LA 205 Legal Research/Writing II

LA 205 IS Sec 1, University of Mississippi
[See UM Catalog for Description]

3 credit hours

Instructor Information:

faculty photo

Instructor name:

Melissa Jones, MBA, JD, EdD

Instructor Information:

Melissa Jones is the Associate Director for the Lott Leadership Institute and an Adjunct Professor in the School of Applied Sciences. Melissa is a first-generation college graduate and understands the competing priorities of managing family, education, and career. She received her MBA with a specialization in Human Resources from the New York Institute of Technology, her Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi School of Law, and her EdD in higher education from the University of Mississippi. Melissa is a member of the Mississippi Bar Association. Throughout her career, Melissa has worked in the insurance and healthcare arenas as well as representing clients in private practice and in the corporate arena as in-house counsel. She joined the Trent Lott Leadership Institute in 2017 and also teaches multiple courses in legal studies and criminal justice.

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 11-lesson independent study course is designed to teach students how to perform advanced legal research while understanding court rules, restatements, and administrative decisions. Students will study and draft various legal documents including memoranda, letters, and briefs.

Textbook Information:

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

Course Objectives:

Objectives include (but are not limited to):

  1. Increase critical thinking and problem solving skills based on enhanced development of legal evaluation, research, and demonstrated verbal and written communications;
  2. Analyze and organize a legal problem based upon a given factual situation;
  3. Write and organize an analysis of the law as related to the legal issues;
  4. Use proper reference sources;
  5. Use print and computer assisted research tools;
  6. Draft legal documents including legal memos, correspondence, briefs, and other legal documents.

Course Outline:

This course consists of 11 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.

Lesson Reading Assignments Due for Grades Suggested Pacing Guide to complete the course in a traditional semester. Summer session students will need to make adjustments due to the shorter time period.
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 (Note: There will be supplemental videos/lectures in later chapters. You will find significant take-aways in those supplements particularly for the brief assignment beginning in week 10.) Discussion board Week 1
1 Developing a Legal Resume Resume (5 points) Week 1
2 Read Chapter 16 and Appendix C (Edwards text) Letter drafting (5 points) Week 2
3 Read Chapter 14: Persuasive Writing (Hames and Eckern text) Questions for Review #7 and 10 (5 points) Week 3
4 Read Chapter 15: Motion Practice (Hames and Eckern)
Read Chapter 17: Ethics, Judges and Briefs (Edwards text)
Read Scalia - principles 1, 2, 6, 13, 19, 20, 28, 34, 36
Analysis assignment page 396 #5 (5 points)  Week 4
Exam 1 Covers chapters 16 and Appendix C (Edwards); Chapter 14 (Hames and Eckern); Chapter 15  (Hames and Eckern); Chapter 17 (Edwards text); and Scalia - principles 1, 2, 6, 13, 19, 20, 28, 34, 36 To be completed
before proceeding
(10 points)
Week 5
5 Chapter 18 and Appendix G (Barton, Boulevard Shoppes, and Hankins cases only) Prepare Case Chart - Case, Issue, Ruling Week 6
6 Chapter 19 - Sections I and II (Edwards)
Chapter 21 - Section II (Chapter 21)
  Week 7
MIDPOINT OF COURSE If you are a semester student, you must reach the midpoint of your course by the date specified in your information.
If you are a Flex UM student, you CANNOT WITHDRAW from this course after the lesson has been submitted.
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.
7 Chapter 20 (Edwards) and Scalia - principles 3-5, 7-12, 14-18, 21-27   Week 8
8 Scalia - principles 29-33, 35, 39-54 Presentation (10 points) Week 9
Exam 2 Covers Chapter 18 and Appendix G (Barton, Boulevard Shoppes, and Hankins cases only);
Chapter 19 - Sections I and II (Edwards);
Chapter 21 - Section II (Chapter 21); Chapter 20 (Edwards) and Scalia - principles 3-5, 7-12, 14-18, 21-27; and Scalia - principles 29-33, 35, 39-54
To be completed
before proceeding
(10 points)
Week 10
9 Writing Assignment - Brief Part I (10 points) Week 11
10 Writing Assignment - Brief Part II (10 points) Week 12
11 Writing Assignment - Brief Part III (10 points) Week 13
Final Exam Comprehensive exam from all chapters (ensure all work is completed and graded prior to taking this exam) To be
to finalize credit
(20 points)
Week 14


The grading scale is as follows:
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.