Administrative Law

Administrative Law


Spring 2011
01/18/2011 - 05/15/2011

Course Information

Section 001
W 17:40 - 20:20
RGC1 334
Terry Johnson

Office Hours

  • After any class and by appointment.


Course Syllabus


LGLA 1341

                                                     Spring 2011


Instructor:   Terry Johnson                                   Telephone:  913-4108




Class Times:         Wednesdays, 5:40-8:20 P.M.   Room:                   RGC 334


Office:         N/A                                         Mail:  1212 Rio Grande, Austin  TX                                                                                78701


Office Hrs:   After any class or by appointment.


I.  Course Description.  This course presents fundamental concepts of administrative law and procedure in governmental agencies with emphasis on the paralegal’s role in the administrative process.  Topics include: structure and operation of state administrative agencies, including rulemaking; and adjudication; application and effect of Texas Open Meetings and Public Information statutes.


II. Required/Recommended Texts:

A.      Required acquisition:

          (1) Tex. Govt. Code Ann. §§ 551, 552 and 2001.

B.         Recommended:

B.  (1) Black's Law Dictionary


III. SCANs Competencies:

          The SCANs Competencies applicable to this Course are listed on Attachment B.


IV. Instructional Methodology:

          This is a lecture course in which students are expected to prepare for and respond to questions related to the assigned material.


V. Course Rationale:

          This course is designed to provide the student with an understanding of administrative law and procedure especially as practiced in the state of Texas.  The paralegal role in an administrative law environment will be emphasized.


VI. Course Outcomes:

          The Student Learning Outcomes for this course are listed on Attachment A.


VII. Course Evaluation System:

The maximum number of points available in the course is one hundred (100).  Your final letter grade for this course will be the sum of your Exam Points.  PLEASE NOTE: This class is structured as an analog to the profession.  Consequently, there are no make-up-exams or extra-credit projects.


exam points.  There will be four 25-point exams offered during the semester.  (Total possible Exam Points=100)


MISSED EXAMS.  The first missed exam will be assigned Exam Points equal to the highest score of the other exams you have taken during the semester.  Each subsequent missed exam will be assigned Exam Points of zero (0).


ACCESS TO YOUR INSTRUCTOR.  I am available for conference after any class.  In addition, a conference may be scheduled by telephone or e-mail.


VIII. Course Policies:


a.       Attendance.

The courtesy of your attendance is a requirement for obtaining the maximum benefit from this course.  It is your sole and affirmative obligation to adequately accommodate for the consequences of each missed class period.


b.       Withdrawal.

Excessive absences may eventually result in the student being withdrawn from the course. Do not, however, assume that absences will automatically result in a withdrawal. Excessive absences may simply result in a letter grade "F" at the end of the course.  If the student wishes to withdraw from the course, the student must go to an Admissions Office and fill out a Withdrawal Form.


c.       Incomplete

An “Incomplete” will not be granted in this course.


d.       Scholastic Dishonesty

Acts prohibited by the college for which discipline may be administered include scholastic dishonesty, including but not limited to cheating on an exam or quiz, plagiarizing, and unauthorized collaboration with another in preparing outside work.  Academic work submitted by students shall be the result of their thought, research or self-expression.  Academic work is defined as, but not limited to tests, quizzes, whether taken electronically  or on paper; projects, either individual or group, classroom presentation, and homework.


e.       Academic Freedom

Each student is expected to participate in class. In any classroom situation that includes discussion and critical thinking, there are bound to be differing viewpoints. Students may not only disagree with each other on occasion, but the students and instructor may also find that they have disparate views. It is expected that these differences will enhance the class and create an atmosphere where students and instructor alike will be encouraged to think and learn. Accordingly, rest assured that no student’s grade will be adversely affected by any beliefs or ideas expressed in class.


f.        Student Discipline

In the event, a student acts in such a way as to significantly interfere with or disrupt the learning atmosphere of the classroom, the instructor may direct the student to leave the class and may take other measures as appropriate.   See the ACC Student Handbook either in hardcopy or on the web:


g.       Office of Students with Disabilities

Each ACC campus offers support services for students with documented physical or psychological disabilities.  Students with disabilities must request reasonable accommodations through the Office for Student with Disabilities on the campus where they expect to take the majority of their classes.  Students are encouraged to do so three weeks before the start of the semester.


g.       Course Calendar

The Course Calendar is a separate document that you will have received along with this syllabus.


h.      Testing Center

Exams will be administered at the beginning of class times only.  Accordingly, use of the testing center is not available to students in this course; however, should you have occasion to use an ACC testing center for other classes, be sure to first review the Testing Center Guidelines available either in the testing center or on the web under “Students” at:


i.        Student Services Handout

A Student Services Handout is available at:




LGLA 1341

Attachment B :  SCANS Competencies


Students in this course will be expected to use or achieve the competencies set out below.




