Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
PL 101
Course Title:
Introduction to Law - Fundamentals
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Covers sources and function of law in the United States, court systems and procedure, introductory legal analysis, and an overview of civil and administrative law. Prerequisites: WR 121. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

This course surveys our federal and state court systems, introduces civil and administrative procedure, introduces the substantive law of torts, and teaches the beginnings of legal analysis through case briefing, statutory construction and application of law and procedure to fact situations.  A core course, required for a Legal Assistant Certificate or an Associate of Applied Science degree.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  1. Use analytical skills when applying substantive and procedural law to fact situations.
  2. Use legal terminology effectively in the legal field.
  3. Brief a court opinion.
  4. Communicate regarding substantive and procedural legal topics.

Course Activities and Design

Course is a combination of lecture, discussion and problem-solving.Students work individually and in small groups.  One court visit is required.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Grades are based upon completion of homework assignments,case briefs, problems, mid-term, final exam, attendance and other projects. 

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Demonstrate understanding of:
          branches and basic functions of U.S. government;
          sources of law in this country;
          relationship between state and federal law; and
          civil and administrative procedure.
Correctly cite a U.S. Supreme Court case and explain its meaning.
Contribute to group analysis of cases/problems.
Brief a case.
Provide a well written, thorough analysis of a problem, by application of law and procedure to given facts, to arrive at a cogent and well supported conclusion.