Course Number and Title: PLG 281 Legal Research & Writing II
This course builds upon the competencies acquired in PLG 280 Legal Research & Writing. Students gain additional experience and skill in critically analyzing legal issues, locating and evaluating appropriate legal authority, and applying such authority to the resolution of hypothetical fact situations. Emphasis is also placed on proper legal writing and citation.
- Perform print and computer-assisted legal research using advanced search techniques. (CCC 1, 2, 5; PGC 4 )
- Prepare correspondence, memorandums, and court documents. (CCC 1, 5; PGC 2 )
- Prepare an appellate brief supported by the results of an independent legal research project. (CCC 1, 2, 4, 5 ; PGC 2, 3 ,4)
- Organize and orally communicate the results of legal research and analysis. (CCC 1, 2, 4, 5; PGC 2)
- Draft and revise documents for correctness, clarity, completeness, and conciseness. (CCC 1, 2; PGC 2)
- Apply proper rules of legal citation. (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:
- Perform print and computer-assisted legal research using advanced search techniques.
- Develop strategies for print and computer-assisted legal research.
- Formulate effective and efficient search queries for online legal databases such as Westlaw and Lexis-Nexis.
- Use both print and electronic sources of law to locate applicable primary source materials and secondary source materials that help explain the law.
- Validate case and statutory research.
- Prepare correspondence, memorandums, and court documents.
- Draft pretrial pleadings and discovery documents.
- Draft legal correspondence.
- Report legal research findings in an interoffice memorandum or other appropriate format.
- Prepare an appellate brief supported by the results of an independent research project.
- Draft an appellate brief in support of a hypothetical client’s position, supported by appropriate legal research.
- Extract, synthesize, and apply rules of law from court opinions and statutes to support a client’s legal position.
- Write persuasively in support of a hypothetical client’s position.
- Apply ethical rules covering zealous advocacy and candor to the courts.
- Organize and orally communicate the results of legal research and analysis.
- Analyze potential listeners.
- Organize and deliver informative and persuasive speeches.
- Apply ethical rules covering client and attorney communications.
- Draft and revise documents for correctness, clarity, completeness, and conciseness.
- Apply proper English grammar, punctuation, spelling, and word choice in drafting legal documents.
- Differentiate between words and writing style used to inform and those used to persuade.
- Choose and employ an appropriate style, voice, and tone to help readers understand a written message.
- Write in a style that conveys legal theory in clear and concise manner.
- Apply proper rules of legal citation.
- Properly cite both print and electronic sources of law.
- Use The Bluebook and the Guide to the Delaware Rules of Legal Citation to write proper legal citations.
- Differentiate between rules of citation for court documents and for scholarly writing.
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: Oral Presentation
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.