SRJC Course Outlines

7/5/2022 5:56:46 AMPLS 65 Course Outline as of Fall 2019

Changed Course
CATALOG INFORMATION

Discipline and Nbr:  PLS 65Title:  TECHNOLOGY IN LAW OFFICE  
Full Title:  Technology in the Law Office: Practice, Procedures & Ethics
Last Reviewed:5/14/2018

UnitsCourse Hours per Week Nbr of WeeksCourse Hours Total
Maximum3.00Lecture Scheduled3.0017.5 max.Lecture Scheduled52.50
Minimum3.00Lab Scheduled06 min.Lab Scheduled0
 Contact DHR0 Contact DHR0
 Contact Total3.00 Contact Total52.50
 
 Non-contact DHR0 Non-contact DHR Total0

 Total Out of Class Hours:  105.00Total Student Learning Hours: 157.50 

Title 5 Category:  AA Degree Applicable
Grading:  Grade Only
Repeatability:  00 - Two Repeats if Grade was D, F, NC, or NP
Also Listed As: 
Formerly: 

Catalog Description:
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This course acquaints students with the various types of legal technology used in a modern-day law office, including software and applications for word processing, spreadsheet and database creation, case management, billing and time-keeping, and trial preparation.

Prerequisites/Corequisites:
Course completion or current enrollment in PLS 50 and PLS 51


Recommended Preparation:

Limits on Enrollment:

Schedule of Classes Information
Description: Untitled document
This course acquaints students with the various types of legal technology used in a modern-day law office, including software and applications for word processing, spreadsheet and database creation, case management, billing and time-keeping, and trial preparation.
(Grade Only)

Prerequisites:Course completion or current enrollment in PLS 50 and PLS 51
Recommended:
Limits on Enrollment:
Transfer Credit:CSU;
Repeatability:00 - Two Repeats if Grade was D, F, NC, or NP

ARTICULATION, MAJOR, and CERTIFICATION INFORMATION

Associate Degree:Effective:Inactive:
 Area:
 
CSU GE:Transfer Area Effective:Inactive:
 
IGETC:Transfer Area Effective:Inactive:
 
CSU Transfer:TransferableEffective:Spring 2012Inactive:
 
UC Transfer:Effective:Inactive:
 
C-ID:

Certificate/Major Applicable: Major Applicable Course



COURSE CONTENT

Student Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:
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1.  Recognize major types of legal technology applications in use in the modern law
     office.
2.  Employ one or more of the applications covered to prepare legal documents, conduct legal
    research, manage case information and litigation files.
3.  Discuss relevant topics important to technology in the legal field, conduct research, analyze
    applications for specific uses, and present their work to a group.

Objectives: Untitled document
Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:
1. Identify basic computer terminology frequently used in legal organizations and communicate
    effectively in class discussions or in written homework assignments about law office
    technology.
2. Critically analyze and distinguish advantages and disadvantages, including ethical
     considerations, in any new and emerging technologies influencing the practice of law,
     with particular emphasis on the growth of hand-held devices and issues unique to mobile
     law office computing.
3. Demonstrate understanding of, and ability to use, various technologies common in the
     law office environment, including document processing, spreadsheets, case management,
     time-keeping and billing, pre-trial and trial applications, and presentation software for
     litigation support.
4. Recognize significant issues for paralegals in e-discovery and/or the electronic storage of
    information (ESI), including the paralegal's role in fact and evidence-gathering
     procedures, meeting disclosure requirements, safeguarding and retention of  records and
    sanctions for noncompliance.
5. Incorporate electronic legal research and e-discovery into a litigation plan.

