Aug 14, 2022  
College Catalog 2021-2022 
    
College Catalog 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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LEGA 2040 - Legal Research & Writing 2

Credit Hours: 3.00


Prerequisites: LEGA 2030  

LEGA 2040 is a continuation of Legal Research & Writing 1. Students will further develop skills in utilizing a law library and conducting legal research, including computer‑assisted research. Students will also analyze facts to determine legal arguments and apply the law to discuss these arguments by preparing a legal brief.

Billable Contact Hours: 3

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OUTCOMES AND OBJECTIVES
Outcome 1: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to distinguish between primary authorities and secondary authorities at a federal level.

Objectives: the student will:

  1. Define primary authorities and secondary authorities.
  2. Identify the types of primary authorities and secondary authorities.
  3. Distinguish between “official” publications and “unofficial” publications.
  4. Differentiate between the various federal court systems.

Outcome 2: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to prepare a legal brief based on a factual situation.

Objectives: the student will:

  1. Define a legal brief.
  2. Write a statement of facts based on a client’s factual situation.
  3. Formulate legal arguments based upon those facts.
  4. Discuss the legal arguments in a persuasive manner.
  5. Analyze the legal authorities to the factual situation.
  6. Summarize the legal conclusion.
  7. Verify authorities used are still valid law.
  8. Use proper citation format.

Outcome 3: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to answer legal questions by using books in a law library.

Objectives: the student will:

  1. Locate federal legal authorities
  2. Distinguish between primary authorities and secondary authorities.
  3. Identify if issue(s) is/are one(s) of federal law or state law.
  4. Identify if issue(s) is/are one(s) of criminal law or civil law.
  5. Gather documents from a citation.
  6. Use a “Descriptive Word Approach,” “Title/Topic Approach,” or “Popular Name Approach” to locate statutory law.
  7. Use a “Descriptive Word Approach,” “Topic Approach,” “Table of Case Approach,” and “Case of Point Approach” to locate case law.

Outcome 4: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to answer legal questions through use of computer-assisted research.

Objectives: the student will:

  1. Locate federal legal authorities
  2. Gather documents from a federal citation.
  3. Differentiate between Boolean or freestyle (natural language) searches.
  4. Choose appropriate jurisdiction database for finding legal authorities.
  5. Distinguish between primary authorities and secondary authorities.
  6. Verify legal authorities are still valid law.

Outcome 5: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to draft a legal brief.

Objectives: the student will:

  1. Distinguish between the various legal documents, such as memorandums of law or briefs of law that an attorney may need.
  2. Define the various legal documents, memorandums of law, or briefs of law.
  3. Identify the various legal documents, memorandums of law, or briefs of law.
  4. Differentiate between the various legal documents, memorandums of law, or briefs of law.
  5. Explain what sections are needed in the various documents, memorandums of law, or briefs of law.

COMMON DEGREE OUTCOMES (CDO)
• Communication: The graduate can communicate effectively for the intended purpose and audience.
• Critical Thinking: The graduate can make informed decisions after analyzing information or evidence related to the issue.
• Global Literacy: The graduate can analyze human behavior or experiences through cultural, social, political, or economic perspectives.
• Information Literacy: The graduate can responsibly use information gathered from a variety of formats in order to complete a task.
• Quantitative Reasoning: The graduate can apply quantitative methods or evidence to solve problems or make judgments.
• Scientific Literacy: The graduate can produce or interpret scientific information presented in a variety of formats.

CDO marked YES apply to this course:
Communication: YES
Critical Thinking: YES
Global Literacy: YES
Information Literacy: YES
COURSE CONTENT OUTLINE
Session and Topic:

  1. Finding the Law
    1. Law libraries
    2. Sources of law
    3. Primary and secondary sources
    4. Law book publishers
  2. Federal Court Systems
    1. Federalism
    2. Federal court structure
    3. Jurisdiction
    4. Standing requirement
    5. Federal courts
    6. Updating
  3. Statutory Law
    1. Federal legislation
    2. Descriptive word approach
    3. Title/topic approach
    4. Popular name approach
  4. Case Law and Judicial Opinions
    1. Elements of a case
    2. Publication of Federal cases
    3. Star paging
    4. Parallel citations
    5. Briefing cases
  5. Use of Digests, Annotated Law Reports, and Words and Phrases
    1. West’s topic name and key numbering system
    2. Topic and key number by using the “descriptive word” approach, topic approach, “table of cases” approach, or “case on point” approach
    3. Special digests and Federal digests
    4. American Law Reports
    5. Words and Phrases
  6. Updating and Validating Your Research
    1. Shepardizing cases, statutes, constitutions, administrative regulations, local ordinances, and court rules
    2. Electronic updating of legal authorities
  7. Overview of the Research Process
    1. The beginning research stages
    2. Formulating issues and thinking things through
    3. Use of the TAPP rule and asking the Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How questions
  8. Computer Training
    1. Research using Boolean or freestyle (natural language) searches, including statutory and case law
    2. Shepardizing electronically
    3. Obtaining documents from a citation
  9. Legal Brief
    1. Definition
    2. Format
    3. Preparation
  10. Secondary Authorities
    1. Encyclopedias, periodicals, treatises, and restatements
    2. Attorneys general opinions, legal dictionaries, directories, form books, uniform laws, loose-leaf services, and jury instructions
    3. Conducting research
    4. Updating
    5. How they are kept current
  11. Special Research Issues
    1. Federal legislative history
    2. Compiling legislative history
    3. Obtaining documents
    4. Presidential proclamations and executive orders
    5. Administrative law
    6. International law and its sources
    7. Treaties
    8. Municipal research
    9. Federal court rules
  12. Legal Citation Form
    1. Bluebook and ALWD citation system
    2. Citation rules for both primary and secondary authorities
    3. Special citation issues
    4. Cite-checking

Primary Faculty
Manatine, Jennifer R.
Secondary Faculty

Associate Dean
Johnson, Elise
Dean
Balsamo, Michael



Official Course Syllabus - Macomb Community College, 14500 E 12 Mile Road, Warren, MI 48088



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