Fall 2020 Course Syllabus
Course: LGLA-1401- Section: 71
Legal Research and Writing
LSCPA Logo Image
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; otherwise 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 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 Research U.S. Supreme court caselaw
Locate Texas statutory law
Write proper citations for various jurisdictions
Find caselaw for lower federal courts
Research administrative law
Locate federal statutory law
Do legal research in Westlaw
Research in legal encyclopedias
Update legal materials in citators
Perform legal research in Lexis-Nexis
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 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.

(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
Section I Legal Research: Primary Authorities
Chapter 1 Finding the Law
Chapter 2 The Federal and State Court Systems
Chapter 3 Statutory Law
Chapter 4 Case Law and Judicial Opinions
Chapter 5 The Use of Digests, Annotated Law Reports, and Words and Phrases
Section II Legal Research: Secondary Authorities and Other Research Aids
Chapter 6 Encyclopedias, Periodicals, Treatises, and Restatements
Chapter 7 Miscellaneous Secondary Authorities
Chapter 8 Legal Citation Form
Chapter 9 Updating and Validating Your Research
Chapter 10 Special Research Issues
Chapter 11 The Digital Library: Lexis Advance, Westlaw, and Nonprint Research Sources
Chapter 12 E-Research: Legal Research Using the Internet
Chapter 13 Overview of the Research Process
Section III Legal Writing
Chapter 14 Back to Basics
Chapter 15 Strategies for Effective Writing
Chapter 16 Legal Correspondence
Chapter 17 Legal Memoranda
Chapter 18 Legal Briefs
Chapter 19 Postwriting Steps
Major Assignments
We will typically cover 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 19 chapters in the textbook, so this is about 2 chapters per week.

There will be some writing assignments that we will do as our lab in this class. They will be assigned during the lecture videos so you must watch the videos to get the instructions for each assignment. These will need to be done on your computer, scanned and emailed to me by the due date.

We will also do a virtual tour of the library early in the course. I will video the tour and post it online for you to watch, as there will be assignments that you will need to use the library do complete.

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 - 7
Test 3: chapter 8
Final: chapters 13 - 19

Week 1: Orientation to class, syllabus, pre test, Chapter 1 and 2
Week 2: Chapters 3 - 4
Week 3: Chapter 5 - 7
Week 4: Chapter 8
Week 5: Chapter 8 continued
Week 6: Chapter 9 - 10
Week 7: Chapter 11 - 12
Week 8: Chapter 13 - 14
Week 9: Chapter 15 - 16
Week 10: Chapter 16 - 17
Week 11: Chapter 18 - 19
Week 12: Online Training (computer research)
Week 13: Finish projects and review for finals
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
Exams 80%
Projects and assignments (library and internet lab work) 20%

Course Policies
Instructor Policies
Attendance Policy As this is an online course, you MUST log into the course on Blackboard at least once per week to be counted present for the week. It is HIGHLY recommended that you do NOT miss class or lab. This is an intense course and you will learn best if you are there for lecture and lab. It is a very hands on course that requires you to be present. We will do our best in the online platform to get as much out of this course as possible.
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.
Other 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.
HB 2504 This syllabus is part of LSC-PA's efforts to comply with Texas House Bill 2504.