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PLS 102 LEGAL RESEARCH AND WRITING

PLS 102 Legal Research and Writing

Course Outline

Course Number & Name:  PLS 102 Legal Research and Writing

Credit Hours:   3.0            Contact Hours:   3.0         Lecture:   3.0      Lab:   N/A            Other:   N/A

Prerequisites:  Grades of “C” or better in PLS 101 and ENG 101 or placement

Co-requisites:  None                                                      Concurrent Courses:  None

Course Description: This course serves as an introduction to the specific research and writing functions and skills necessary to perform as a legal assistant.  Students learn to analyze legal problems using locators and other general references in the law library.  Students brief cases, write legal memoranda, and use the Shepard’s Citators.  The course also introduces students to the use of computer-assisted legal research including the use of WESTLAW, Lexis-Nexis, reporter systems, and statutory materials.  The course also examines the role of the paralegal, the Code of Professional Ethics, and other related standards of proper conduct.

Course Goals: Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to do the following:

  1. discuss codes of professional conduct;
  2. find and access the law;
  3. identify, discuss, and examine the federal and state court systems;
  4. discuss and examine statutory law;
  5. find and access case law and judicial opinions;
  6. identify, discuss, and examine the use of digests, annotated law reports, and words and phrases;
  7. identify, discuss, and examine the use of encyclopedias, periodicals, treatises, and restatements;
  8. identify, discuss, and examine the use of miscellaneous secondary authorities; and
  9. discuss and examine legal citation form.