Wednesday, April 27, 2005

New List Serv for Our Paralegal Program

We now have a new list serv for our program "missionlaw". So how does this help you? Well first of all when you graduate, and even before you graduate, you will want to stay in touch with any new developments in the law, updated postings on jobs and employment, tips on legal research, legal writing, and also you may want to just keep in touch with your fellow and sister paralegals. So join the MissionLaw family. It is simple as one, two, three. First subscribe to MissionLaw List-serv. You will then receive an email from missionlaw, asking if you want to join, fill out the information, return the email, and voila, you are now one of the privileged "MissionLaw" Group Members. Then add to your email address book, the email address "", and any time you want to communicate to the group, just email our family. Remember to treat everyone with respect. Enjoy. Prof. J.
P.S. you will also receive email updates from time to time from Prof. J, and other members that we hope you find useful. Welcome to our "MissionLaw" Yahoo Groups family. Prof. J.

"Challenges in Virtual Collaboration"

In a recent book, of the same name, Lynne Wainfan and Paul K. Davis of the Rand Research Institute state (page 25):

"Alhtough some studies show contradictory findings in a number of areas, they are generally consistent in concluding that, relative to FTF (face-to-face) groups, computer-mediated communication groups CMC (i.e email, chat, threaded discussions, forums, or bulletin boards)

1. have difficult in reaching consensus
2. have greater equality of participation
3. show differences in influence, particularly relating to status
4. exhibit lower inhibition
5. are more likely to be polarized"

"Why would people be less inhibited "(Page 29) - "the psychological distance imposed by these type of communications can allow a great expression of emotions, especially negative emotions." "At a computer, where social cues are absent, people may forget that they are talking to another person, not a computer screen". "The medium's relative anonymity may produce comparatively self-centere and unregulated behaviour."

page 31 - "CMCgroups present higher levels of negative conflict (prolonging and escalating conflict, inflexibility, hostility, etc.) and lower levels of positive conflict (releasing tension, clarifying and re-evaluating goals, and creating new ideas, and so forth) than their Face-to-Face counterparts do."

here is a good article on email rules:

32 most important email etiquette tips:

1. Be concise and to the point
2. Answer all questions, and pre-empt further questions
3. Use proper spelling, grammar & punctuation
4. Make it personal
5. Use templates for frequently used responses
6. Answer swiftly
7. Do not attach unnecessary files
8. Use proper structure & layout
9. Do not overuse the high priority option
10. Do not write in CAPITALS
11. Don't leave out the message thread
12. Add disclaimers to your emails
13. Read the email before you send it
14. Do not overuse Reply to All
15. Mailings > use the bcc: field or do a mail merge
16. Take care with abbreviations and emoticons
17. Be careful with formatting
18. Take care with rich text and HTML messages
19. Do not forward chain letters
20. Do not request delivery and read receipts
21. Do not ask to recall a message.
22. Do not copy a message or attachment without permission
23. Do not use email to discuss confidential information
24. Use a meaningful subject
25. Use active instead of passive
26. Avoid using URGENT and IMPORTANT
27. Avoid long sentences
28. Don't send or forward emails containing libelous, defamatory, offensive, racist or obscene remarks
29. Don't forward virus hoaxes and chain letters
30. Keep your language gender neutral
31. Don't reply to spam
32. Use cc: field sparingly

Hope this helps.

Remember save an email as a "draft" if you are in a hurry, or upset, then think about it for a few hours before sending it. Once the bell has been rung, it sure is hard to "unring it". Good Luck. Prof. J.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Globalization and "The World is Flat"

"Thomas L. Friedman, a foreign affairs columnist for The New York Times, in his new book, "The World is Flat - a Brief History of the Twenty-First Century" nicely sums up the explosion of digital-technology advances during the past 15 years and places the phenomenon in its global context. Just consider that the Web, search engines, digital photography, iPods, e-mail, PDAs, the browser, file sharing, Wi-Fi, and a dozen other cutting-edge technologies have not only come to dominate economics and the workplace but have also helped reshape the political world -- all in less than a generation. Change has been so rapid and overwhelming that there hasn't been time to keep track of the developments, much less to understand their implications. The world is flattening, Friedman says -- meaning it is increasingly interconnected. This can raise the poor from poverty, nourish a worldwide middle class, and even spread democracy." (above quote is taken from a recent Business Week Online article.

I think, we in the Mission College Paralegal Program have seen an explosion - see the Development of our Webpage to see how much our program has "flattened" since we first started to develop online materials in August 1997, and then in the Summer of 2002 inaugurated our completely online certificate to respond to the needs of our students. Probably the singlemost driving factor in the "wild fire" expansion of our online program, is "driving itself" - that is the time it takes to drive on our L.A. Freeways so consumes our students' time, that they now save that time and instead 'telecommute' to our classes - thus saving "lost time" on the L.A. freeways and investing that "otherwise lost freeway time" into their legal studies.

Well enough about technology. Prof. J.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

new streamlined home page

Prof J. has streamlined the law home page. There is also another easier to find main home page for students, and that is

On the left side of the page, continuing students will check into their materials under getting started, and new students will check under "welcome new students" at the top of the page. Hope this reduced style makes it easier to navigate. For those students who cannot find some old links which were on the main page they are located resources Enjoy. Prof. J.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

What are blogs?

