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LSTD205 - Legal Research and Writing

Course Details

Course Code: LSTD205 Course ID: 2570 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Undergraduate

This course will assess the methods used to locate necessary legal materials and be able to evaluate the appropriate citations of those materials. The paralegal aspects are reviewed and distinguished from other judicial case briefings. The course will introduce legal analysis methods and the preparation of appropriate techniques for researching legal issues and cases. Critical definitions of legal terminology are analyzed and used in preparation of legal materials such as memoranda, client letters, and other relevant documents. The course presents the student with techniques for effective writing in the legal environment.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
12/28/21 - 06/03/22 06/06/22 - 07/31/22 Spring 2022 Session D 8 Week session
01/25/22 - 07/01/22 07/04/22 - 08/28/22 Summer 2022 Session B 8 Week session
02/22/22 - 07/29/22 08/01/22 - 09/25/22 Summer 2022 Session I 8 Week session
03/29/22 - 09/02/22 09/05/22 - 10/30/22 Summer 2022 Session D 8 Week session
04/26/22 - 09/30/22 10/03/22 - 11/27/22 Fall 2022 Session B 8 Week session
05/21/22 - 11/04/22 11/07/22 - 01/01/23 Fall 2022 Session I 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After completing this course the Student will be able to:

C01: Execute legal research techniques used commonly in legal practice.

CO2: Employ Bluebook citation style.

CO3: Apply basic legal reasoning skills.

CO4: Understand differences between kinds of legal sources.

CO5: Create case briefs and internal legal memoranda.

CO6: Evaluate legal arguments.

CO7: Explain the parts of a judicial opinion.

CO8: Collaborate on a legal project.


There will be eight Discussions. Students will be expected to post an initial weekly forum and then file three responses to the postings of other students. Moreover, students are expected to respond to any follow up questions posed by the instructor. Further information regarding the forum questions will be provided in the class.

Questions and topics posed in the Discussions are designed to promote thought and insight. Students must provide a critical review of the questions, topics and issues posed and substantively reply to the contributions of at least three peers. Individual postings should include a full discussion of the content of the question posed and explain how it relates to the concepts in the weekly text readings and other resources. The postings should be analytic in nature and include comparisons/contrasts, and examples that can bolster your point. The Discussion is for your benefit and it is important to respond to the discussion topic and to engage others in a running dialogue.

Your initial post should be made by Wednesday this week. You should then respond to 3 or more posts. Note that at least one response to your classmates must be made before Sunday. If you make all of your responsive posts on Sunday, you will not earn full points for timeliness.

This can be accomplished by

· Validating with additional evidence from the literature.

· Posing a thoughtful question with commentary which generates further discussion.

· Providing an alternative point-of-view, with evidence and examples.

· Offering additional insight into how the concept might be understood, with evidence provided with real world examples.

You should be active in the classroom throughout the week and actively engaged in the back-and-forth discussion between your colleagues and the professor.

The discussion grading rubric can be found in gradebook by clicking on the forum entry.


In addition to the eight forum assignments, students will be expected to complete two case briefs and two legal memos of law during Weeks 5, 6, 7, and 8. Instructions on how to complete these assignments will be posted in the classroom. The breakdown of the point allocation is described later in this syllabus. In total, the forum, case brief, and memo assignments count for 90% of a student’s grade.


The midterm exam will be taken open book. This exam will be posted in the electronic classroom under Quizzes. There is no final exam in this class. The midterm exam counts for 10% of a student’s grade.

All readings can be found in the eReserve and the Content section of the classroom.

Book Title:Thinking Like a Lawyer: An Introduction to Legal Reasoning, 2nd ed. - e-book available in the APUS Online Library; Please visit to locate the course eReserve.
Publication Info:Routledge Lib
Unit Cost:$37.99
Book Title:The Lawyer's Guide to Writing Well, 3rd ed. - e-book available in the APUS Online Library; Please visit to locate the course eReserve.
Publication Info:University of California Press Lib
Unit Cost:$21.98
Book Title:Bluebook: Uniform System of Citation, 21st Ed - Style guide information available online, please visit to locate the course eReserve.
Publication Info:Harvard, Columbia Law Review
Author:Harvard, Columbia Law Review
Unit Cost:$56.25

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.