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Advanced Legal Research & Writing Certificate

5 CEUs


This exciting course is designed to teach advanced and specialized approaches to utilize the legal resources available in a law library, and elsewhere. The conceptual differences between computer-assisted legal research and hard copy research will be taught. You will also learn how to formulate WESTLAW search queries and effectively and efficiently use WESTLAW and other online legal research methods as time-saving devices in legal research and legal writing. 

This course is designed to examine more thoroughly advanced and specialized approaches to utilizing the legal sources available in the law library and online.

Lesson 1: Legal Authorities and Citations

Lesson 2: Legal Analysis

Lesson 3: Westlaw® online legal research

Lesson 4: The Legal Memorandum of Law

Lesson 5: Manual Legal Research

Lesson 6: Types of Legal Writing

This is an accelerated course. Students will be expected to spend an average of 8 hours per lesson reading and completing writing assignments. Please note that extensions will not be granted for this online course. 70% is the minimum passing score on all tests and assignments for this course.

Course Objectives:

  • How to conduct manual legal research
  • How to conduct electronic legal research
  • How to find, interpret and use various types of legal authorities
  • How to shepardize legal authorities
  • How to write a legal analysis
  • How to draft a Memorandum of Law
  • How to brief case opinions
  • How to engage in various types of legal writing

Participants will be expected to complete reading and homework assignments and will be assigned an advanced legal research project and legal writing assignment. Final research and writing projects will be presented for grading to the instructor or The Center for Legal Studies as a prerequisite of course completion.

Required Textbooks:

Legal Research, Analysis, and Writing, 2nd edition, by William H. Putman

Legal Research and Writing Across the Curriculum: Problems and Exercises, by Michael D. Murray and Christy H. DeSanctis

Westlaw® online legal research access.


Successful completion of the Paralegal Certificate Course©, or the equivalent, or law office experience.

Upcoming Offerings:

New sessions begin every 8 weeks.

2014-2015  Sessions:

  • Aug. 25 - Oct. 10, 2014
  • Oct. 20 - Dec. 5, 2014
  • Jan. 12 - Feb. 27, 2015
  • Mar. 9 - Apr. 24, 2015

Course Code:  UPLG 025  $729

Tuition is $729. Successfull completion results in a Certificate of Completion from University of the Pacific. Books are an additional cost and can be purchased directly from The Center for Legal Studies

Additional Information:


The Center for Legal Studies

Register Online