Prof. Sandy Gougis, J.D.
Courses Taught

Bar None Review:

Criminal Law

A review of the substantive body of criminal law including crimes and defenses. A suggested writing approach for the California Bar Exam.


A review of the law of corporations with an emphasis on common law duties of directors and officers and violations of the Securities and Exchange Commission laws. A suggested writing approach for the California Bar Exam.

UCLA Extension:


Legal Ethics

The course begins with a discussion of which organizations regulate the conduct of paralegals. The specific ethical issues emphasized are: preserving client confidences and secrets, representing adverse interests, avoiding the unauthorized practice of law, and working competently and avoiding professional negligence. The paralegal's duties are compared to those of the attorney. The lawyer's responsibility and liability for the paralegal's conduct are also discussed.

Jurisdiction and Venue

Jurisdictional issues discussed are: subject matter jurisdiction, personal jurisdiction, federal vs. state jurisdiction, summons, and venue. Students will prepare an interoffice memo regarding a hypothetical case file, advising on jurisdictional issues and local rules.

Family Law

The course moves through the sequence of available proceedings: choosing appropriate relief; petitioner's filings; response; orders pending trial; spousal and child support; custody and visitation; marital property rights and obligations; premarital, marital, and marital settlement agreements; default and uncontested hearings; dismissals and judgments; modifications of orders and judgments; and enforcement of orders and judgments. Students will prepare the initial filings for dissolution based on a hypothetical case file.


For students to learn the rules of evidence, identify issues/objections when they arise, and how to handle the rules and exceptions. Students will learn from lecture and carefully prepared  illustrative materials. The materials supplement the lectures through “real life” examples of evidence through charts, checklists, documents, legal terminology, helpful websites, and real  cases as examples. Class participation is not only encouraged but required.

Communication and Negotiation

By the end of this section, students will master a basic understanding of communication and negotiation skills.  Students will have opportunities in class to practice skills with group exercises.  Students will leave the section with a tool chest of communication skills for use in a paralegal position.

Platt College:


Labor Law / Workers' Compensation PL415

Covers the study of labor and employment law, including wage and hour disputes, workers' compensation, workplace torts, employment discrimination, OSHA and ERISA. Immigration issues dealing with employment are also discussed.

Tort Law

An overview of tort and personal injury law for the paralegal profession. This will include discussion of intentional torts, negligence, strict liability, defenses to various categories of torts and appropriate remedies.

By the end of this course, students will be able to approach a factual scenario and analyze what (if any) torts exist therein. Students will also be able to discuss any defenses and remedies available to all the parties.

Introduction to Law and Ethics

This is an introductory course in paralegal studies. It will include the nature of law and critical thinking, an overview of both the state and federal Courts systems, a survey of legal terminology and civil litigation and alternative dispute resolution.

Students will be introduced for the first time to Substantive laws such as: Criminal Law, Constitutional law and freedom, torts, Contract Law, real estate and personal property, family law, Will, Trust and estate, Business organizations, Agency, employment and equal opportunity law, credit, suretyship and bankruptcy, intellectual property and administrative law. Ethical Considerations for the Paralegal and other collateral issues affecting Paralegals such as Career and duties will be covered.

At the end of this course, students should have a comprehensive understanding of the American Legal system and develop the ability to brief cases and legal reasoning and writing using the IRAC method.

Legal Writing PL155

This course is designed to teach student to write well through the use of assignments such as briefs, memoranda, correspondence and other styles of writing used in the legal environment. Emphasis will be placed on grammar, punctuation, composition, vocabulary and proper writing styles.

Upon completion of this course students would acquire legal writing skills that are clear and concise. Students would be able to write for a variety of legal formats in their proper form, as well as synthesize legal research into coherent legal arguments.

Criminal Law I PL165

This course covers the study of the power of arrest, relevant federal and California constitutions, pre-trial procedures, motions, definitions of criminal Law, Crimes and elements, theories of crime and punishment. Students will be introduced to the structures of both federal and state governments including the court systems.

By the end of this course, students should have a good understanding of pertinent state and federal constitutional rights applicable to a criminal defendant. Students will be introduced to various types of crimes and their elements, possible defenses (statutory and public policy defenses). Instruction shall be given through a combination of reading assignments, class discussion, lecture, visuals. Hypothetical fact situation will be used to illustrate legal concepts. The concept of IRAC, case analysis and research will be introduced.

Research and Writing I

Students will learn the fundamentals of conducting legal research. Students will learn to use the research they have obtained to write effective legal documents.

Upon completion of this course students should be able to conduct legal research based on a set of facts, determine if the research is current and produce legal documents that will utilize the research completed.

Family Law I

This class will cover basic legal theories regarding issues of: marital dissolution; marital property settlement; spousal and child support; and, child custody and visitation as applied under the Family Code, other statutes and various case laws.

By the end of this course the student should have a solid understanding of legal theories covered in class, plus the ability to prepare properly the appropriate documents in various basic Family Law matters.

Real Estate & Landlord / Tenant Law

This course involves a comprehensive study of the various forms of ownership of real estate, methods of acquisition of title, easements, leasehold interests, mortgage & foreclosure. Emphasis will be placed on the rights and duties of landlords and tenants.

By the end of this course the student should have a solid understanding of legal theories covered in class, plus the ability to prepare properly the appropriate documents in various real property and landlord-tenant matters.


American Government PL305

A study of American Government and its constitutional basis, how it operates, and the influence of American institutions on the national, state, and local constituencies.

