• Legal Studies

  • A Legal Studies lecture course in session

    Legal Studies Courses at Hamline University

    LGST 1110: LEGAL SYSTEMS IN AMERICAN SOCIETY

    Goals: Familiarization with the American legal system.

    Content: An exploration of the American legal system with special emphasis on the role of law in the American social order. Working models of the judicial system are studied and the legal decision-making process is examined. Emphasis is placed on basic values of legal system: justice, equality, and fairness.

    Taught: Every semester

    Credits: 4 credits

    *LGST 1250: Legal Research and Writing

    Goals: To introduce students to legal materials and methodology.

    Content: A writing-intensive course with emphasis on the development of legal research, writing, and drafting skills. An introduction to legal methodology and materials is presented by lecture, in-class exercises with out-of-class research, and writing exercises, utilizing materials of the law library. 

    Taught: Every semester.

    Prerequisite (or co-requisite): LGST 1110 or CJFS 1120, or permission of the instructor or chair.

    Note: * Paralegal specialty course.

    Credits: 4 credits

    LGST 1440: Beginning Mock Trial

    Goals: Students learn basic trial procedures and advocacy skills through practice sessions and courtroom simulations. Students prepare for and conduct a trial of a hypothetical case. Student teams compete in invitational regional and national competitions.

    Content: Participatory study of trial practice in the United States, advocacy, lawyering skills, and legal ethics. Focus on developing students’ speaking and critical thinking skills. Course is tied to the Hamline mock trial program.

    Taught: Annually

    Note: To be eligible for course credit, the student must participate in mock trial team practice during the fall, winter, and spring terms and participate in tournaments. Students enroll in LGST 1440 the first year.

    Credits: 4 credits

    LGST 3100: American Constitutional Law

    (Also listed as PSCI 3100.)
    Goals: To study the role of the courts in the development of the American Constitution. To introduce students to the “rule of law” concept in Anglo American judicial history.

    Content: Reading and analyzing a wide variety of United States Supreme Court cases including examination of the relationship between the government and the individual in the context of national and state power, the Bill of Rights, and the Fourteenth Amendment.

    Taught: Annually

    Credits: 4 credits

    LGST 3410: Special Topics in Law

    Goals: Intensive study of a limited legal topic.

    Content: An intensive study of a specific area of law. Topic varies from year to year. Some past topics have included: Environmental Law, Intellectual Property Law, Bankruptcy Law, Securities Law and Insurance Law.

    Taught: Annually

    Prerequisite: LGST 1110 and LGST 1250, or permission of the instructor.

    Note: *Paralegal specialty course.

    Credits: 2 credits

    LGST 3420 - Special Topics in Law

    Goals: To provide students with an opportunity to engage in an advanced study in a specialized area of law.

    Content: An intensive study of a specific area of law. Topics vary from semester to semester. Some past topics have been: securities law, immigration law, contracts, and law of worker’s compensation.

    Taught: Every semester

    Prerequisites: LGST 1110 and LGST 1250 (which may be taken concurrently), or permission of the legal studies department chair or director of the paralegal program. LGST 3520 is recommended.

    Note: *Paralegal specialty course.

    Credits: 4 credits

    LGST 3440: Advanced Mock Trial

    Goals: Students learn basic trial procedures and advocacy skills through practice sessions and simulations of courtroom procedures and activities. Students prepare for and conduct a trial of a hypothetical case. Student teams compete in invitational regional and national competitions.

    Content: Participatory study of trial practice in the United States, advocacy, lawyering skills, and legal ethics. Focus on developing students’ speaking and critical thinking skills, team work, and leadership. Course is tied to the Hamline mock trial program.

    Taught: Annually

    Prerequisite: LGST 1440

    Note: To be eligible for course credit, the student must participate in mock trial team practice during the fall, winter, and spring terms and participate in tournaments.

    Credits: 4 credits

    LGST 3520 - Civil Litigation and Trial Practice

    Goals: To acquaint students with the elements of civil trials from initial pleading through appeal.

    Content: A study of fundamental principles of civil litigation, the court systems, attorney’s functions, common types of civil lawsuits and defenses. Lecture and discussion is combined with role play exercises and writing assignments. Students prepare documents and conduct interviews and a mock trial.

    Taught: Every semester

    Prerequisite: LGST 1110 and LGST 1250 (may be taken concurrently).

    Note: *Paralegal specialty course.

    Credits: 4 credits

    *LGST 3530: Estates and Trusts 

    Goals: To introduce students to vocabulary, concepts, and procedures associated with drafting, probate, and administering the decedent’s estates and trusts.

    Content: A study of the legal concepts, processes, and practices associated with distribution of a decedent’s property. An introduction to trust construction and administration.

