Undergraduate Legal Studies Courses
LEGL 2330. Introduction to Legal Studies. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).
This course provides an introduction to the study of law and the many opportunities available within the legal services industry. Emphasis is placed on the judicial system and its role within the state and federal governments, the importance of judicial opinions including how to read, understand, and summarize case law, an introduction to legal research and writing, and an overview of the ethical obligations, regulations, professional trends, and skills required of those working in this field. This course is a legal specialty. Prerequisite: ENGL 1301.
LEGL 3331. Legal History. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).
Introduction to the Anglo-American legal tradition. Particular attention paid to legal documents such as Magna Carta, The English Bill of Rights, and the Organic Laws of the United States, and jurists such as Blackstone, Marshall, and Holmes. Prerequisite: GOVT 2305, GOVT 2306.
LEGL 3332. Legal Ethics. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).
This course is designed to expose students to the major ethical problems they may face as part of a legal team. The focus of the course is the ABA Model Code and Model Rules of Professional Conduct. The course also addresses the role of non-lawyers in the delivery of legal services and the various professional codes of ethics which provide guidance to non-lawyers. Emphasis will be placed on related codes of civility, the attorney-client privilege and work product doctrine, proper handling of legal fees and client property, as well as the disciplinary process. This course is a legal specialty.
LEGL 3340. Legal Research & Writing. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours). [WI]
This course provides an introduction to the fundamentals of legal research and writing. After an overview of the various primary and secondary sources, students will invest significant time in hands-on practice using the most common legal sources in print and electronic form. Emphasis will also be placed on properly evaluating, communicating, and attributing findings within the legal genre. This course is a legal specialty. Prerequisite: ENGL 1301, ENGL 1302, LEGL 2330.
LEGL 3350. Professional Practices in Law. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).
This course will continue to develop the professional skills and dispositions necessary for students to be competitive in a changing legal profession. Course topics will include emerging technology, critical interpersonal skills, formation of a professional identity, and the positive role that members of the legal profession have played, and continue to play, in our neighborhoods, towns, and communities. Prerequisite: LEGL 2330.
LEGL 3388. Civil Procedure. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).
This course examines the theory and practical aspects of basic civil litigation, including preliminary investigation, pleadings, motions, discovery, trials, and appeals. Emphasis will be placed on the requirements and restrictions of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure which apply throughout the United States; however, individual distinctions of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure will be raised. Prerequisite: LEGL 2330, ENGL 1302.
LEGL 4084. Paralegal Internship. 3-6 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3-6 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).
This course provides students with an external learning experience. Students will work in law offices, corporations, and other industries involved in the delivery of legal services. Students are required to work approximately forty (40) hours for each credit attempted for a minimum of 120-140 hours per 3-units. This course is a legal specialty. Prerequisites: LEGL 2330, LEGL 3332, LEGL 3340, LEGL 3388 and junior or senior status.
LEGL 4086. Problems. 1-3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).
Independent reading, research, and discussion. Entry into this course will be arranged with a Legal Studies faculty advisor.
LEGL 4110. Civic Engagement. 1 Credit Hour (Lecture: 1 Hour, Lab: 0 Hours).
The legal profession is a public service. This course is intended to allow students entering the legal profession to explore the many ways of being civically engaged in their communities, state, and nation. Successful completion of this course makes students eligible for one Applied Learning Experience (ALE) credit. Prerequisite: Junior or Senior status.
LEGL 4301. Constitutional Law. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours). [WI]
An introduction to the principles of American constitutionalism, specifically, the prerogatives of American political institutions. The subject is approached by close study of the documents which outline these principles, the four Organic Laws of the United States, Supreme Court cases, and political speeches. Prerequisites: GOVT 2305, HIST 1301, and HIST 1302; or approval of the instructor.
LEGL 4344. Tort Law. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).
This course provides a comprehensive overview of civil wrongs (torts). Students will learn the three major categories of torts: intentional torts, negligence, and strict liability. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the elements of various civil claims (causes of action) within each category as well as common defenses. Students will also gain practice at legal analysis, the skill of evaluating the evidence to determine what, if any, claims would be supported. Prerequisite: LEGL 2330.
LEGL 4346. Texas Wills, Estates, and Probate. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).
This course deals with transfers of property, including intestate succession, probate administration, execution and revocation of wills, the use of trusts in estate planning, and rules of construction that affect will and trust drafting. The course also will cover community property laws and basic estate tax and gift tax principles. Relevant Texas Estates Code and Uniform Probate Code statutes will be used in addition to a textbook. This course is a legal specialty. Prerequisite: LEGL 2330.
LEGL 4348. Sports and Entertainment Law. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).
This course deals with an introduction to many fields of law. These are copyright law, publicity and privacy law, First Amendment law, trademark law and contract law. Sports and Entertainment law impacts many different business types such as film, television, music, professional sports, and live theatre. While there are many similarities, the differences can be overwhelming and an introduction to these business types will be covered. Relevant Universal Commercial Code, Title 17 of the United States Code, and the Lanham Act will be used in addition to the textbook. Prerequisite: LEGL 2330.
LEGL 4350. Family Law. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).
This course introduces students to the procedural and substantive law affecting the family and domestic relations. The law affecting prenuptial agreements, separation, divorce, annulments, spousal support, alimony, spousal abuse, custody, child support, and adoption is also discussed. Emphasis is placed on the preparation of relevant legal documents and procedures for various court filings. Prerequisite: LEGL 2330, LEGL 3340.
LEGL 4352. Agriculture Law. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).
This course provides an introduction to the diverse areas of law that interconnect with agriculture and agribusiness. Unlike the traditional approach of studying a single area of law (such as contracts or property), students will spend significant time learning to diagnose a particular industry need or problem in order to accurately identify the applicable area of law (property, water use, oil and gas, administrative law, intellectual property, food safety, clean energy, and environmental). The course will also investigate legal career opportunities within the agri-industry. Prerequisite: LEGL 2330 or Junior Status.
LEGL 4382. Virtual Paralegal Internship. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 3 Hours).
This course provides students with a series of simulated, experiential learning environments which give students an interactive law office environment suitable for the development and refinement of competencies needed for the real-world legal workplace. The simulation modules are supplemented with exercises and instruction geared toward preparing students for the transition from the academic environment to the workplace. Prerequisite: LEGL 2330, LEGL 3332, LEGL 3340, LEGL 3388.
LEGL 4385. Legal Studies Seminar. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).
Specialized legal studies course on topics such as natural law, legal positivism, or Roman constitutionalism. May be taken more than once as topics will vary. Prerequisite: POLS 3309, LEGL 3330 or permission of program coordinator.
LEGL 4390. Legal Studies Capstone Course. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours). [WI]
This course will serve as a culminating experience where students will demonstrate proficiency in legal analysis and expand their repertoire of documents within the legal genre to include more sophisticated and complex documents such as appellate briefs, multi-issue legal office memoranda, and memoranda in support of a motion. This course is a legal specialty. Prerequisites: LEGL 2330, LEGL 3332, LEGL 3340, LEGL 3388.