database for conducting legal research.
6.Explain the necessity for "shepardizing" a legal authority.
7. Demonstrate the ability to "shepardize".
8. Demonstrate the ability to use the essential aspects of proper legal citation format.
9.Employ the IRAC method in analyzing and synthesizing key facts and pertinent legal concepts.
10. Demonstrate in a written assignment the ability to brief a case.
11. Analyze a fact pattern so that the essential legal issues and questions of law are extracted and presented in an appropriate manner.
12. Draft essential legal documents, viz. intra-office memoranda and a memorandum in support of a motion.

* These course objectives have been identified as student learning outcomes that must be formally assessed as part of the College Comprehension Assessment Plan. All faculty teaching this course must collect the required data and submit the required analysis and documentation at the conclusion of the semester to the Office of Assessment and Special Projects.


Content Outline:
Introduction to Legal Research
Mandatory (Binding) and Persuasive (Non-Binding) Authority
Primary Authority
Secondary Authority
The Legal Memorandum
Case Briefing
IRAC Method
Synthesizing Cases and Authorities
Computerized Legal Research: Databases
Internet Research
Research Strategy

Effective Term: Fall 2004