LA 201 Introduction to Law

LA 201 IS Sec 1, University of Mississippi
[See UM Catalog for Description]

3 credit hours

Instructor Information:

Dr. Linda Keena

Instructor name:
Dr. Linda Keena

Department of Criminal Justice and Legal Studies
M306 Mayes Hall

Dr. Linda Keena is an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice and Legal Studies at the University of Mississippi. She is a former State of Missouri Adult Probation and Parole officer and for the last three decades has taught various criminal justice and law studies courses and facilitated faith-based, restorative justice, and entrepreneurship programs to maximum security prisoners, nationally and internationally. She has a record of scholarly publications which reflects a variety of restorative justice, corrections, and servant leadership topics.

Contact Information:

If you have questions concerning the content of the course, you may contact the instructor directly using the Email Your Instructor link in the Lessons or Content page. NOTE: Whenever sending email, please be sure to indicate your course title and number in the subject line. You can expect a response within 72 hours, although it may be longer on weekends. Many instructors reply within 24 hours.

For lesson or test administration issues, please contact the iStudy department:

The University of Mississippi
Division of Outreach and Continuing Education
P. O. Box 1848
University, MS 38677

Phone: (662) 915-7313, toll-free (877) 915-7313
Fax: (662) 915-8826

Course Description

This six-lesson independent study course is designed to guide students through the beginnings of their law education or to simply introduce a student to the study of law. The textbook and course exercises use premium features to explore basic legal concepts related to substantive and procedural law. Students are exposed to cases, statutes, regulations, and the Constitution, while developing their legal vocabulary, critical thinking skills, and ability to read cases.  While students will only be required to read 12 of the 18 chapters, all chapters of the 6th ed. reflect current law and legal forms and provide additional activities illustrating real-world applications of legal practices. The course consists of three modules.  Within each module, there will be reading assignments, written exercises, chapter quizzes, and an exam. Module 3 concludes with a non-comprehensive final exam.

Textbook Information:

Textbook information will be provided upon enrollment in your iStudy course.

Course Objectives:

Objectives include (but are not limited to) the following:

  1. Know the more common categories of law, including the sources of law, the distinction between substantive and procedural law and the differences between criminal and civil law.
  2. Understand the foundation of the U.S. legal system, including the different branches of federal and state governments, various personnel, and the three major sources of laws: constitutions, case law and statutory.
  3. Identify the basic legal research and common research methods.
  4. Recognize constitutional law principles and the three major types of torts: intentional torts, negligence, and strict liability.
  5. Know the introductory concepts of family law and estate planning.
  6. Recognize the foundational principles of contract and property law.
  7. Know an overview of employment law, the regulation of securities, and the characteristics of limited liability partnerships and companies.
  8. Understand criminal law, the elements of a criminal statute and the differences between adults and juveniles in terms of criminal law.
  9. Identify the various methods of alternative dispute resolution including negotiation, mediation, and arbitration.

Course Outline:

Outline should include lesson numbers, reading or other work required for each lesson, and what type(s) of assessments will have to be submitted

Example below

This course consists of 6 instructional modules (or lessons). Please note that the suggested Pacing Guide to complete the course in a traditional semester is written for Fall and Spring. Full summer students need to make adjustments due to the significantly shorter time period involved.

Module Lesson Reading Assignments Due for Grades Suggested Pacing Guide to complete the Second Semester course


Start Here *You MUST complete the syllabus quiz as soon as you have access to your Blackboard course. This is mandatory to verify your attendance.*NOTE: you must pass the Syllabus and Orientation Quiz for the course materials to appear on the Lessons page. Syllabus Quiz Week 1


0 Introduction Discussion board Week 1
Module 1






1 Chapter 1: Introduction to Law
Chapter 2: The U.S. Legal System
Chapters 1 and 2 timed quiz
Lesson 1 Writing Assignment
Week 1


2 Chapter 3: The Courts and Legal Personnel
Chapter 4: Finding the Law: Legal Research
Chapters 3 and 4 timed quiz
Lesson 2 Writing Assignment
Week 2


Module Exam 1 Covers chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4 To be completed
before proceeding
Week 2
Module 2






3 Chapter 6: Constitutional Law
Chapter 7: Tort Law
Chapter 6 and 7 timed quiz
Lesson 3 Writing Assignment
Week 3


MIDPOINT OF COURSE You must reach the midpoint of your course by the date specified in your information. All lesson assignments or exams needed to reach the midpoint of the course The exact date semester students are required to reach the midpoint is specified in your information


4 Chapter 8: Family Law
Chapter 9: Estate Planning
Chapters 8 and 9 timed quiz
Lesson 4 Writing Assignment
Week 4


Module Exam 2 Covers chapters 6, 7 8, and 9 To be
before proceeding
Week 4
Module 3






5 Chapter 10: Contract and Property Law
Chapter 11: The Business Environment
Chapters 10 and 11 timed quiz
Lesson 5 Writing Assignment
Week 5


6 Chapter 12: Civil Procedure Before Trial
Chapter 13: Alternative Dispute Resolution
Chapter 14: Criminal Practice
Chapters 12, 13 and 14 timed quiz
Lesson 6 Writing Assignment
Week 6


Final Exam Covers chapters 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14 (ensure all work is completed and graded prior to scheduling this exam) Must be completed
to finalize credit
Pursuant to University Final Schedule for 2nd Semester Courses


Grading information must include percentages of total grades for each category of assessment
90 - 100% = A
80 - 89% = B
70 - 79% = C
60 - 69% = D
Below 59% = F


You must submit the lessons required to take the course exam(s). Lessons required but not submitted will receive a grade of zero. For the final exam, all coursework must be submitted and graded.