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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Criminal Justice Administration and Human Services Department
Course Prefix and Number: CJAD 425
Course Title: Legal Research and Writing
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

Application of systems and methods of legal research to problems and issues in the justice system. Prerequisite: ENGL 112; junior standing.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s):

ENGL 112; junior standing.

Course Rotation for Day Program:


Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Legal research, Analysis, and Writing
By Hames and Eckern (Pearson)
Course Learning Outcomes
  1. Identify the sources and levels of law and common legal terminology used in the American legal system
  2. Describe the traditional and current methods of performing legal research
  3. Explain the differences between primary and secondary legal authorities and research
  4. Apply relevant systems and methods of legal research to problems and issues in the justice system
  5. Analyze, interpret and apply judicial opinions, statutes, and regulations on relevant issues
Major Topics/Skills to be Covered:

 I. Overview of the legal system
II. Description of the sources of American law
III. The building blocks for legal research
IV. Primary legal authorities and related research tools
V. Secondary legal authorities and related research tools
VI. The evolution of legal research from traditional to modern
VII. Ethics and legal research
VIII. Sample problems and research strategies
IX. Legal Writing


Recommended maximum class size for this course: 25

Library Resources:

Online databases are available at the Columbia College Stafford Library.  You may access them using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Prepared by: Barry Langford Date: December 6, 2017
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course learning outcomes and cover the subjects listed in the Major Topics/Skills to be Covered section. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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