Introductory Survey of American Law

This survey course provides an overview of the U.S. legal system for LL.M. students who have a first degree in law from a university outside of the United States.

The course covers the basic structure and principles of the legal system of the United States. The course will begin with an overview of the common law method, including in comparison to the civil law method. It then turns to the structure and functions of federal legal institutions: the Congress, the President, administrative regulatory agencies, and the federal courts. It also examines the federal system in the United States, including the interaction of federal with state law and the respective roles of federal and state courts, as well as the basics of court procedures and the jury trial. In addition, students will study those areas of substantive law required for a foundational understanding of the U.S.-American legal system, especially property, contract, and tort law. Finally, the course will expose students to the essential principles of the caselaw method common in U.S. law schools and of the interpretation of cases and statutes.

Key to Codes in Course Descriptions
P: Prerequisite
C: Prerequisite or Concurrent Requirement
R: Recommended Prior or Concurrent Course