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
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:
- discuss and examine the codes of professional conduct;
- discuss and examine legal citation form;
- discuss and examine the process of updating and validating research;
- discuss and identify special research issues;
- discuss and examine the digital library: LEXIS, Westlaw, and non-print research sources;
- discuss and examine e-research: legal research using the internet;
- discuss and examine the legal research process;
- discuss and examine the rules of basic writing;
- discuss and examine strategies for effective writing;
- discuss, examine, and draft written legal correspondence; and
- discuss and examine post-writing steps.