Topics and Scope
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I. Technology Used in Law Offices
    A. Introduction to types of legal technology
    B. Introduction to terminology used with legal technology
    C. Future trends in legal technology, including virtual law offices and cloud computing
II. Ethical Issues in Using Legal Technology
    A. Confidentiality and privilege
    B. Work product
    C. Conflicts of interest
    D. Competency issues
    E. Other legal duties
    F. Recent developments, rules and future trends affecting paralegals
III. Specific Applications of Technology in Law Offices
    A. Computers, hardware, other devices
    B. Operating systems
IV. Networks and Cyber-security Issues
    A. Different types of networks
    B. Definition of cyber-crime
    C. Viruses, malware, spyware and more
    D. Backing up duties
    E. Special issues and concerns for paralegals
V. The Internet
    A. Fundamentals
    B. Email
    C. Definition of metadata
    D. Online sharing services, social networking and social media
    E. Special issues and concerns for paralegals
VI. Document Assembly and Processing
    A. Types of programs and software
    B. Manual v. electronic systems
    C. The paralegal's responsibility in document management
VII. Spreadsheets and Database Software
    A. Types of programs and software
    B. Law office applications
    C. Best practices for paralegals
VIII. Office and Case Management Software
    A. Office management software systems
    B. Case management software systems
IX. Law Practice Management
    A. Electronic calendaring
    B. Time-keeping and billing
    C. Paralegal responsibility and ethics
X. Litigation Support Software
    A. Types of programs and software
    B. Pracitcal applications and analysis
    C. What to expect as a paralegal
XI. Trial Preparation and Presentation Software
    A. Types of programs and software
    B. Practical applications and analysis
    C. What to expect as a paralegal
XII. Fundamentals of Online Legal Research
    A. Legal research
    B. Factual research
    C. Methods of conducting online research
    D. Westlaw, Lexis Nexis
    E. Search engines and how they work
    F. Updating and validating online research
    G. Special issues and concerns for paralegals
XIII. The Paperless Office
    A. Electronic filing, storage, and retrieval of documents (ESI)
    B. Virtual law offices and cloud computing applications
         1. What is a virtual law office
         2. What does it mean to compute in the clouds
    C. Special issues and concerns for virtual paralegals
XIV. Fundamentals of E-Discovery
    A. Purpose of discovery
    B. Conducting discovery in a technological age
    C. Amendments to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
    D. Storage and retention issues, including spoiliation of evidence
    E. Court intervention and sanctions
    F. Role of the paralegal in e-discovery as fact-gatherer and document reviewer
XV. The Electronic Courtroom
    A. Types of technology used
    B. Procedures
    C. Role of the paralegal in assisting attorney to present an electronic case

Assignments:
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1. Reading in textbook and other materials of approximately 25 pages per week
2. Group work, discussion and projects examining the types of legal technology available today
    and implement related terminology
3. Homework problems and case studies involving utilization of technology applications and
    software provided to acquire hands-on training in the context of specific issues and problems
    typical in a law office
4. Legal research on the Internet, including finding primary and secondary authorities as well as
    validating the research
5. Final project and/or  presentation focusing on topics of current importance in the field of legal
    technology such as ethics and electronic storage of information issues, e-discovery, litigation
    and case management
6. Midterm and/or 4-6 quizzes

Methods of Evaluation/Basis of Grade.
Writing: Assessment tools that demonstrate writing skill and/or require students to select, organize and explain ideas in writing.Writing
10 - 20%
Homework problems and case studies
Problem solving: Assessment tools, other than exams, that demonstrate competence in computational or non-computational problem solving skills.Problem Solving
20 - 30%
Homework assignments and group work; research
Skill Demonstrations: All skill-based and physical demonstrations used for assessment purposes including skill performance exams.Skill Demonstrations
30 - 40%
Group work, presentations and projects
Exams: All forms of formal testing, other than skill performance exams.Exams
10 - 20%
Midterm and/or quizzes
Other: Includes any assessment tools that do not logically fit into the above categories.Other Category
5 - 10%
Attendance and participation


Representative Textbooks and Materials:
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Using Computers in the Law Office. 8th ed. Cornick, Matthew. Cengage. 2019
Navigating Legal Research & Technology: Quick Reference Guide to the 1,500 Most Common Legal Questions About Traditional and Online Legal Research. Fishman, Joel and Dittakavi, Rao. Bridge Publishing Group 2010 (classic)
Instructor prepared materials

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