Fall 2018 Course Syllabus
Course: LGLA-1401- Section: 01
Legal Research and Writing
LSCPA Logo Image
Instructor Information
Instructor Doneane Beckcom
Phone(409) 984-6548
Location:Student Center - Room: 415
Hours:MWF Noon - 2PM, TR 12:30 - 1:30, otherwise by appointment
Business and Technology
Chair:Sheila Guillot
Phone:(409) 984-6381
Course Information
Description Presents the fundamentals of legal research and writing emphasizing the paralegal's role including resources and processes used in legal research and writing.
Prerequisites LGLA 1307 (may be taken concurrently, however)
Learning Outcomes Related PSLO
1.5 Research U.S. Supreme court caselaw
2.1 Locate Texas statutory law
3.5 Write proper citations for various jurisdictions
4.5 Find caselaw for lower federal courts
5.5 Research administrative law
6.5 Locate federal statutory law
7.4 Do legal research in Westlaw
8.1 Research in legal encyclopedias
9.5 Update legal materials in citators
10.4 Perform legal research in Lexis-Nexis
11.5 Research in legal periodicals
Core Objectives * Communication skills: Students will demonstrate effective written, oral and visual communication.

* Critical Thinking Skills: Students will engage in creative and/or innovative thinking, and/or inquiry, analysis, evaluation, synthesis of information, organizing concepts and constructing solutions.

* Personal Responsibility: Students will demonstrate the ability to connect choices, actions and consequences to ethical decision-making.
Program Student Learning Outcomes Alpha reading skills-
1. Understand legal terms and the paralegal's role in the legal environment.
2. Apply correct drafting procedures to transactional and court documents.
3. Demonstrate appropriate ethics and professionalism in the legal environment.
4. Exhibit the ability to use computer skills.
5. Demonstrate comprehension of legal reading materials
Textbooks (1) Legal Research and Writing for Paralegals, 8th Edition, Deborah E. Bouchoux, Wolters Kluwer, ISBN 978-1-4548-7335-8

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

(3) The Bluebook of Uniform System of Citation, Columbia Law and Harvard Law Review Association, latest ed.
Lecture Topics
Finding the Law
Federal and State Court Systems
Statutory Law
Case Law and Judicial Opinions
The Use of Digests, Annotations, etc.
Encyclopedias, Periodicals, Treatises, and Restatements
Miscellaneous Secondary Authorities
Legal Citation Form
Updating and Validating Research
Special Research Issues
The Digital Library
Overview of the Research Process
Back to Basics
Strategies for Effective Writing
Legal Correspondence
Legal Memoranda
Legal Briefs
Postwriting Steps
Major Assignments
Week 1: Orientation to class, syllabus, pre test, Chapter 1
Week 2: Chapter 2 - 3
Week 3: Chapter 4
Week 4: Chapter 5
Week 5: Test 1, Chapters 1 - 5
Week 6: Chapter 6
Week 7: Chapter 7
Week 8: Chapter 8
Week 9: Chapter 9
Week 10: Chapter 10
Week 11: Chapter 11
Week 12: Chapter 12
Week 13: Test 2, Chapters 6 - 12; Chapter 13
Week 14: Chapter 14 - 15
Week 15: Chapter 16 - 18
Week 16: Chapter 19

FINAL is NOT comprehensive, it will cover Chapters 13 - 19
Final Exam Date December 7, 2018 - 8:00 AM   Through  December 7, 2018 - 10:00 AM
Grading Scale  90 - 100=A    80 - 89=B    70 - 79=C     60 - 69=D    Below 59 = F
Determination of
Final Grade
Exams (2-3) 60%
Projects and assignments (library and internet lab work) 20%
Final Exam (not comprehensive) 15%
Attendance 5%
Course Policies
Instructor Policies I am always available via email and text, 409-718-8613 (emergencies only for texting, please!). If you'd like to see me in person, please make an appointment.
Attendance Policy A student who misses 6 classes may be dropped from the course
Academic Honesty Academic honesty is expected from all students, and dishonesty in any form will not be tolerated. Please consult the LSC-PA policies (Section IX, subsection A, in the Faculty Handbook) for consequences of academic dishonesty.
Facility Policies
  1. No food or tobacco products are allowed in the classroom.

  2. Only students enrolled in the course are allowed in the classroom, except by special instructor permission.

  3. Use of electronic devices is prohibited.
Important Information
ADA Considerations The Americans 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.
MyLamarPA Be sure to check your campus E-mail and Course Homepage using MyLamarPA campus web portal (My.LamarPA.edu). When you've logged in, click the email icon in the upper right-hand corner to check email, or click on the "My Courses" tab to get to your Course Homepage. Click the link to your course and review the information presented. It is important that you check your email and Course Homepage regularly. You can also access your grades, transcripts, and determine who your academic advisor is by using MyLamarPA.
HB 2504 This syllabus is part of LSC-PA's efforts to comply with Texas House Bill 2504.