Open only to incoming LL.M. students who do not hold a U.S. J.D. degree. This course surveys the first-year curriculum by selecting the 26 important cases and issues spanning the fields of constitutional law, private law, criminal law, and the main points of civil and criminal procedures. Its purpose is to condense and explain the first-year curriculum for students already trained in a foreign legal system. Several lectures are devoted to the differences between the common law and civil law, and so far as is practical, the American material is explained and analyzed comparatively. Among the topics of the course are judicial review, federalism, the Erie rule, the jury system, the exclusionary rule, the relevance of the Civil War, consideration in contracts, and punitive damages. Students learn to isolate and identify those principles and institutions of American law that are distinctive and require particular attention by students trained abroad.
For purposes of further instruction as well as training in research and writing, the class is divided into three sections, which meet with an Associate-in-Law one hour for every two hours of the main course.