Dorothe McMahon
Harford Community College

Office: 302-287-0765

I am not on campus full-time, therefore, my office hours are on Wednesday evening directly before class in L113 between 5pm and 7pm. If you need to meet with me any other time, please call or email me and we can make an appointment.



Technology in the Law Office

PL110-01, CRN 20818

Room L113 (Library) Wednesday evening 7pm-9:50pm

Textbook: Technology in the Law Office, Second Edition; Author: Thomas F. Goldman; ISBN 13: 978-0-13-505682-0




Spring 2012


ROOM L113 (LIBRARY) 7:00PM-9:50PM

PHONE (302)287-0765

FAX (302)773-2010


Office Hours: By appointment only

Text Book:

Technology in the Law Office, Second Edition

Author: Thomas F. Goldman

ISBN 13: 978-0-13-505682-0



This course provides an overview of the application of technology in the legal setting. Students learn the basics of computer hardware and software as well as purchase considerations. A major emphasis is placed on legal word processing and its applications in pleadings and correspondence. Telecommunications, computer assisted legal research, Internet, and other technology utilized in the law office are explored. Students are required to take this course prior to PL 106. (3 credits)


Students will gain a basic understanding of the applications of technology in the law office.


Upon successful completion of this course, a student should be able to

  1. Describe and explain, using computer terminology, the basic operation of the computer and familiarity with its general use in the law office (Academic Outcomes: communication, critical thinking)
  2. Demonstrate proficiency in the use of a personal computer for creating legal documents. Software includes Microsoft Office 2007 (Word, Excel, Access, Power Point) and Windows operating system (Academic Outcomes: communication, critical thinking)

  3. Apply computer technology to litigation through the use of docket (Summation Blaze) and litigation support software (Abacus) including spreadsheets (Academic Outcomes: communication, critical thinking)
  4. Apply computer technology in litigation support and case management through the use of timekeeping and billing software (Timeslips) (Academic Outcomes: communication, critical thinking)
  5. Utilize other forms of legal office technology including telecommunications and reproductive systems including the Internet and the use of scanners (Academic Outcomes: communication, critical thinking, information literacy)
  6. Perform research tasks through computer assisted legal research (CALR) databases (LEXIS, WESTLAW) (Academic Outcomes: information literacy, critical thinking)


Interactive lecture, demonstration, cooperative learning, discussion, computer assignments and case studies.


A = 90-100% 360-400 points

B = 80-89% 320-356 points

C = 70-79% 280-319 points

D = 60-69% 240-279 points

F = below 60%



"Students are expected to attend all instructional sessions unless….." See HCC Catalog, 2009-10, p. 39. Class attendance and participation is a factor in the final grade you receive. Anyone missing more than 3 class periods, without reasonable cause, may receive a zero for class participation. If your circumstances change this semester so that you start missing classes, contact your instructor as soon as possible to discuss alternatives for continuing in the course.


Assignments should be turned in on the due date. Tests should be taken on the scheduled date. If a conflict develops with a test date, contact the instructor as soon as possible. 10% of the total score available on assignments will be deducted for each class period after due date when assignments are late. ALL ASSIGNMENTS ARE TO BE SUBMITTED AS ATTACHMENTS TO AN E-MAIL. THE ATTACHMENTS ARE TO BE IN WORD OR EXCEL DOCUMENT FORMAT.


HCC students are bound by the academic policies outlined in the most current HCC Catalog.  It is the student’s responsibility to review these policies prior to the start of the semester.  Students will be familiar with and adhere to the policies and sanctions governing student conduct as written in the HCC Catalog.  The HCC Catalog may be accessed online at:

  • FEDERAL CREDIT HOUR DEFINITION: "An amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than:
    1. One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or . . ." (See 34 CFR 600.2; bold added)


The HCC policy on cheating provides that "copying in tests and examinations, cribbing in term papers or assignments, and plagiarism in all its forms can not be condoned." See Student Code, Proscribed Conduct, C(1)-(4)). Any student cheating on any tests or papers for this course will receive a zero for that assignment and may be denied credit for the course or suspended from school. See also at site on "How to Avoid Plagiarism". HCC students are bound by the academic policies outlined in the most current HCC Catalog. It is the student’s responsibility to review these policies prior to the start of each semester.