    Taught: Alternate years

    Prerequisite: LGST 1250

    Note: *Paralegal specialty course.

    Credits: 4 credits

    *LGST 3540: Family and Gender Issues in Law

    Goals: To introduce and explore the many complicated applications of law that affect men, women, and children in their relationships with each other.

    Content: The course will emphasize the analytical, practical and verbal skills necessary for working in the area of family law. Through lectures, class assignments and exams students will examine theories, policies and practices of laws affecting the gender roles and status of people within domestic relationships.

    Taught: Alternate years

    Prerequisite: LGST 1250

    Note: *Paralegal specialty course.

    Credits: 4 credits

    *LGST 3550: Real Property

    Goals: To understand the basic concepts and instruments affecting real property, including ownership interests, transfers of title, purchase agreements, mortgages, leases, liens, title examination, legal descriptions, and surveys.

    Content: Learning theory and practice underlying laws, conveyancing documents, and other agreements affecting real property; coordinating mortgage foreclosures; study of additional requirements for transactions involving large commercial properties; registration proceedings; taxes, special assessments, legal descriptions, and other matters affecting real property.

    Taught: Alternate years

    Prerequisite: LGST 1250 or permission of instructor.

    Note: *Paralegal specialty course.

    Credits: 4 credits

    *LGST 3560: Law of Business Organizations

    Goals: To present the principles of law applicable to different types of business organizations and the preparation of related documents.

    Content: The formation of business entities, including sole proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations; articles of incorporation and by-laws; close corporations; shareholders and directors meetings; corporate equity and debt securities; various types of agreements and distributions; bankruptcy; pertinent sections of the Uniform Commercial Code and the drafting of supporting documents.

    Taught: Annually

    Prerequisite: LGST 1250 or MGMT 3130

    Note: *Paralegal specialty course.

    Credits: 4 credits

    *LGST 3570: Probate Procedures

    Goals: To introduce students to vocabulary, concepts, and procedures associated with probate administration.

    Content: A study of the legal concepts, processes, and practices associated with the distribution of a decedent’s estate. Students are introduced to the Uniform Probate Code, the laws of succession: testate and intestate, the legal forms related to formal and informal estate administration and relevant legal theory.

    Taught: Annually

    Prerequisite: LGST 1110 and LGST 1250 (may be taken concurrently).

    Note: *Paralegal specialty course.

    Credits: 2 credits

    *LGST 3670: Legal Interviewing

    Goals: To introduce students to general interviewing principles and to explore in more detail interviewing in the legal setting including interviewing client and witnesses.

    Content: The course focuses on developing basic interviewing skills and explores particular features of conducting legal interviews including understanding the ethical implications of legal interviews and of cultural diversity as it affects legal interviewing. Particular attention is given to oral communication skills through participation in small and large group discussions and presentations. Students will have multiple opportunities to practice and analyze their own and others’ communication skills and to understand relationship between their communication choices and outcomes.

    Taught: Annually

    Prerequisite: LGST 1110 or CJFS 1120.

    Note: *Paralegal specialty course.

    Credits: 2 credits

    *LGST 3680: Law of Evidence for Legal Professionals

    Goals: This course is designed to provide an overview of the law of evidence, focusing primarily on the Federal Rules of Evidence but, where appropriate, distinguishing the Federal rules from the Minnesota Rules of Evidence.

    Content: This course introduces the terminology, concepts and theories of the law of evidence, emphasizing familiarity with the Federal Rules of Evidence and how they are applied. Students develop the ability to identify evidentiary issues in hypothetical situations; to understand the importance of collecting and preserving evidence and of identifying necessary witnesses; and to understand appropriate techniques in introducing and objecting to evidence.

    Taught: Annually

    Prerequisites: LGST 1110 or CJFS 1120. LGST 1250 is also recommended.

    Note: *Paralegal specialty course.

    Credits: 4 credits

    *LGST 3750: Alternative Dispute Resolution

    Goals: The course is designed to introduce students to the theory and application of alternative dispute resolution, emphasizing important principles and issues in negotiation, mediation, and arbitration.

    Content: Students become familiar with negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and other methods of resolving disputes as alternatives to litigation and become able to prepare for and participate in alternative dispute resolution activities. Students are required to reflect and report on the effectiveness of ADR mechanisms in different situations, including cross-cultural dispute resolution and to become familiar with cooperative and collaborative problem solving.

    Taught: Alternate years

    Note: *Paralegal specialty course.

    Credits: 4 credits

    LGST 3760 - Contracts

    Goals: To provide an overview of contract law, focusing on contract formation, performance, interpretation, and remedies for breach.

    Content: Students will be introduced to the various elements of a valid contract and will learn and apply practical contract drafting skills focusing on appropriate contract clauses and provisions.

