101 Foundations of Law

This year-long, signature course exposes all first year students to foundational legal concepts, themes and issues in the study of law. This is a one credit course.

Course Areas of Practice
Course Type
Lecture
Learning Outcomes
Knowledge and understanding of substantive and procedural law
2017
Fall 2017
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Day/Times Room

101.01 1
  • Scheduled in-class examination
James Boyle Tu 10:55-12:20 PM 3041

In the Fall of the first year, this 5 week long signature course exposes  students to foundational legal concepts and forms of legal argument and analysis.   It introduces you to the history of American legal thought and the way that history shapes your education today, to the economic analysis of law and to the -- often contentious -- fights over legal methodology.  It is designed to supply some of the connections among and between the courses in your legal education, to deepen your skills, improve your understanding and give you a better “toolkit” for the rest of your legal education and your legal career.

Degree Requirements
Pre/Co-requisites
None
Enrollment Restrictions
JD students only

101.02 1
  • Scheduled in-class examination
James Boyle Tu 2:00-3:25 PM 3041

In the Fall of the first year, this 5 week long signature course exposes  students to foundational legal concepts and forms of legal argument and analysis.   It introduces you to the history of American legal thought and the way that history shapes your education today, to the economic analysis of law and to the -- often contentious -- fights over legal methodology.  It is designed to supply some of the connections among and between the courses in your legal education, to deepen your skills, improve your understanding and give you a better “toolkit” for the rest of your legal education and your legal career.

Degree Requirements
Pre/Co-requisites
None
Enrollment Restrictions
JD students only
Spring 2017
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Day/Times Room

101.02 1
  • Scheduled in-class examination
James Boyle Tu 11:00-12:20 PM 3041

The Foundations Course is designed to supply some of the connections among and between the courses in your legal education, to deepen your skills, improve your understanding and give you a better “toolkit” for the rest of your legal education and – more importantly – your legal career. Have you learned the standard pro/con arguments that run through every course? Do you know who the legal realists were and how they influenced every course you take? Did you ever want to sidle up the professor and ask her just to tell you the rule and leave out all this “on the one hand, on the other hand” stuff? Would that have helped? Did your studying for your final exams not always seem to provide the skills the exams tested? Why? Did the light-bulb of enlightenment turn on for you in the middle of the first semester, or was it more of a wind-blown candle? Do your feelings towards economic analysis oscillate between disdain and panicked incomprehension? Should your attitude towards arguments based on intent be the same in a Contracts class, a Criminal Law class and in a debate over the intent of the Framers? Do you have a consistent attitude towards Constitutional interpretation or judicial method? Does the Supreme Court? Was Christopher Columbus Langdell real? Why are we still teaching you using the techniques he pioneered? What does – what should – legal training add to your understanding of fundamental issues such as race, class and gender, the organizing power and the moral limits of the market, the reach of personal autonomy?  Does legal socialization require having one’s social conscience removed or does it merely seem that way sometimes? We will be answering – or at least framing – these and other questions.

The course is a compressed one and the readings are short.  In the Fall, the class meets once.  You will complete a questionnaire 5 weeks into the semester that will help identify the skills you need to master more thoroughly.  Our single class in the Fall is designed to help do exactly that.  You will read a 10 page article on legal argument and complete an exercise on those skills.  In the Spring, we meet 7 times; there are in-class exercises and a pass-fail final exam.

Degree Requirements
Pre/Co-requisites
None
Enrollment Restrictions
JD students only

101.03 1
  • Scheduled in-class examination
James Boyle Tu 1:45-3:05 PM 3041

The Foundations Course is designed to supply some of the connections among and between the courses in your legal education, to deepen your skills, improve your understanding and give you a better “toolkit” for the rest of your legal education and – more importantly – your legal career. Have you learned the standard pro/con arguments that run through every course? Do you know who the legal realists were and how they influenced every course you take? Did you ever want to sidle up the professor and ask her just to tell you the rule and leave out all this “on the one hand, on the other hand” stuff? Would that have helped? Did your studying for your final exams not always seem to provide the skills the exams tested? Why? Did the light-bulb of enlightenment turn on for you in the middle of the first semester, or was it more of a wind-blown candle? Do your feelings towards economic analysis oscillate between disdain and panicked incomprehension? Should your attitude towards arguments based on intent be the same in a Contracts class, a Criminal Law class and in a debate over the intent of the Framers? Do you have a consistent attitude towards Constitutional interpretation or judicial method? Does the Supreme Court? Was Christopher Columbus Langdell real? Why are we still teaching you using the techniques he pioneered? What does – what should – legal training add to your understanding of fundamental issues such as race, class and gender, the organizing power and the moral limits of the market, the reach of personal autonomy?  Does legal socialization require having one’s social conscience removed or does it merely seem that way sometimes? We will be answering – or at least framing – these and other questions.