1.l.   Allocates Time: Allocates time between coursework/work/family/friends.




2.1.   Participates as a Member of a Team: Works cooperatively with others on joint assignments.


2.2.   Teaches Others: Explains concepts in class.


2.5. Negotiates: Works toward an agreement on the validity of exam questions.


2.6. Works with Cultural Diversity: Works well with men and women and with a variety of ethnic, social, or educational backgrounds in the context of the class..




3.1. Acquires and Evaluates Information: Extracts crucial legal issues from court cases.


3.2. Organizes and Maintains Information: Takes notes on assigned material for use in class.


3.3. Interprets and Communicates Information: Evaluates assigned material and explains it to the class.


3.4. Uses Computers to Process Information: Employs computers to process course notes and to obtain, analyze and brief court cases.




5.2. Applies Technology to Task: Understands the overall intent and the proper procedures for setting up and using computers and their programs.


Basic Skills


6.1.    Reading: Locates, understands, and interprets written  information in the text and assigned court cases.


6.2.     Writing: Communicates thoughts, ideas, information, and messages effectively in writing.


6.5.   Listening: Receives, attends to, interprets, and responds to verbal messages during class lectures and discussions.


6.6.   Speaking: Organizes ideas and effectively communicates thoughts when being questioned in class and during class discussions.


Thinking Skills

7.1.   Creative Thinking: Uses imagination freely, combines ideas in new ways, when discussing hypothetical problems..


7.2.   Decision Making: Chooses the best alternative in multiple choice questions.


7.3.   Problem Solving: Recognizes that problems in hypothetical situations and identifies possible solutions.


7.5. Knowing How to Learn: Finds the important information in class discussions and texts and consolidates the information into a useable format.


7.6.   Reasoning: Identifies the crucial issue in a court case and recognizes the potential application of the rule in the case to other cases with similar facts and circumstances.


Personal Qualities

8.1.   Responsibility. Exerts a high level of effort and perseverance in effectively preparing for class and class discussions.


8.4.  Self-Management: Motivates self through goal achievement; exhibits self-control and responds to feedback unemotionally and non-defensively, is a "self-starter."


8.5.  Integrity/Honesty: Can be trusted to accomplish her/his own work without excessive involvement of other students.




LGLA 1341

Attachment A:  Learning Outcomes

With diligent application of class discussion to the materials provided, each student is expected to recognize, explain and distinguish among the concepts and principles set out below.  In addition, please note that the student is expected to demonstrate understanding of the legal vocabulary associated with the field.

Administrative Law

Historical context and origin

Delegation of legislative power

Enabling Act

Limitations on agency power

External controls on agencies

Distinctions between federal and Texas


Open Meetings Act

Historical context


Rights secured

Governmental bodies affected




Notice requirements

Emergency meetings

Non-emergency meetings

Open session

Executive session

Final action

Records of meetings

Penalties for non-compliance



Historical context


Rights secured

Governmental bodies affected

Legal effect of a rule

Procedures affecting proposed rule

Notice requirements proposed rule

Comments on proposed rule

Response to comments

Public hearings

Emergency rulemaking

Order adopting rule

Judicial review


Contested Cases

Historical context


Rights secured

Governmental bodies affected

Contested case definition

Notice requirements


Conduct of hearing

Ex parte communications

State Office of Administrative Hearings

In-house administrative law judges

Proposal for decision

Findings of fact

Conclusions of law

Changing findings and conclusions

Final order

Motion for rehearing

Administrative finality

Judicial review: substantial evidence

Judicial review: de novo


Open Records

Historical context


Rights secured

Governmental bodies affected

Information subject to disclosure

Procedures for access to records

Disclosure of records

Procedure for determining exception to disclosure

Exceptions to disclosure

Civil remedies for non-compliance

Criminal penalties









LGLA 1341

Course Calendar

Spring 2011



Orientation:                                               19 January



Administrative Law Overview;

Rulemaking                                                26 January

                                                                   02 February

                                                                   09 February






Contested Cases                                        23 February

                                                                   02 March





[No class 16 March--Spring Break]



Open Meetings                                            23 March

                                                                   30 March

                                                                    06 April







Open Records                                             20 April

                                                                   27 April

                                                                   04 May



Course Requirements

Please see above.


Please see above.

Course Subjects

Please see above.