You might ask what is a blog. It is short for web log. You might ask why we use them in the Paralegal Studies Program. First, there are many common items of importance such as our Paralegal Graduation on June 11th which you are invited too which we can announce through ProfJ's blogs, but also it is a forum for discussion to improve studying and understanding the law - which is of primary importance for paralegals and their law professors. Thus we have our Paralegal Blog, and we join the group of many other bloggers. That is what it is all about. Hope that explains 'what is a blog'. until our next blog, your blog Prof J.

Honors Awards - April 1, 2005

Let's congratulate our Paralegal Honors Awards Recipients who were honored on April 1, 2005 at Mission College. We had 8 President's List recipients and more than 40 students who were on the Dean's List. Congratulations for a job well done. I am sure your families are very proud of your scholastic accomplishments at Mission College, and we are too. (a smiling) Prof J.

Principles, Policies, and Rules - i.e. more on Legal Analysis

One thing which is useful everytime you read a case is to find, or think about the underlying social principles, policies and rules established in the case. Sometimes law cases are logical and rational, but other times they are 'counterintuitive' - meaning they go against the grain or 'your basic gut feeling'. Students must learn the law 'as it is' and not 'as they want it to be' or 'they have heard it to be' from TV, friends, relatives, family, etc.

Many times the rules, principles, and policies seem to make no sense.

Look at the exercise provided by Prof. David Linnan at University of South Carolina Law School, where students analyze the rules, principles and policies in a very interesting case about a Vietnam protester. (Thanks Prof. Linnan - great assignment !)

here are Prof. Linnan's definition of P-P-R's:

A. A "principle" is a standard that should be observed, not because it will advance or secure an economic, political, or social situation deemed desireable, but because it is a requirement of justice or fairness or some other dimension of morality. For example, "no person may profit by his own wrong" is a principle.

B. A "policy" is a standard that sets out a goal to be reached, generally an improvement on some economic, political, or social feature of the community (though some goals are negative, in that they stipulate that some present feature is to be protected from adverse change). For example, the idea that automobile accidents should be decreased is a policy.

C. A "rule" is a standard that is applied in an all or nothing fashion to dictate outcomes under a particular set of circumstances. For example, "the maximum legal speed on interstate highways is fifty-five miles per hour" states a rule

Hope this helps in your legal analysis of cases. Prof.J.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Legal Analysis

I found a very good article on legal analyis. Here is the the website .

I think where many students 'fall down' in their legal analysis is by:

1. Not stating the rules of law.

2. Not reviewing the facts given.

3. Not taking the facts and trying to fit them into the Rules of Law to see if they fit or not.


Hope this helps in your legal analysis. prof. J.

new Hybrid Classes for Fall 2005

This Fall 2005 we are going to try something new. They are called 'Hybrid' Classes. Law 11 and 19 will meet 8 times during the semester 'on campus' and the rest online/internet. This will combine the best of both worlds, that is 'face to face' with your law instructor i.e Prof. J. and then online for convenience. Check out the Fall 2005 Schedule. By the way if you want to comment, then click on 'comments' below, please click on 'other' and put in your name, and then 'comment away'. Prof J. is emailed so he knows that you have commented, and he can then comment to your comment. pretty neat. hey. Blog away students.

Prof. J.

Graduation - Spring 2005

You are all invited to our Spring 2005 Certificate Graduation Ceremony just for the Paralegal Program on June 11th. Here are some details. Congratulations to our Spring 2005 Graduates. If you are not on the list and should be, then make sure you fill out your petition and email it to Prof J at (even if you have sent one in to Admissions, the Petition starts first with Prof J. Hope to see you all at the graduation. It will be really fun. We also have a "free" and "tasty" BBQ chicken lunch with all the "fixings" for those who attend. See you there. Prof. J.

Registration for Summer 2005 Classes

Here is the schedule for the Summer 2005 classes. Class registration for continuing students starts on May 5th. go to student information system to register. The Class sections for each class are as follows

Good luck, and enjoy your classes.

P.S. I would not recommend taking more than two (2) classes unless you have an enormous amount of time. We have the same amount of materials i.e. 15 weeks worth of work, which is required in a short six (6) week period for the summer classes.

Prof. J.

Legal Analysis

It is so important to a paralegal, lawyer and law student to analyze the law. To simplify this matter, first show your knowledge of the rules of law you have learned by first quoting the rules. Then go through the facts, each fact given in the fact or hypothetical have some relevance. Show your intellect by taking the fact and matching it up with the elements required by the rules. Show how the fact either fits, and makes the case for the rule, or NOT. Then come up with your conclusion.

here is a nice summary:

Preliminary analysis: Analyze facts and frame the question

A. Objectives:

1. Learn jargon.
2. Learn blackletter law and locate basic statutes and cases.
3. Identify issues which may be answered readily through research.
4. Identify issues which need analysis after research.

B. Identify factual elements:

1. What is the THING or ACT involved?
2. Who are the PERSONS involved?
3. What is the PLACE involved?

For the factual elements, list all the words that might describe the particular fact from the most general to the most specific. These will help you both in constructing searches in books and online sources and in determining later what the important factual elements are. For example, a store may be described as property, private property, and private commercial property.

C. Identify legal elements :

1. What is the RELIEF being sought?
2. What is the PROCEDURE required?
3. What are the LEGAL THEORIES?

from Harvard Law School

good luck. Prof J.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Welcome to Our Law Program

Welcome to our law program. Here is information about our program . Welcome and enjoy your classes. Prof. J.