Legal Research and Writing

Legal Research and Writing

This course explores paralegalism as a profession. It provides students with an introduction to the tasks that paralegals undertake, addresses the skills paralegals need to perform successfully, and delves into ethical rules applicable to paralegals. Students will learn more about the origins of paralegalism as a career, the workings of the U.S. legal system, and how paralegals contribute to a law practice. In addition, the course addresses legal interviewing and investigations, litigation, and legal research and writing—all areas in which paralegals tend to be active. Upon completion, students will have a solid overview of job requirements and skills needed to succeed as a paralegal.

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Learning Objectives/

  1. 1.1 Recognize the difference between primary and secondary sources of law.
  2. 1.2 Explain the appropriate use of precedent, binding authority, and persuasive authority.
  3. 1.3 Describe the development and effective use of legal communications.
  1. 2.1 Explain how the Bluebook is used to prepare legal documents and cite sources of law.
  2. 2.2 Cite primary sources of law.
  3. 2.3 Cite secondary sources of law.
  1. 3.1 Describe the elements of a court decision.
  2. 3.2 Explain how to research case law.
  1. 4.1 Assess a legal problem.
  2. 4.2 Apply legal precedent.
  3. 4.3 Evaluate case law.
  1. 5.1 Discuss different methods used to brief cases.
  2. 5.2 Analyze a court decision.
  1. 6.1 Discuss the purpose of a constitution and how it is used and interpreted.
  2. 6.2 Discuss the development and use of statutory law at the federal, state, and local levels.
  3. 6.3 Describe the promulgation and authority of regulations.
  1. 7.1 Discuss the importance of researching, outlining, drafting, and revising.
  2. 7.2 Describe methods for making writing more effective.
  1. 8.1 Differentiate between legal memoranda and other legal materials.
  2. 8.2 Describe the elements of a legal memorandum.
  1. 9.1 Describe court rules and the need to adhere to them.
  2. 9.2 Plan elements of legal briefs.
  3. 9.3 Examine court filings.
  1. 10.1 Describe the elements and appropriate formatting of a business letter.
  2. 10.2 Discuss the elements of an opinion letter.
  3. 10.3 Discuss the elements of a demand letter.

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