By the end of this course:

1. Students will understand the basis for the government of the United States;

2. Students will understand the operations of the Federal Government; and

3. Students will understand the influence of the Federal Government on national, state, and local constituencies.


English Composition ENG303

A directed writing course designed to develop communication skills with emphasis on organization, mechanics, diction, analytical reading and accurate observation.

English Principles ENG403

Students will read literary works in the forms of short fiction, poetry, drama, and essays. This course serves principally as a springboard for students to write through response, explication, interpretation, evaluation and critical analysis culminating in final drafts of formal essays. Writing will be treated as a recursive process involving multiple stages of composition and successive drafts.


Ethics SOC302

The issue of ethical relativism and other problems associated with multiple ethical systems will be examined from theoretical as well as case based perspectives. Emphasis will be placed on business ethics, both domestic and internationally, including issues impacting individuals and corporations.

Students will be able to define and understand the following:

Ethical and Moral reasoning

Effects of various moral theories on business ethics

How to define and evaluate relevant parts of case studies


Psychology PSY101

This course provides an introduction to the psychological principles and concepts which define and explain both physiological and theoretical psychology, as well as the relevant components of the human decision making process.


Art History

This course will be a survey of world art history movements from prehistoric to the present. An investigation of major artistic movements with references to historical, political, social, economical, ideological, and philosophical contexts will take place within the course. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to identify the major movements, works, and artists from art history.

Modern Art and Architecture HUM304

This course will be an overview of the major Modern Art movements from the Mid-Nineteenth Century to the present. An investigation of painting, sculpture, and architecture with references to historical, social, economical, political, ideological, and philosophical contexts will take place within the course. In addition, the developments in non-traditional media: design, Performance Art, Conceptual Art, Photography, Video/Film Art, will be examined. Upon completion of this course students will be able to identify the major movements, works, and artists from Modern and Contemporary Art.

Charter College (formerly Clarita Career College):


Intro to Law/Civil Procedure

The course is an introduction into the American Court System. Students will learn the political theories in the present system of government. Each branch of government is discussed and the differences between the branches will be taught. Students will learn about pleadings and complaints. The rules of civil procedure including the laws that dictate how a suit will be filed, all pretrial matters, trial proceedings, and post trial issues will be taught.

Legal Research and Writing

An overview of the writing process including the pre-writing stage, the writing stage, and the editing and revision state is studied. The focus is on how to research and analyze enacted law and court rules. Each student is required to attain minimal proficiencies in legal research and writing. How to write an effective case brief using IRAC format will be taught. Students will learn how to prepare legal correspondence. Basic grammar and punctuation is covered. The basic rules of citation and an overview of the Bluebook will be discussed.

Wills and Trusts

This module is an introduction to the complexities of wills, trusts, and estate administration. The function of the Probate Courts is discussed. Topics covered are: purpose of a will, special clauses in a will, codicils, intestacy, incapacity, types of trusts, and administration of a trust. Students will write a will and an advance health care directive. Also covered is durable power of attorney.

Family Law

Students will be provided with an overview of family law including: marriage, annulment, common law marriage, domestic violence, separation, dissolution of marriage, temporary orders, child support, child custody, visitation, spousal support, abortion, paternity, and adoption. Students will learn how to prepare divorce documents.


This module offers an overview of the basic law of contracts, including the elements of a contract, contract formation, breach, and remedies for breach. Students learn an approach for analyzing contract problems. Discussion of how the Uniform Commercial Code governs the various practices of sales and financing by commercial businesses with ones another and the general public is included.


A general introduction into law governing private injury, harm, and remedies is covered. This module equips the student with knowledge of the law of personal injury that results from the conduct of those who are careless, reckless, or impose harm in violation of state and federal law. The focus is on damage to persons or property, Workers' Compensation, international torts, negligence, product liability, malpractice, and wrongful death. The student will develop skills to differentiate civil and criminal wrong.

Criminal Law

Students will gain knowledge of state and federal court systems, the sources of law, criminal liability, constitutional safeguards, the nature and function of law in society, the stages of criminal accountability, and the nature of criminal offenses. Constitutional issues that impact the rights of the accused are studied in order to enable the legal assistant to assist the attorney in all stages of the criminal accountability process. Students will be taught the legal definitions of a crime. Students swill learn why criminal litigation procedures differ from civil litigation procedures.

Criminal Procedure/Evidence

Students will learn how the American legal system is committed to fairness to persons accused of criminal conduct, and how every attempt is made to ensure that innocent persons are not convicted and punished. Criminal Procedure begins at the moment law enforcement authorities suspect criminal activity. Focus will be on how the Constitution continues to influence the proceedings through its mandates regarding bail, specific charges, right to counsel, and a speedy trial. Lessons are geared to the student's understanding of how, when, and what kinds of things may be used at trial. This module will also cover the discovery phase of a legal matter.

Property/Real Estate

Students will learn the basic substantive law of real property and the practical aspects of real estate transactions. Discussions will include the law of real property, deeds, conveyances, liens and encumbrances, easements and covenants, future interests, and conditional estates. The basic obligations of landlords and tenants are covered, as well as how to write residential and commercial leases.

Business/Legal Professional/Ethics

This module covers basic concepts of business law, including sole proprietorships, partnerships (both limited and general), limited liability companies, and corporations (for profit, non-profit, and S Corporations). Students will develop a basic understanding of business law and relations, common failures of a business organization, and business organization risks and liabilities. The law of professional responsibility as it pertains to a legal assistant will be discussed.


Student will extern for 120 hours in a legal office setting, under the direct supervision of the law office administrator, attorney, or person designated by the managing attorney. The student will remain under the general supervision of the Legal Instructor until the externship is completed and a formal exit interview has been conducted.

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