Course Syllabus

Ivy Tech Community College logo.

Contact Information



Name:Heidi Fowler, J.D.

Phone Number: 260.482.9171 x 2521
Email (Ivy Tech Email):
Office/Campus Location: Public Safety Academy 2128
Office Hours: Tuesday 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Instructor’s Supervisor

Name: M. Elaine Novak, Ed.D.
Phone Number: 260.482.9171
Email (Ivy Tech Email):
Office/Campus Location: Coliseum Campus 1220

Ivy Tech Technical Support: Help Desk

Phone: 1-888-IVY-LINE (1-888-489-5463), select option 4
Student Help Center:
Submit a Help Ticket:

Ivy Tech Online Learning Support

Name: Deb Ponsot
Phone Number:  260.482.9171
Email (Ivy Tech Email):
Office/Campus Location: Harshman Hall

Disabilities Support Contact

Regional DSS:

Required Text & Materials

Title: Introduction to Law
Author: Hames & Ekern
Edition: 5th
Publisher: Pearson Publishing
ISBN: 9870133484564 

Recommendations for Book Ordering (click on this link for more info)

Course Outline of Record

COURSE TITLE: Introduction to Legal Studies                                                                   COURSE NUMBER: LEGS 101  

PREREQUISITES: Demonstrated competency through appropriate assessment of earning a grade of “C” or better in:

ENGL 093 Introduction to College Writing and ENGL 083 Reading Strategies for College OR ENGL 095 Integrated Reading and Writing

SCHOOL: Public and Social Services

PROGRAM: Legal Studies and Paralegal Studies


CONTACT HOURS: Lecture:  3


EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS REVISION: Fall 2016                                                                           

CATALOG DESCRIPTION: Introduction to Legal Studies will provide the student a broad understanding of the American legal system. Students will engage with and learn about the various court structures, the key players within the system and how our laws and rules are made, enforced, interpreted, and applied. This course also dives into substantive legal topics and allows the student a hands-on education regarding legal research, legal writing, case briefing, interviewing skills, and profession ethics, among other topics.

MAJOR COURSE LEARNING OBJECTIVES: Upon successful completion of this course the student will be expected to:

  1. Examine various levels of our court systems and how they differ from other systems around the world.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of jurisdiction and the concept of due process.
  3. Identify the differences between civil and criminal law.
  4. Discuss various skills needed in the legal profession, such as legal research, legal writing, interviewing, and case briefing.
  5. Know and situationally apply rules of professional responsibility and legal ethics

COURSE CONTENT:  Topical areas of study include:

Basic legal analysis and research

Case law, statutory law, administrative law, and constitutional law, including due process

Due process

Federal and state court jurisdiction

Rules of Professional Conduct, including Indiana’s rules, model ABA rules, and other ethical rules

Professionals in the legal community

Career opportunities

American court systems

Foreign court systems

Civil and criminal law

Legal writing

Case briefing

Interviewing skills


College Policies & Support Services (click on this link to review)

Students are strongly encourage to click the link above to review standard College policies and information on academic support services.

Course Policies & Procedures

Instructional Method

This is an online distance learning course. Each week’s assignments and readings are summarized on the calendar, accessed from the Calendar button in IvyLearn. It takes a great deal of discipline, self-motivation, and effective time management skills to successfully complete an online course. Many students find it helpful to set aside specific times each week to work on course assignments.


All grades will be maintained in IvyLearn’s online grade book. Students are responsible for tracking their progress by referring to the online grade book. Students can generally expect to receive grades and feedback within seven days of the assignment due date. If exceptions occur, the instructor may notify students of changes to this expectation.

Due Dates & Deadlines

The Syllabus and Calendar are two important tools to help students understand the course, student and instructor expectations, and deadlines. Both tools can be found in IvyLearn.  The Calendar can be accessed from the main navigation area on the left-hand side of IvyLearn.

Students are required to submit work on time for a chance to receive credit. Deadlines for each week/assignment are summarized on the calendar. Students should check the calendar frequently for deadlines and to be aware of what to expect next. Deadlines are listed in Eastern Time and are subject to change.

Students are responsible for timely assignment submission. Should a computer system or network go down, students must still turn in work in a timely manner. Don’t wait until the last minute. Plan ahead by seeking alternative means for submitting work before it is due. Local libraries and all Ivy Tech Community College campuses can serve as alternative resources. Contact the closest/most convenient campus or other public lab for schedules and Internet availability. Not having access to the required software on a home or work computer is not a legitimate excuse for turning in homework late.

