Fall 2023 Course Syllabus
Course: LGLA-1307 (Section: 71, CRN: 90259)
Introduction to Law and the Legal Professions
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Instructor Information
Instructor Doneane Beckcom
Email beckcomde@lamarpa.edu
Phone (409) 984-6548
Office Student Center - Room: 415
Office Hours Location: Student Center - Room: 415
Hours: M-F 8AM-9AM; M-TH: 1PM-2PM; F: 10AM-11AM
All other times by appointment
Additional Contact Information
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.
Required 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
Additional Materials/Resources I will post links to YouTube court channels and other internet links periodically throughout the semester.
Corequisites/Prerequisites None.
Learning Outcomes 1. Use legal terminology;
2. Explain fundamental legal concepts categorizing substantive areas of law and the federal and state judicial systems; and
3. Identify the ethical obligations of the legal professional in various practice areas with particular emphasis on the paralegal's role in the legal profession.
Program Student Learning Outcomes 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.
Lecture Topics Outline Part I. Paralegals and the American Legal System

Chapter 1 Introduction to the Study of Law and the Paralegal Profession
Chapter 2 Legal Ethics
Chapter 3 Sources of Law
Chapter 4 Classification of the Law
Chapter 5 Courts
Chapter 6 Civil Litigation and Its Alternatives

Part II. Substance of the Law

Chapter 7 Torts
Chapter 8 Contracts
Chapter 9 Criminal Law and Procedure
Chapter 10 Specialized Practice Areas

Part III. Legal Analysis and Research

Chapter 11 Finding and Interpreting Enacted Law
Chapter 12 Finding and Interpreting Court Opinions
Chapter 13 Finding The Law
Chapter 14 Applying The Law

Part IV. Paralegals and the Work World

Chapter 15 Interviewing
Chapter 16 Evidence and Investigations
Chapter 17 Computers and Case Management
Major Assignments Schedule LECTURES IN ONLINE CLASS

We will typically cover one chapter per week. There are approximately 15 weeks of instruction in the semester to allow for review for finals. We will cover one chapter per week. We will do some simple rafting assignments using legal document production software toward the end of the semester. 

Chapter 1 Introduction to the Study of Law and the Paralegal Profession
Chapter 2 Legal Ethics
Chapter 3 Sources of Law
Chapter 4 Classification of the Law, TEST 1
Chapter 5 Courts
Chapter 6 Civil Litigation and Its Alternatives
Chapter 7 Torts
Chapter 8 Contracts, TEST 2
Chapter 9 Criminal Law and Procedure
WEEK 10:
Chapter 10 Specialized Practice Areas
WEEK 11: 
Chapter 11 Finding and Interpreting Enacted Law
Chapter 12 Finding and Interpreting Court Opinions
WEEK 12:
Chapter 13 Finding The Law
Chapter 14 Applying The Law
WEEK 13:
Chapter 15 Interviewing
Chapter 16 Evidence and Investigations
Chapter 17 Computers and Case Management
WEEK 14:
In class drafting practice
WEEK 15:
In class drafting practice, REVIEW FOR FINAL EXAM
WEEK 16:


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 discussion assignment as each one is posted.


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. ALL TESTS ARE ON BLACKBOARD EXCEPT FOR THE FINAL EXAM. YOU WILL NEED A GREEN SCANTRON FOR THE FINAL.

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

NOTICE THERE IS NOT A TEST OVER CHAPTERS 11 - 14. This is a VERY in depth topic (legal research) which you will learn MUCH more about in a class later in the program. I will cover the chapters but we will not have a test over them. 


I will give you the opportunity to earn extra credit, it will be detailed later in the semester

Final Exam Date May 1, 2023 - 8:0 AM   Through  May 8, 2023 - 5:0 PM
Grading Scale  90 - 100=A 80 - 89=B  70 - 79=C   60 - 69=D  Below 59 = F
Determination of
Final Grade
Tests 60%
Discussions (blackboard) 30%
Attendance 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 Attendance is important as we will be covering lots of new information and terminology. If you are not in class you will miss out on in person instruction and discussions. YOUR GRADE WILL SUFFER IF YOU DO NOT ATTEND CLASS! You will receive a grade for attendance at the end of the semester that reflects the number of classes you ACTAULLY attended. 
Additional Information I am always available via email at beckcomde@lamarpa.edu. You may text me in EMERGENCIES ONLY at 409-718-8613. An emergency would be if you are taking a test on Blackboard and it crashes and I need to reset the exam for you to start over. DO NOT TEXT AFTER 7PM OR BEFORE 7AM PLEASE!

Institutional Policies
MyLSCPA Be sure to check your campus email and Course Homepage using MyLSCPA campus web portal. You can also access your grades, transcripts, academic advisors, degree progress, and other services through MyLSCPA.
Academic Honesty Academic honesty is expected from all students, and dishonesty in any form will not be tolerated. Please consult the LSCPA policies (Academic Dishonesty section in the Student Handbook) for consequences of academic dishonesty.
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.
COVID 19 Information The Lamar State College Port Arthur (LSCPA) Student Code of Conduct COVID 19 Policy requires students who have been diagnosed with COVID 19 to report their condition directly to their local health department. Students should also contact their course faculty to report their quarantine status. In addition, this policy requires all students to wear face coverings when directly exposed to COVID 19 in compliance with the criteria included in the policy. For more information please refer to the COVID 19 link on the LSCPA website.
Facility Policies No food or tobacco products are allowed in the classroom. Only students enrolled in the course are allowed in the classroom, except by special instructor permission. Use of electronic devices is prohibited.
HB 2504 This syllabus is part of LSCPA's efforts to comply with Texas House Bill 2504.
Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect As per Texas law and LSCPA policy, all LSCPA employees, including faculty, are required to report allegations or disclosures of child abuse or neglect to the designated authorities, which may include a local or state law enforcement agency or the Texas Department of Family Protective Services. For more information about mandatory reporting requirements, see LSCPA's Policy and Procedure Manual.
Title IX and Sexual Misconduct LSCPA is committed to establishing and maintaining an environment that is free from all forms of sex discrimination, including sexual harassment, sexual violence, and other forms of sexual misconduct. All LSCPA employees, including faculty, have the responsibility to report disclosures of sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment, sexual assault (including rape and acquaintance rape), domestic violence, dating violence, relationship violence, or stalking, to LSCPA's Title IX Coordinator, whose role is to coordinate the college's response to sexual misconduct. For more information about Title IX protections, faculty reporting responsibilities, options for confidential reporting, and the resources available for support visit LSCPA's Title IX website.
Clery Act Crime Reporting For more information about the Clery Act and crime reporting, see the Annual Security & Fire Safety Report and the Campus Security website.

Grievance / Complaint / Concern 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.
Department Information
Business and Industrial Technology
Chair:Sheila Guillot
Phone:(409) 984-6381