Legal Research – PLST 201

CG • Section • 01/03/2020 to 06/11/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

This course will introduce students to the court system, case law, statutes, and legal research methods. Paralegals are expected to perform legal research that is both competent and cost effective. This requires an understanding of legal systems and legal research techniques. In this course, students will gain hands-on experience by employing current legal research methods.

Prerequisites

None

Rationale

Quality legal research and writing skills are the hallmark of a great legal professional. The most important thing a law student learns is how to think and write like a legal professional. In this course, you will begin developing the important research skills that are critical to becoming a successful paralegal professional.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Describe the major primary and secondary sources of law.
  2. Identify the primary features and content of case reporters, codebooks, secondary sources, and various other collections and publications of legal authority.
  3. Locate relevant law controlling a factual problem.
  4. Analyze a case to select the most legally significant information.
  5. Demonstrate proper legal citation style.
  6. Analyze all of the preceding in light of a distinctly evangelical Christian worldview.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (3)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be 300–500 words, demonstrate course-related knowledge, and include at least 3 scholarly, academic sources in Bluebook format. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 150–250 words and include at least 2 scholarly, academic sources cited in Bluebook format.

Internet Assignments (7)

The student is required to provide answers in response to the assigned questions. The length of these assignments will vary in nature.

Case Briefs (3)

The student will draft a 1–2-page synopsis of 3 assigned cases. The student will briefly explain the facts, issues, holding, and rationale of each case assigned.

Statutory Research Assignment

The student is required to provide answers in response to an assigned question. There is no length requirement to this assignment.

Research Project Topic Selection Quiz

The student will select 1 of several project options from a pre-approved list in a quiz format.

Final Research Project

The student will perform research based on the project he/she selected in order to locate and brief 4 relevant cases and a minimum of 2 statutory sections.

Quizzes (3)

Each quiz will be taken through the Cengage platform. Each quiz will cover the Reading & Study material for the assigned module/week. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 50 multiple-choice and true/false, matching, or fill-in-the blank questions, and have a 75-minute time limit.