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PLS 202 ADVANCED LEGAL RESEARCH AND WRITING

PLS 202Advanced Legal Research and Writing

Course Outline

Course Number & Name:  PLS 202 Advanced Legal Research and Writing

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

Prerequisites:  Grade of “C” or better in PLS 102

Co-requisites:  None                                                      Concurrent Courses:  None

Course Description: Legal research is the process of identifying and retrieving information necessary to support legal decision-making. In its broadest sense, legal research includes each step of a course of action that begins with analyzing facts of a problem and concludes with communicating and applying the results of the investigation. As compared to legal research, legal writing places a heavy reliance on authority. In most legal writing, the writer must back up assertions and statements with citations to authority. This is accomplished by a unique and complicated citation system. The standard methods for American legal citation are defined by two competing rulebooks: the ALWD Citation Manual: A Professional System of Citation and The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation.  PLS 202 is designed to improve and refine legal research and writing skills through a series of assignments which require in-depth legal research and analysis. 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 and examine the codes of professional conduct;
  2. discuss and examine legal citation form;
  3. discuss and examine the process of updating and validating research;
  4. discuss and identify special research issues;
  5. discuss and examine the digital library: LEXIS, Westlaw, and non-print research sources;
  6. discuss and examine e-research: legal research using the internet;
  7. discuss and examine the legal research process;
  8. discuss and examine the rules of basic writing;
  9. discuss and examine strategies for effective writing;
  10. discuss, examine, and draft written legal correspondence; and
  11. discuss and examine post-writing steps.