Foundations for the Study of Law
This first-semester course will introduce students to two sets of fundamental concepts necessary for the successful study of law. First, the course will enable students to develop knowledge about foundations of the American legal system, including the various institutions that make and apply law, the processes through which those institutions make and apply law, the dynamics of societal needs and public policies which shape this institutional decisionmaking, and the constraints provided by the rule of law. Second, the course will enable students to develop the foundational skills necessary for learning, studying, and understanding the concepts covered by their courses, including: managing time effectively, reading for and with comprehension, listening for and with comprehension, taking notes effectively, reviewing and reflecting on the meaning of concepts discussed in course readings and class discussions, organizing and outlining course concepts so the student can use them for analyzing the legal consequences of facts, practicing the application of course concepts, and undertaking each aspect of the learning and study process with a goal of understanding the meaning of every concept covered in every course.
This required course is part of the Core Curriculum during their first semester. During Orientation, it will meet intensively, and focus primarily on foundations of the American legal system. Thereafter, it will meet regularly, and focus on a specific learning or study skill each week, by working with specific concepts covered in the students’s Torts, Contracts, or Criminal Law classes. This course will be graded on a Pass/Fail basis.
Please note: Credit will be awarded after the spring semester based on successful completion of this course and its second semester companion, Foundations for the Pursuit of Professionalism.