Make-Up Policy

Late assignments will be assigned a grade of “0” unless a student has received prior approval from the professor. If a student has a problem or scheduling conflict that prevents the student from submitting an assignment on time, the student should contact the professor immediately. The professor will determine if the seriousness of the problem warrants an extension on the assignment. Unless absolutely unavoidable, students need to contact their instructor before missing the deadline – not after. Instructors have the right to decline accepting work for any credit after a deadline passes with a few specific exceptions, including but not limited to:

  • If there is an outage of the IvyLearn system that is verified by central system administrators, instructors will provide an extension for students to submit work at no penalty.
  • If the student has documentation of serious illness or death of a family member, instructors will work with the student to determine an alternate deadline.

Attendance Policy – Don’t Get Dropped from Class!

Ivy Tech performs administrative drops for students who do not “attend” class early in the semester. Students need to complete an assignment (which may include, but are not limited to, such things as attending a live or synchronous session; posting in a graded discussion board, blog or wiki; or submitting a written assignment or taking a quiz) prior to NW deadline listed below in order to avoid being dropped for non-attendance. Posting any items not related to the graded assignments will be reviewed but may be disqualified for attendance purposes.

Attendance Drop Deadline: June 9, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. – Eastern Time.

Am I Required to Come to Campus for this Course?

Students do not have to come to campus for this course. There are no activities, labs, or assessments that require students to come to campus.

Last Day to Withdraw

If a student wishes to withdraw from this course, students are responsible for completing an official withdrawal form with the registrar. Your local registrar contact information can be looked up here:

The last day to withdraw from this course is July 15, 2017.

Course Communication

Online Communication Etiquette

Students are expected to uphold their responsibilities in terms of appropriate and professional communication with faculty and peers. Please review the ‘Students Rights and Responsibilities’ section of the student handbook (located within Campus Connect) and review common netiquette (Internet etiquette) practices, like those found at:

Instructor Commitment 

Ivy Tech Community College instructors are committed to responding to students’ written inquiries sent via the conversations tool in IvyLearn (instructions below), within 36 hours, including weekends. Students can contact their local Online Technologies Support with questions (


All students must use the conversations feature of IvyLearn for course-related communications.  Using conversations, students can send and receive messages from within IvyLearn. Conversations can only be sent and received from within IvyLearn. Please check Conversations frequently.

For information on how to access Conversations (send and receive) click this link to open the Canvas Guides (  The Canvas Guides will provide you with the necessary information to get started with conversations within IvyLearn.


IvyLearn has a robust notification system that students can opt to use to receive course notifications for many course activities and events such as new announcements, due dates, and grade updates.  Students can receive those notifications via many different channels including text messages and are highly encouraged to customize their notifications.  To learn more about notifications and how to setup and customize notifications, please review the guide here:

Assignments & Grading

How is my grade calculated?

Discussion Boards

There will be 15 discussions for this class and are listed on the calendar.  Each student will be responsible for responding to the prompt for that discussion and then replying to the specified number of other students as stated in the discussions rubric in the Resources area of the course.  No late discussions will be accepted.


There will be 15 quizzes throughout the course that cover the reading material for that week.  Quizzes can include multiple choice, true/false, short answer, essay, file response, and other types of questions.  Each student will have three attempts and some quizzes will require grading from your instructor (such as in the case of essay, short answer, file response, and other types of questions that require instructor grading).  

There will be two exams required in this course:                                           

  • Midterm Exam covers content from Modules 1-7
  • Final Exam covers content from Modules 1-7 and 9-15.

Once you open an exam, you will have two hours to complete the exam, and you will be allowed 1 attempt for each. While the exams are “open book,” searching through the textbook for answers can be very time-consuming and will greatly reduce your ability to do well on the exam.

Grades in this course are determined by the following criteria:




Points Each



Introduction Discussion Board



10 points


End of Course Discussion Board



10 points


Topical Discussion Boards



140 points





260 points





280 points


Midterm Exam



150 points


Final Exam



150 points





1000 points







*Please note that due dates and deadlines are listed in the Course Calendar in the Course Information area and that all deadlines are listed in Eastern Time.

Grading Scale

90% - 100%               A        

80% - 89%                 B        

70% - 79%                 C        

60% - 69%                 D        

Below 60%                  F         




Course Summary:

Date Details Due