Course Description

Legal research methods and techniques are studied within the context of working as a paralegal. Students are introduced to the American legal system and systems and sources of law. Students analyze hypothetical client scenarios to define legal issues and use legal resources to help resolve the client’s problem. In this course students have opportunities to learn the fundamental structure and process of the American legal system, the process for finding the law on the internet, including understanding the different types of legal authority, knowing how to generate search terms to conduce efficient research on Westlaw and being able to find the authority that resolves a client’s problem. Students also learn how to cite to legal sources using the California Style Manual.

Learner Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Contrast and understand the difference between primary and secondary authority
  • Identify and research an issue of law
  • Generate search terms for online research
  • Find statutes and case law
  • Use proper California Style Manual citation form


Certification Disclosure: In California an individual may qualify to hold one’s self out as a paralegal in one of several ways including earning a certificate of completion of a paralegal program approved by the American Bar Association. (Calif. Bus. & Prof. Code §6450(c)(1).) The Paralegal Professional Certificate program offered by UCSB PaCe satisfies the requirements of California law in this regard.


Applies Towards the Following Certificates

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6:00PM to 9:15PM
Jan 08, 2024
Web-based Instruction
Schedule and Location
Contact Hours
  • Web-based Instruction
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Course Fee credit (4 units) $685.00
Available for Credit
4 units
Section Notes

This class meets on Monday's from 6pm to 9:15pm. 

One business day after enrollment but no sooner than 2 weeks before the beginning of the course, you will receive an email with detailed instructions on how to access your online course. You don’t need to take any action until you receive that email. Please note that you will not be able to access your online course until all the steps highlighted in that email are complete.

Students are required to purchase the following textbooks before the first class meeting. Please order textbooks from the bookseller of your choice, be sure to order the correct ISBN and textbook edition. Textbook information is below. 

Legal Research Analysis and Writing
Author(s): Putnam and Albright
Edition: 5th, 2023
ISBN-13: 978-0357619445

A minimum $40 non-refundable administrative fee per course is charged for all drops. See the full Drop Policy here.