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PLG 110: Technology in Law

Course Description

The course will focus on teaching paralegals about the use of computers in legal organizations. Subjects to be explored include: introduction to computers, computer hardware and software, programs for word processing, spreadsheets and databases, timekeeping and billing programs, case management and docket control, discovery and litigation support, the internet, legal research, and presentation graphics. (3 credits)

Prerequisite

  • None

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Identify how computers are being used in legal organizations and the ethical considerations which arise in their use.
  2. Discuss types of storage systems and operating software programs.
  3. Understand of the ways documents are created and how spreadsheets and databases are used in the legal environment.
  4. Know how the computerized time and billing system works.
  5. Have a detailed understanding of calendaring, docketing systems and programs which support litigation.
  6. Show the ability to locate resources for legal information on the Internet.
  7. Accurately create simple search queries using WESTLAW or LexisNexis.
  8. Demonstrate an enhanced level of confidence in using computers and understanding their value in the legal organization.

General Education Outcomes (GEOs)

Please check the applicable GEOs for this course, if any, by outcomes at GEO Category Search, or by subject area at GEO Discipline Search.

Course Activities and Grading

AssignmentsWeight

Discussions (Weeks 1-7)

35%

Weekly Written Assignments (Weeks 1-7)

35%

Midterm Exam (Week 4)

10%

Final Exam (Week 8)

20%

Total

100%

Required Textbooks

(Available through https://bookstore.mbsdirect.net/vbm/vb_home.php?FVCUSNO=35478)

  • Cornick, Matthew S. Using Computers in the Law Office. 8th ed. MBA, Delmar Learning, Clifton Park, N.Y, 2019. ISBN-13: 9781337688963  [Looseleaf version]

Additional Resources

  • Issues of current interest will be added for consideration by students and a number of websites in addition to those in the textbook will be discussed.

Computer Specifications

  • In addition to standard COSC technology requirements, students should download (at no cost) Adobe Reader. Most internet files on the Internet are in Adobe PDF format and accessible with the Adobe Reader.

Course Schedule

WeekSLOsReadings and ExercisesAssignments

1

1,2

Topic: Computers in the Law Office / Word Processing and Document Assembly

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 1 pages 1-25
    • Chapter 2 pages 26-105
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in Discussion
  • Answer questions 1-11 on page 24 in Test Your Knowledge section of the text book
  • Answer On the Web exercise #6 on page 24
  • Answer questions 1-10 on page 44 in Test Your Knowledge section of the text book

2

3

Topics: Spreadsheet Software

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 3 pages 106-164
  • Read assigned chapter
  • Participate in Discussion
  • Answer questions 1-13 on page 132 in the Test Your Knowledge section of the text book.
  • Answer Exercise #3 on page 133

3

4

Topic: Legal Timekeeping and Billing Software

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 4 pages 165-213
  • Read assigned chapter
  • Participate in Discussion
  • Answer questions 1-14 in the Test Your Knowledge section on page 194
  • Question 4 of On the Web Exercies on page 196

4

5

Topics: Databases, Case Management and Docket Control

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 5 pages 213-253
  • Read assigned chapter
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Answer questions 1-10 in the Test Your Knowledge section on page 232
  • Answer Exercise #4 on page 232
  • Complete Midterm Exam

Midterm Exam
Chapters 1-5
SLOs 1-5

5

6

Topics: The Cloud, Social Media and Electronic Discovery

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 6 pages 254-273
    • Chapter 7 pages 274-296
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in Discussion
  • Answer Questions 1-8 in the Test Your Knowledge section on page 272
  • Answer Exercise #1 on page 272
  • Answer questions 1-10 in the Test Your Knowledge section on page 279

6

7

Topic: Litigation Support Software

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 8 pages 297-378
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in Discussion
  • Answer Test Your Knowledge Questions 1-8 on page 329
  • Answer Exercise #1 on page 329

7

8

Topic: The Internet, Computer-Assisted Legal Research and Electronic Mail

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 9 pages 379-454
  • Read assigned chapter
  • Participate in Discussion
  • Answer Test your Knowledge Questions 1-15 on page 420
  • Answer Exercise #10 on page 421
  • Begin Review for Final Exam

8

9

Topics: The Electronic Courtroom, Automated Courtroom and Presentation Graphics

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 10 pages 455-506
  • Read assigned chapter
  • Answer questions 1-6 in the Test Your Knowledge section on page 471
  • Complete Final Exam
  • Submit Course Evaluation

Final Exam
Chapters 1-10
SLOs 1-9

COSC Accessibility Statement

Charter Oak State College encourages students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, or psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services at OAS@charteroak.edu.

COSC Policies, Course Policies, Academic Support Services and Resources

Students are responsible for knowing all Charter Oak State College (COSC) institutional policies, course-specific policies, procedures, and available academic support services and resources. Please see COSC Policies for COSC institutional policies, and see also specific policies related to this course. See COSC Resources for information regarding available academic support services and resources.