Legal Studies (LGST) 249

Legal Literacy (Revision 3)

LGST 249

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Applied Studies
(Business and Administrative Studies)

Prerequisite: None

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Legal Studies home page

LGST 249 is not available for challenge.

Detailed syllabus and assessment information (PDF)

Open Access Course (not for credit)

Questions? Contact the Course Coordinator Archie Zariski

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LGST 249 is designed to help make the law and its institutions more understandable and accessible to people without professional legal education. It will help those facing legal issues to learn and assert their legal rights and to learn the rights and obligations of others. The course supports efforts to make law and legal systems responsive to the needs of ordinary citizens. Legal Literacy will assist everyone to make use of the law in pursuing their legitimate interests.

Learning Outcomes

After completing LGST 249 you should be able to:

  • identify the basic structures of the law and legal institutions in your jurisdiction
  • describe the main elements of the legal system in your jurisdiction and how they relate to each other
  • describe the most common legal processes used in your jurisdiction and identify the major steps taken in each of them
  • recognize when words are being used in a different way for legal purposes and know how to find their meaning when that happens
  • find laws in your jurisdiction that are relevant to your needs
  • read and analyze laws and other legal materials to grasp their basic meaning
  • use the results of your knowledge and research into law to assert your rights and interests


  • Unit 1: Procedural Justice, Adversarialism, and Legal Literacy
  • Unit 2: Legal Structures
  • Unit 3: Legal Systems
  • Unit 4: Legal Processes and Procedures
  • Unit 5: Legal Language
  • Unit 6: Legal Research
  • Unit 7: Legal Interpretation
  • Unit 8: Legal Communication


Please note that the passing grade for the final examination is 50 percent. To receive credit  for the course, you must achieve an overall course grade of 50 percent or better and a passing grade of 50 percent or better on the final examination.

Activity Weighting
Assignment 1 10%
Assignment 2 15%
Assignment 3 15%
Assignment 4 25%
Final Exam 35%
Total 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials

The required textbook which will be supplied to students is Archie Zariski, Legal Literacy: An Introduction to Legal Studies (AUPress 2014) (PDF). The course website includes links to additional optional readings.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 3, October 9, 2020.

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