    Taught: Annually

    Prerequisites: LGST 1110 and LGST 1250, or instructor permission. Recommended: LGST 3520.

    Note: *Paralegal specialty course.

    Credits: 2 credits 

    LGST 3770 - Law Office Technology

    Goals: To give students a hands-on, real-world experience learning about and using technology found in the modern law firm.

    Content: Students will interact with desktop document productivity tools (Microsoft Office - Word, Excel, Powerpoint), legal presentation graphics (SmartDraw, TimeMap), document automation and assembly (HotDocs), time and billing (TimeSolv Legal), litigation support and e-discovery (CT Summation - iBlaze), and a mobile phone forensics tool (Cellebrite UFED). Grading will be based on quizzes, exercises, class participation, and a substantial, hands-on law office technology project presented and demonstrated by the students to the entire class. The project can be done by the student alone or in small teams. It will utilize one or more of the tools studied in class to solve a problem in the modern law office.

    Taught: Annually

    Prerequisite: LGST 1110 and LGST 1250, or permission of the instructor.

    Note: *Paralegal specialty course.

    Credits: 4 credits 

     LGST 3780 - Employment Law

    Goals: To introduce students to legal concepts related to the employment context, with a particular emphasis on employment discrimination.

    Content: This course introduces students to federal and Minnesota employment laws that governing the basis of an employment relationship, pre-employment concerns, employment contracts, and employee privacy. In addition, this course focuses heavily on anti-discrimination laws and their application in various stages of the employment relationship. Students will draft employee handbook provisions and prepare documents for an administrative agency as well as research and write about the laws they study.

    Taught: Annually

    Prerequisite: LGST 1110 and LGST 1250, or permission of the instructor.

    Note: *Paralegal specialty course.

    Credits: 4 credits

    *LGST 3810: Criminal Law and Practice 

    Crosslisted
    Also listed as CJFS 3810.

    Goals: To acquaint the student with the theory and practice of substantive criminal law.

    Content: A study of the substantive aspects of criminal law, including traditional elements of crimes, statutory definitions, and judicial interpretations of specific crimes and motor vehicle offenses, as well as inchoate crimes, defenses to legal liability, and sentencing procedure.

    Taught: Annually

    Prerequisite: LGST 1110 or CJFS 1120, or permission of the instructor.

    Credits: 4 credits 

    LGST 3820: Constitutional Issues in Criminal Procedure

    Cross listed
    Also listed as CJFS 3820.

    Goals: To acquaint the student with the theory and practice of criminal procedural law.

    Content: An overview and critical examination of the procedural aspects of criminal law and issues relating to constitutional protections against unreasonable searches and seizures, unlawful gathering of incriminating evidence through interrogation and identification procedures, and the provision of legal counsel in criminal matters.

    Taught: Annually

    Prerequisite: LGST 1110 or CJFS 1120 or permission of the instructor.

    Credits: 4 credits

    LGST 5600 - Tort Law  

    Goals: To introduce students to the body of law that makes up the field of tort law.

    Content: This course presents rights, obligations and remedies that are applied by courts in civil proceedings to address the claims of individuals that have been injured by the wrongful act of others. An extensive writing project is part of this course. Students will write a memorandum addressing a particular area of tort law.

    Taught: Annually

    Prerequisite: LGST 1110, LGST 1250, and LGST 3520.

    Note: *Paralegal specialty course.

    Credits: 4 credits 

     LGST 5800: Senior Seminar in Legal Studies

    Goals: To introduce students to advanced legal research and writing methods. To provide opportunity for individual and independent legal research on advanced topics.

    Content: This course will include a study of advanced techniques in legal research including federal and other states’ materials. This course will be conducted as a seminar in which the students and the faculty member explore current issues in the legal field. Each student will develop and pursue an individually designed research project leading to the production of an advanced writing project on a current issue related to the legal field.

    Taught: Every semester

    Prerequisites: Senior standing, LGST 1110 and LGST 1250, or permission of the legal studies chair.

    Credits: 4 credits

     LGST 5900 - Legal Studies Practicum  

    Goals: To apply the concepts and principles previously learned in a practical working environment under the supervision of a lawyer and/or an experienced paralegal (legal assistant).

    Content: A 150-hour apprenticeship in the performance of the duties of a paralegal in one of the typical settings for members of the profession; hands-on production of drafts and collation of legal documents under experienced supervision and guidance; attendance at weekly seminars, designed to tie experiential and academic experiences together and to ensure adequate preparation for entry in the profession.

    Taught: Every semester

    Prerequisites: LGST 1110, LGST 1250, LGST 3520, and four other credits of Legal Studies coursework. (Students need to secure an internship before the semester in which they are taking the class and doing the internship.)

    Note: *Paralegal specialty course.

    Credits: 4 credits

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