Paralegal Course Activities/Assignments

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Outcome 1:   Students will be able to use the facts, issues, and holdings within a court case in resolving the issues raised in a fact situation.

Project A:  Students will write a legal memorandum properly, using the facts, issues, and holdings in a precedent case to analyze the fact situation of a given, hypothetical case.

Project B:  Students will write a court brief properly, using the facts, issues, and holdings in a precedent case to effectively advocate a client’s position in a given, hypothetical case.

These were chosen because the case brief actually has the student label and summarize the parts of judicial opinion (case), while the memorandum asks them to use the parts to analyze a hypothetical fact situation.

Outcome 2:  Students will be able to apply the Rules of Professional Conduct to fact situations.

Project A:  Students will take an objective test on confidentiality and conflict of interests where the questions involve applying the Rules to a fact situation.

Project B:  Students will write a paper addressing several ethical fact situations and analyze them using the Rules.

These were chosen as being the best measure of actual application of knowledge; the first being an objective test and the second being a paper where they have to describe the rule and then use the rule to resolve a fact situation.

The legal memorandum in Student Outcome #1 and the measuring instruments in Student Outcome #2 were approved, after discussion, with the Paralegal Advisory Committee on September 14, 2011.  Due to input from the VU Assessment Committee after approval by the Paralegal Advisory Committee, the court brief assignment was substituted for the case brief (note: in legal research terminology, a “case brief” and a “court brief” are very different in their goals and functions) given the separation of a compound student outcome into two separate student outcomes.