House Bill 2504

Spring 2011 Course Syllabus

LGLA-1401-01 (Legal Research-Writing)

Faculty Information
SemesterSpring 2011
InstructorQuist, Edward Browning
Phone(409) 984-6382
Business and Technology
Chair:Michael Trahan
Telephone:(409) 984-6378
Hours:MWF 9:55-10:55; MW 11:55-1:55; F 11:55-12:55; TR 1:20-2:20
Building:Student Center (PAMP)
Room #:401
Course Information
Course ID #10206
Course Subject-Number-SectionLGLA-1401-01
Course TitleLegal Research-Writing
Course Description The fundamentals of legal research and writing. Topics include standard and electronic legal research, and legal writing techniques including case and fact analysis and citation format.
Course Prerequisites LGLA 1307 and LGLA 1345 (both may be taken concurrently)
Required Textbooks : (1)        Introduction to Paralegalism, by

William P. Statsky, West Publishing Co. latest ed.

(2)         Texas Rules of Form, Texas Law Review, latest ed.

(3)          The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, Columbia

Law and Harvard Law Review Associates, latest ed.

Learning Objectives Learning Outcome: Locate, read, and understand primary and secondary legal authority; design and implement effective research strategies; be familiar with computer assisted legal research tools and the proper role of these tools; and write clear, concise legal memoranda and briefs.

At the end of this course, the student should be able to:

         1.        List court opinions, statutes, constitutions, administrative regulations, administrative decisions, ordinances, rules of court, executive orders, and the major sets of materials containing their full text, the major sets of materials used to help locate this kind of law, the major sets of materials used to help explain this kind of law, and the major materials used to determine the current validity of this kind of law

2.        Distinguish between an official reporter and an unofficial reporter

3.        Identify (a) the five sets of reporters printing U.S. Supreme Court opinions, (b) the publisher of each, (c) the abbreviation of each, and (d) which of the five is the official set

         4.        Distinguish between codified and uncodified material

5.        Distinguish between primary authority and secondary authority

         6.        Distinguish between mandatory authority and persuasive authority

         7.        State how conflicts-of-law principles may require one state to follow an opinion of another state

         8.        State how the Full Faith and Credit clause (of the United States Constitution) requires one state to follow an opinion of another state

         9.        List the major kinds of secondary authority

        10.        State the five major dangers of using secondary authority in writing

        11.        State what is contained in the following categories of secondary authority: (a) legal encyclopedia; (b) non-legal encyclopedia; (c) legal dictionary; (d) non-legal dictionary; (e) general legal periodical; (f) specialized legal periodical; (g) legal treatise; (h) non-legal treatise; (i) loose-leaf service; (j) form book, manual, and practice book; (k) legal newspaper; (l) non-legal newspaper; (m) legal newsletter

        12.        Distinguish between a parallel cite, and the same case on appeal

        13.        Distinguish between a modern reporter and a nominative reporter

        14.        List eight kinds of law books that always, or often, have pocket parts

        15.        List eight kinds of law books that never have pocket parts

        16.        Distinguish the different parts of a brief of a case

17.        State different approaches or methods of interpreting the constitution

18. Perform on-line research

Major Assignments Students do assignments that are equally weighted researching

federal and Texas: reporters, statutes, digests, and citators;

Texas encyclopedia; practicing citations (Bluebook & Texas)

and on-line assignments.

Discussion Topics The intricacies of legal research in a legal environment.
Attendance Policy Research has shown a cause and effect relationship between attendance and college success. A student with the equivalent of 7 absences may be dropped from class.
Determination of Final Grade A. Three regular exams of approximately 50 questions each, of equal

weight, comprised of objective, short answer, and essay questions.        60%

        B. Students do assignments that are equally weighted researching

federal and Texas: reporters, statutes, digests, and citators;

Texas encyclopedia; practicing citations (Bluebook & Texas)

and on-line assignments.                20%

        C. Final exam, noncumulative, with approximately 50 questions,

comprised of objective, short answer, and essay questions.                15%

        D. Attendance                5%

Final Exam Date May 16, 2011 - 10:00 AM
Campus Policies
Lamar State College - Port Arthur

Mission Statement

Lamar State College-Port Arthur is an open-access, comprehensive public two-year college offering quality instruction leading to associate degrees and a variety of certificates. The college, a member of The Texas State University System, has provided affordable, quality educational opportunities to residents of the Southeast Texas area since 1909.Lamar State College-Port Arthur embraces the premise that education is an ongoing process that enhances career potential, broadens intellectual horizons, and enriches life. The faculty, staff, and administration share a commitment to a mission characterized by student learning, diversity, and community service. The foundations for student success include compensatory education programs designed to fulfill our commitment to accommodate students with diverse goals and backgrounds, technical education programs that provide for the acquisition of the skills and demeanor necessary for initial and continued employment, and a core curriculum that develops the values and concepts that allow the student to make a meaningful contribution in the workplace or community. Student achievement is measured by the completion of courses and programs of study, successful performance following transfer to a baccalaureate program, and the attainment of individual goals.

Lamar State College-Port Arthur operates in the belief that all individuals should be:

* Treated with dignity and respect;

* Afforded equal opportunity to acquire a complete educational experience;

* Given an opportunity to discover and develop their special aptitudes and insights;

* Provided and opportunity to equip themselves for a fulfilling life and responsible citizenship in a world characterized by change.

 College Grading Scale

Below 59F

(Some specialized programs may have different grading scales)


 Academic Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty in any form will not be tolerated.  Please consult the student handbook for consequences of academic dishonesty.  These policies will be strictly enforced.


 Facility  Policies

        No food, drinks, or tobacco products are allowed in the classroom.

        Only students enrolled in the course are allowed in the classroom.

        Cell phones and/or pagers are allowed ONLY on vibrate mode. Leaving the classroom to answer a page or phone call may constitute an absence or a tardy.


 Special Considerations

         The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Special Populations Coordinator, Room 231, in the Madison Monroe Building. The phone number is (409) 984-6241.

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