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National College Credit Recommendation Service

Board of Regents  |  University of the State of New York

National Paralegal College | Evaluated Learning Experience

Legal Research, Writing, and Civil Litigation (PLG-108)


Varies; self-study format.

Various, distance learning format.
January 2008 - Present.
Instructional delivery format: 
Online/distance learning
Learner Outcomes: 

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to: cite legal sources appropriately; distinguish between binding and non-binding authority; “Shepardize” to determine if case law is valid; edit and revise a persuasive legal memorandum; apply and describe the rules of venue; determine whether a class action certification is appropriate based on a given fact pattern; demonstrate how case precedent and stare decisis influence case holdings; evaluate whether a court has subject matter jurisdiction in both federal and state courts; and differentiate between personal jurisdiction, in-rem jurisdiction, and quasi-in-rem jurisdiction; apply the Erie doctrine in a variety of scenarios.


This course is among the most important that paralegal students can complete because it's the area of litigation that attorneys rely most heavily on paralegals.The course provides students with a comprehensive overview of the major aspects of civil litigation, from both the plaintiff's and defendant's perspectives and focuses on a variety of subjects aimed at teaching students how to manage a case from beginning to end. The course offers an intensive but simplified introduction to the U.S. legal systems and methodologies, basic principles of stare decisis and precedent, the nature of legal education, and sources of law. Topics include: the judicial structure, including both federal and state; statutes, regulations, common law and constitutional law; synthesizing sources of law; the judicial process and the doctrine of stare decicis; overruling precedent, holding, rationale, and dictum. A key component to the paralegal's role in civil litigation is drafting documents so instruction focuses on training students to conduct competent legal research and develop abilities in drafting legal documents. Students learn to identify and utilize a variety of research tools, including online collection provided by LexisNexis as well as traditional print-based methods of legal research. Additionally, students use various types of reference books, proper case citation, cite checking, and the proper method of case reporting, Shepardizing, methods of compiling legislative histories, and administrative legal research. Evaluation criteria include: required readings, essay assignments, class participation, and final exam.

Credit recommendation: 

In the lower division baccalaureate/associate degree category OR in the upper division baccalaureate degree category, 3 semester hours in Legal Research, Writing, and Civil Litigation (1/13) (3/18 revalidation) (5/23 revalidation).