LAWS260 Computers in the Law Office

Department of Business Studies: Paralegal/Law

I. Course Number and Title
LAWS260 Computers in the Law Office
II. Number of Credits
3 credits
III. Minimum Number of Instructional Minutes Per Semester
2250 minutes
IV. Prerequisites
either LAWS100 or LAWS110; and either CISC100 or CISC110
Corequisites
None
V. Other Pertinent Information
None
VI. Catalog Course Description
A general introduction to the use of computers and of legal specialty computer software programs in the modern law office. The course includes hands on computer exercises using professional software programs frequently used in the law office by paralegals.
VII. Required Course Content and Direction
  1. Learning Goals:

    1. Provide an understanding of the components of a computer system and the programs and resources available to effectively assist the practitioner in the performance of routine law office administration functions and location of and processing of information within the law office.
    2. Understand the components of a computer system and network as typically found in the law office.
    3. Understand the role of the different computer programs available to perform tasks in the law office.
    4. Understand the use of the computer as a communications tool in accessing remote data sources and exchanging data on-line.
    5. Introduce the student to computer terminology frequently used in a law office.
    6. Understand common DOS commands and Windows commands.
    7. Demonstrate ability to draft, edit and print short legal documents using a word processor.
    8. Demonstrate ability to develop short spreadsheets used in the legal environment.
    9. Demonstrate ability to build computer databases to organize information used in law office.
    10. Learn how telecommunications, computer-assisted research and CD-ROM databases are used in the legal environment.
    11. Learn the importance of timekeeping, billing, types of legal fee agreements, and how computers can be used to expedite the timekeeping and billing process and tasks to be completed and scheduled.
    12. Demonstrate how a docket control program can organize a law office's tasks to be completed and scheduled.
    13. Use a computer database to organize case information to provide litigation support to litigators.
    14. Explain the many different types of legal specific software available to assist law offices in representing clients.
  2. Planned Sequence of Topics and/or Learning Activities:

    1. Introduction to Computer software and hardware
    2. Operating systems DOS, Win 3.1,WIN95, WIN98
    3. Word Processing
    4. Database Management
    5. Creating and Using Databases
    6. Spreadsheets
    7. Creating and Using spreadsheets in the law office
    8. Telecommunications, Dial-Up Services
    9. Telecommunications- Internet usage
    10. Timekeeping and Billing
    11. Timekeeping and Billing
    12. Docket Control
    13. Litigation Support
    14. Litigation Support Using Summation in the Law Office
    15. Specialized Legal Software
  3. Assessment Methods for Core Learning Goals:

  4. Reference, Resource, or Learning Materials to be used by Students:

    1. Software programs and operating systems:
      1. Windows
      2. WordPerfect
      3. MS Word, Excel
      4. Time slips - student demonstration version
      5. Abacus - student demonstration version
      6. Summation Blaze - student demonstration version
    2. Internet access through College computer network
VIII. Teaching Methods Employed
INSTRUCTIONAL METHODS:
  1. Lecture
  2. Computer exercises using software programs
  3. MS-DOS hands-on exercises
  4. Windows hands-on exercises
  5. WordPerfect hands-on exercises
  6. Database Management hands-on exercises
  7. Spreadsheets hands-on exercises
  8. WESTLAW, LEXIS-NEXIS and Loislaw exercises
  9. Timekeeping & Billing using Time Slips hands-on exercises
  10. Docket Control using Abacus Law Plus hands-on exercises
  11. Summation Blaze hands-on exercises
  12. Case Studies

METHODS OF EVALUATING STUDENT PERFORMANCE:
  1. MajorExams
  2. Written homework assignments
  3. Class participation
  4. Classroom computer exercises
  5. Database using database program, spreadsheet using a spreadsheet program. Computer search using 3 or more on-line services

Review/Approval Date - 4/99; Revised 3/05