A list of hours and locations for Student Services is available in OwlNet, on the Academic Life tab, under Quick Links


HCC is committed to serving students who have documented physical, learning, psychological, or other disabilities. Students who have a disability are responsible for contacting Disability Support Services at 443-412-2402 to discuss their needs for accommodations. All information shared with Disability Support Services will be held in confidence.


Please respect the following rules:

    • Turn off or otherwise silence cell phones while in class
    • Absolutely no text messaging or talking on phones while in class
    • Respect the rights of other students to speak – when someone has the floor, wait until that person has completed his or her statements before responding
    • Refrain from extended side conversations with others while in class once the class begins
    • If before class you know you must leave in the middle of class, please notify the instructor before class begins you will be leaving before the end of the class
    • Freedom of expression is encouraged in the classroom. HCC Student Code provides "students shall have the right to express any views pertinent to the subject matter of the course"
    • Students should respect the right of others to express their ideas and opinions
    • According to the Student Code, the following are disruptive sanctionable behaviors at HCC: "acting in a manner disruptive or disturbing to the normal educational functions" and "verbal abuse". Students will be familiar with and adhere to the policies and sanctions governing student conduct as written in the HCC Catalog


This class is preparing you for entrance to the legal profession.  Civility and collegiality are hallmarks of the profession, and things that are demanded of its members.  With this in mind, you are expected to be courteous to, and cooperative with, your fellow classmates, your instructors, and any guests who enter this classroom. Anyone exhibiting a lack of civility and/or collegiality will be asked
to leave class and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.


The instructor has in his sole discretion the option of creating new policies or modifying existing policies and/or this syllabus, provided reasonable notice is given to students.


All of the reading assignments should be completed before the class in which the material is to be discussed. All students are expected to participate in discussions and problem solving activities in class. When appropriate, students are accountable for concepts and theories expressed in handouts.

You are expected to read each assigned project chapter prior to the lecture. Lectures will discuss highlights of the project for that week. Additional computer exercises will be completed in class.

For each computer assignment:

    • Computer assignments must be identified with student name, project/lab or case number, and assignment (For example: Mary Smith, Word Lab 1)
    • Only printed assignments must be submitted. Discs will be checked at midterm and final exam times
    • If an assignment has multiple pages, then staple them together. Do not use paper clips and do not staple different assignments together
    • Disorganized assignments (pages out of order, mislabeled, unreadable, etc.) will receive a grade of zero. If there are multiple sheets to be handed in, then sequence them according to the order you were told to print them in the exercise.

    • Jan 25 - Spring Semester Begins (15 week)
    • Feb 1 - 100% Refund deadline for 15-week classes
    • Apr 15 - Withdrawal deadline for 15-week classes
    • Mar 21 - No classes, College Closed
    • May 2 - Final Exam



Week 1 01/25/12 Technology in the Law Office Chapter 1

Week 2 02/01/12 Legal Ethics in a Technology Age Chapter 2

Computer Hardware and Software Chapter 3

Week 3 02/08/12 The Internet and Electronic Mail Chapter 4

Electronic Research Chapter 5

Week 4 02/15/12 Word Processing Chapter 6

Week 5 02/22/12 Electronic Spreadsheets Chapter 7

Electronic Databases Chapter 8

Week 6 02/29/12 MIDTERM

The Paperless Office Chapter 9

Week 7 03/07/12 Office Management Software Chapter 10

Week 8 03/14/12 Case Organization and Management Software Chapter 11


Week 10 03/28/12 Tabs3

Week 11 04/04/12 Electronic Discovery – The Fundamentals Chapter 12

Electronic Discovery – Rules and Procedures Chapter 13

Week 12 04/11/12 Litigation Support Chapter 14

Week 13 04/18/12 Presentation and Trial Graphics Chapter 15

Week 14 04/25/12 The Electronic Courthouse Chapter 16

Week 15 05/02/12 FINAL EXAM