Fall 2020 Course Syllabus
Course: LGLA-1307- Section: 71
Introduction to Law and the Legal Professions
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Instructor Information
Instructor Doneane Beckcom
Phone(409) 984-6548
Location:Student Center - Room: 415
Hours:Tuesday and Wednesday 9:00 - Noon, Thursday 8:00 - Noon; other times by appointment
Business and Industrial Technology
Chair:Sheila Guillot
Phone:(409) 984-6381

If you have a grievance, complaint, or concern about this course that has not been resolved through discussion with the Instructor, please consult the Department Chair.
COVID 19 Information The Lamar State College Port Arthur (LSCPA) Student Code of Conduct COVID 19 Policy requires students who have been exposed to COVID 19 or diagnosed with COVID 19 to report their condition on the COVID 19 Notification Form (available via a link on the Student Code of Conduct COVID19 webpage). This information will be provided to the Dean of Student Services. In addition, this policy requires all students to wear face coverings in compliance with the criteria included in the policy. For more information please refer to the COVID 19 link on the LSCPA website.
Course Information
Description Overview of the law and the legal professions including legal concepts, systems, and terminology; substantive areas of law and the federal and state judicial systems; ethical obligations and regulations; professional trends and issues with emphasis on the paralegal's role.
Prerequisites None.
Learning Outcomes 1. Understand legal terms by reviewing key terms in the textbook and other assigned readings/projects.
2. Write an effective legal resume, locate forms and draft appropriate documents. Write an effective cover letter. Use correct grammar in speech and written word.
3. Understand and be able to articulate unethical practices in the law firm or other workplace. Utilize appropriate job resume and interviewing techniques. Perform tasks authorized for paralegals, not attorneys.
4. Utilize blackboard and through the internet. Draft documents using Word. Prepare charts using Excel. Review power points as an additional resource.
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 PSLO ALPHA: Reading skills: demonstrates comprehension of content (legal) area reading material.
PSLO 1: understand legal terms and the paralegal's role in the legal environment.
PSLO 2: apply correct drafting procedures to transactional and court documents.
PSLO 3: demonstrate appropriate ethics and professionalism in the legal environment.
PSLO 4: exhibit the ability to use computer skills.
Textbooks Textbook Purchasing Statement: A student attending Lamar State College Port Arthur is not under any obligation to purchase a textbook from the college-affiliated bookstore. The same textbook may also be available from an independent retailer, including an online retailer.

Introduction to Paralegal Studies, latest Edition
Currier and Eimermann
Wolters Kluwer
ISBN 978-1-4548-7342-6
Lecture Topics
PART 1 Paralegals and the American Legal System
WEEK 1 Chapter 1 Introduction to the Study of Law and the Paralegal Profession
WEEK 2 Chapter 2 Legal Ethics
WEEK 3 Chapter 3 Sources of Law
WEEK 4 Chapter 4 Classification of the Law
WEEK 5 Chapter 5 Courts
WEEK 6 Chapter 6 Civil Litigation and Its Alternatives

PART 2 Substance of the Law
WEEK 7 Chapter 7 Torts
WEEK 8 Chapter 8 Contract Law
WEEK 9 Chapter 9 Criminal Law and Procedure
WEEK 10 Chapter 10 Specialized Practice Areas

PART 3 Legal Analysis and Research

PART 4 Paralegals and the Work World
WEEK 11 Chapter 15 Interviewing
WEEK 12 Chapter 16 Evidence and Investigations
WEEK 13 Chapter 17 Computers and Case Management
Major Assignments
We will typically cover one to two chapters per week. Since this class is online, you are able to move through the materials at your own pace; however, it is not suggested that you get more than one chapter ahead. There are approximately 13 weeks of instruction in the semester to allow for review for finals. We are covering 13 chapters in the textbook, so this is one chapter per week.

There will be a written discussion board assignment each week from the topic of each chapter/week. Discussion posts are due every Friday at NOON, no exceptions (unless Blackboard goes down). Your responses will be graded for accuracy, writing proficiency, and content. This is a way for us to do writing assignments for a grade while developing good writing and communication skills. You will receive more instruction for each dicussion assignment as each one is posted.

We will NOT cover chapters 11 - 14 in the textbook. These chapters are covered in detail in another class in the program.

Tests will generally cover 4 chapters and occur every 3 - 4 weeks throughout the semester, with a review prior to each exam. You will be given the dates the test will be open and when it will close at least one week prior so that you can plan accordingly.

Tests will cover:

Test 1: chapters 1 - 4
Test 2: chapters 5 - 8
Test 3: chapters 9 - 10
Final: chapters 15 - 17

Final Exam Date December 8, 2020 - 8:00 AM   Through  December 10, 2020 - 12:00 PM
Grading Scale  90 - 100=A    80 - 89=B    70 - 79=C     60 - 69=D    Below 59 = F
Determination of
Final Grade
Tests 70%
Chapter Assignments (vocabulary, review questions, case analysis) 20%
Discussions (blackboard) 10%
Course Policies
Instructor Policies I am always available via email. Please make an appointment to discuss grades. Otherwise feel free to stop by my office during posted office hours. Powerpoints and other study resources are available on Blackboard.
Attendance Policy As this is an online class, you MUST log into the course on Blackboard at least once per week to be counted present for the week.
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 the Office for Disability Services Coordinator, Room 231, in the Madison Monroe Building. The phone number is (409) 984-6241.
MyLSCPA Be sure to check your campus E-mail and Course Homepage using MyLSCPA 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 MyLSCPA.
HB 2504 This syllabus is part of LSC-PA's efforts to comply with Texas House Bill 2504.