Course Descriptions

Fall 2011 Class Descriptions: First-Year Required

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Civil Procedure I (Staff)

3 credit(s)

Civil Procedure is the study of procedural rules governing civil actions in state and federal courts. The topics studied throughout the year include selection of the proper court and place for litigation, jurisdiction over the parties, joinder of parties and claims, contents of pleadings, discovery, pre-trial motions, conduct of trials, and conflicts between state and federal judicial systems.

Note: Required for first-year day-division students.

Contracts (Staff)

4 credit(s)
Concentration(s): Business and Corporate Law (LLMC)

An introduction to legal reasoning and analytical skills through an investigation of how the law enforces agreements. Included are such topics as: the requirements for the formation of a contract; problems of interpretation; damages for breach; the statute of frauds; illegality; and problems which arise during the performance stage of a contract, such as the creation and failure of express and implied conditions, excuse through impossibility or frustration of purpose, and discharge. Article II of the Uniform Commercial Code is introduced and compared with the common law of contracts.

Criminal Law (Staff)

4 credit(s)
Concentration(s): Criminal Law (LLMC)

The purpose of criminal law, the development of the common law of crimes, the elements of the widely recognized criminal offenses, and the changes brought about by major statutes in connection with their effect on the present-day systems of criminal justice in the United States are explored in this course.

Introduction to the Study of Law (Staff)

1 credit(s)

Introduction to the Study of law is a 1-credit, fall semester-only course designed to provide first-year law students with an introduction to the legal system and profession, and to assist in the development of analytical reasoning skills. The course provides students with an introduction to legal education, the legal profession, and the legal system in general. Topics include: the structure of the American government and court systems; types, sources and meanings of law; tools of interpretation; techniques for understanding and analyzing legal problems; and professionalism. The course also introduces students to professional skills opportunities while in law school and techniques in organization, time-management, and exam preparation. Student learning will be evaluated through short writing assignments and objective in-class quizzes. This course is graded on a “pass/fail” basis.

Lawyering Skills I (Staff)

2 credit(s)

This course is offered in small sections with very low student-faculty ratios. Faculty carefully review each student's writing assignments and students are provided many opportunities to revise their work. Students do their research assignments at the Law School's state-of-the-art Legal Research Center. In addition, each student is trained on both the Westlaw and Lexis computer-assisted legal research systems. Students are also carefully trained in oral advocacy skills. After writing an appellate brief, each student delivers an oral argument based on the brief, first for the instructor and then before a panel of attorneys. Required for first-year students.

Property (Staff)

4 credit(s)

Consideration is given, in both a historical and modern sense, to the rights and obligations that arise out of the legal ownership of possessory and non-possessory interests, tangible, and to a limited extent, intangible, personal, and real property. Areas covered include estates in land, landlord-tenant, conveyancing, land development, public and private control of land use, non-possessory rights in land, bailments, lost and misplaced property, gifts, and an introduction to gratuitous transfers of realty.

Torts (Staff)

4 credit(s)

An exploration of the principles involved in determining whether an injured person should be compensated for harm caused by another, including such diverse topics as intentional harms, negligence, and strict liability.

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