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PLG 210: Legal Research and Writing

Course Description

This course will focus on the essential skills of legal research, writing, and analysis. Students will learn to use the traditional book-based methods of legal research as well as electronic research systems such as Westlaw and/or LexisNexis. (3 credits)

Prerequisite

  • None

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

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

  1. Demonstrate a basic understanding of the main sources and types of law.
  2. Perform basic legal analysis of a client’s case (IRAC)
  3. Locate and analyze statutory law
  4. Locate and brief case law (court opinions)
  5. Understand the role of secondary authority and use digests and Shepard’s
  6. Conduct basic electronic legal research using Westlaw
  7. Properly cite legal sources
  8. Identify and analyzing key facts in court opinions and clients’ cases
  9. Identify (spot) issues in a client’s case
  10. Effectively state the issue of a case
  11. Determine if a case is on point
  12. Understand basic counter-analysis techniques
  13. Adopt an effective Legal Writing Process
  14. Draft legal office memorandum
  15. Understand the elements and organization of court briefs.

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

40%

Written Assignments

10%

Quizzes

15%

Group Project

15%

Final Exam

20%

Total

100%

Required Textbooks

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

  • Putman, William H. (2018). Legal Research, Analysis, and Writing. 4th ed. Cengage Learning. ISBN-10: 1-337-41415-8 or ISBN-13: 9781337414159 [Looseleaf version]

Additional Resources

  • None

Course Schedule

WeekSLOsReadings and ExercisesAssignments

1

 

1, 2

Topic: Introduction to Legal Principles & Authorities

  • Chapter 1

Topic: Introduction to Legal Research & Analysis

  • Chapter 2
  • Read assigned Chapters
  • Participate in Discussions
  • Review Lecture Material
  • Complete written assignment
  • Complete Quiz

2

 

3, 4

Topic: Statutory Research & Analysis

  • Chapter 3

Topic: Case Law Research & Briefing

  • Chapter 4
  • Read assigned Chapters
  • Participate in Discussions
  • Review Lecture Material
  • Complete written assignment
  • Complete Quiz

3

5, 6, 7

Topic: Secondary Authority –Digests & Shepard’s

  • Chapter 5

Topic: Computers & Legal Research

  • Chapter 7 (pp. 238 to end of chapter)

Topic: Legal Citation

  • Chapter 8
  • Read assigned Chapters
  • Participate in Discussions
  • Review Lecture Material
  • Complete written assignment
  • Complete Quiz

4

8, 9

Topic: Legal Analysis-Key Facts

  • Chapter 9

Topic: Legal Analysis – Issue Identification

  • Chapter 10
  • Read assigned Chapters
  • Participate in Discussions
  • Review Lecture Material
  • Complete written assignment
  • Complete Quiz

5

10, 11

Topic: Legal Analysis – Stating the Issue

  • Chapter 11

Topic: Case Law Analysis – Is a Case on Point?

  • Chapter 12
  • Read assigned Chapters
  • Participate in Discussions
  • Review Lecture Material
  • Complete written assignment
  • Work on Group Project
  • Complete Quiz

6

12, 13

Topic: Counter-analysis

  • Chapter 13

Topic: The Writing Process for Effective Legal Writing

  • Chapter 15
  • Read assigned Chapters
  • Participate in Discussions
  • Review Lecture Material
  • Complete written assignment
  • Work on Group Project
  • Complete Quiz

7

14, 15

Topic: Office Legal Memorandum

  • Chapters 16 & 17

Topic: External Memorandum: Court briefs

  • Chapter 18 (pp 555 - 557only)
  • Read assigned Chapters
  • Participate in Discussions
  • Review Lecture Material
  • Complete written assignment
  • Work on Group Project
  • Complete Quiz

8

15,16

Topics: Group Project and Final Exam

  • Readings: None
  • Submit Group Project
  • Complete Final Exam

Final Exam
Chapters 2 - 5, 7 - 13, and 15 - 17
SLOs - All

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.