Course Number and Title: PLG 280 Legal Research & Writing
This course introduces the books in the law library used to find and interpret statutes, case law, and administrative regulations. Students use digests, citators, and secondary legal sources. Emphasis is on writing interoffice memoranda and other legal documents.
- Describe the relationship of legal institutions to the legal system. (CCC 1; PGC 4)
- Explain the paralegal’s function within the legal system. (CCC 1; PGC 1)
- Classify areas of legal research. (CCC 1, 5; PGC 4)
- Prepare correspondence, memorandums, and various legal documents. (CCC1, 5; PGC 2)
- Perform legal research citing legal sources. (CCC 1, 2, 5; PGC 4)
- Draft a response to a supervising attorney supporting the results of an independent research project. (CCC 1, 2, 5; PGC 2, 4)
See Core Curriculum Competencies and Program Graduate Competencies at the end of the syllabus. CCPOs are linked to every competency they develop.
Upon completion of this course, the student will:
- Describe the relationship of legal institutions to the legal system.
- Explain how laws are organized in the federal government.
- Explain how laws are organized in state governments.
- Describe the court system in the State of Delaware.
- Identify sources of legal information within each institution.
- Explain the paralegal’s function within the legal system.
- Describe career options that are available to the paralegal within the court system.
- Identify desirable personal qualities of a paralegal.
- Discuss the office skills necessary to succeed as a paralegal.
- Explain the duties found on a paralegal job description.
- Classify areas of legal research.
- Analyze the difference between procedural and substantive law.
- Identify primary sources for legal research.
- Identify and list secondary sources of legal information.
- List research aids that serve as finding tools.
- Prepare correspondence, memorandums, and various legal documents.
- Draft legal correspondence and memorandums.
- Draft various legal documents.
- Prepare the results of an independent research.
- Perform legal research citing legal sources.
- Perform legal research manually in a law library.
- Perform legal research via LexisNexis and/or Westlaw.
- Discuss the difference between statutes and codes.
- Properly cite legal resources.
- Draft a response to a supervising attorney supporting the results of an independent research project.
- Draft a legal memorandum supporting the results of legal research.
- Discuss problems that can be encountered when legal research fails to adequately support an issue.
Students must demonstrate proficiency on all CCPOs at a minimal 75 percent level to successfully complete the course. The grade will be determined using the Delaware Tech grading system:
Students should refer to the Student Handbook for information on the Academic Standing Policy, the Academic Integrity Policy, Student Rights and Responsibilities, and other policies relevant to their academic progress.
Calculated using the following weighted average
Percentage of final grade
Summative: Mid-Term Exam
Summative: Final Exam
Formative: Writing Assignments (equally weighted)
Formative: Homework/Participation (equally weighted)
- Apply clear and effective communication skills.
- Use critical thinking to solve problems.
- Collaborate to achieve a common goal.
- Demonstrate professional and ethical conduct.
- Use information literacy for effective vocational and/or academic research.
- Apply quantitative reasoning and/or scientific inquiry to solve practical problems.
- Explain the present and potential role of the paralegal within the legal system.
- Produce documents necessary for a functioning law office.
- Comply with the profession’s Code of Ethics within the legal system.
- Use a range of research methods and information necessary to complete a variety of legal activities.
- Apply acquired knowledge of legal specialty areas in the workplace.
The College is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities. Students are encouraged to schedule an appointment with the campus Disabilities Support Counselor to request an accommodation needed due to a disability. A listing of campus Disabilities Support Counselors and contact information can be found at the disabilities services web page or visit the campus Advising Center.