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CCOG for PL 203 Winter 2022

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Course Number:
PL 203
Course Title:
Basic Legal Research
Credit Hours:
3
Lecture Hours:
30
Lecture/Lab Hours:
0
Lab Hours:
0

Course Description

Explores jurisdictional concepts essential to legal research. Introduces print and electronic legal research methods and processes. Covers citation of legal authority. Prerequisites: PL 101.

Addendum to Course Description

Course involves significant hands-on research in both print and electronic resources.  

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  1. Use the applicable jurisdiction to identify binding and persuasive authority, primary and secondary authority, and explain the relationships between these types of legal authority.
  2. Prepare and carry out a simple legal research plan.
  3. Use print and electronic resources, including finding tools and secondary sources, to locate statutes, regulations, constitutional provisions, court opinions, and court rules. 
  4. Create and maintain simple research trails and research notes.
  5. Properly cite court opinions and federal statutes and regulations.
  6. Identify, locate, and use resources to update and verify cited legal authority.

Course Activities and Design

Flexible dependent on needs of student population and preferred teaching style of instructor, but may include reading assignments, exercises and drills, hands-on guided and independent research, and weekly homework.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

May include attendance and participation in class experiences and discussions, written assignments, tests, and individual research.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Themes, Concepts & Issues

Students are introduced to specialized tools for legal research, and a specific legal research methods. 

Competencies & Skills

  1. Locate and identify binding and persuasive authority.
  2. Locate and identify primary and secondary authority.
  3. Prepare and carry out a legal research plan.
  4. Use print and electronic resources including finding tools and secondary sources to locate statutes, regulations, constitutional provisions, court opinions and court rules. 
  5. Create and maintain a research trail and research notes.
  6. Properly cite court opinions and federal statutes and regulations.
  7. Identify, locate and use resources to update and verify cited legal authority.

Approved Texts

Choice of texts is at the discretion of each course instructor, but instructors are encouraged to seek methods to reduce or eliminate student textbook costs.