The course is a compressed one and the readings are short.  In the Fall, the class meets once.  You will complete a questionnaire 5 weeks into the semester that will help identify the skills you need to master more thoroughly.  Our single class in the Fall is designed to help do exactly that.  You will read a 10 page article on legal argument and complete an exercise on those skills.  In the Spring, we meet 7 times; there are in-class exercises and a pass-fail final exam.

Degree Requirements
Pre/Co-requisites
None
Enrollment Restrictions
JD students only
2016
Fall 2016
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Day/Times Room

101.01 1
  • Scheduled in-class examination
James Boyle 11:00am-12:30pm; 1:30-3:00pm 3041

The Foundations Course is designed to supply some of the connections among and between the courses in your legal education, to deepen your skills, improve your understanding and give you a better “toolkit” for the rest of your legal education and – more importantly – your legal career. Have you learned the standard pro/con arguments that run through every course? Do you know who the legal realists were and how they influenced every course you take? Did you ever want to sidle up the professor and ask her just to tell you the rule and leave out all this “on the one hand, on the other hand” stuff? Would that have helped? Did your studying for your final exams not always seem to provide the skills the exams tested? Why? Did the light-bulb of enlightenment turn on for you in the middle of the first semester, or was it more of a wind-blown candle? Do your feelings towards economic analysis oscillate between disdain and panicked incomprehension? Should your attitude towards arguments based on intent be the same in a Contracts class, a Criminal Law class and in a debate over the intent of the Framers? Do you have a consistent attitude towards Constitutional interpretation or judicial method? Does the Supreme Court? Was Christopher Columbus Langdell real? Why are we still teaching you using the techniques he pioneered? What does – what should – legal training add to your understanding of fundamental issues such as race, class and gender, the organizing power and the moral limits of the market, the reach of personal autonomy?  Does legal socialization require having one’s social conscience removed or does it merely seem that way sometimes? We will be answering – or at least framing – these and other questions.

The course is a compressed one and the readings are short.  In the Fall, the class meets once.  You will complete a questionnaire 5 weeks into the semester that will help identify the skills you need to master more thoroughly.  Our single class in the Fall is designed to help do exactly that.  You will read a 10 page article on legal argument and complete an exercise on those skills.  In the Spring, we meet 7 times; there are in-class exercises and a pass-fail final exam.

Degree Requirements
Pre/Co-requisites
None
Enrollment Restrictions
JD students only
Spring 2016
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Day/Times Room

101.01 1 James Boyle Tu 1:00-2:30 PM Gross Hall 107

This year-long, signature course exposes all first year students to foundational legal concepts, themes and issues in the study of law. The first semester presents a historical perspective on such basic ideas as the common law, equity, and American Legal Realism. We will consider the development of legal thought in the Anglo-American legal tradition, the role of external perspectives such as political science in understanding and practicing law, and the relationship between law and other forms of normative thought. The second semester will examine the rise of the administrative state and the central role of agencies and regulations in our legal system. The course will end with an extensive case study. Students will receive a total of 2 credits for this course. This course runs for the first six weeks of the semester in both the fall and spring, for a total of 2 credits.

Degree Requirements
Pre/Co-requisites
None
Enrollment Restrictions
None
2015
Spring 2015
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Day/Times Room

101.02 1 James Boyle Tu 1:45-3:10 pm Gross Hall-Room 107
This year-long, signature course exposes all first year students to foundational legal concepts, themes and issues in the study of law. The first semester presents a historical perspective on such basic ideas as the common law, equity, and American Legal Realism. We will consider the development of legal thought in the Anglo-American legal tradition, the role of external perspectives such as political science in understanding and practicing law, and the relationship between law and other forms of normative thought. The second semester will examine the rise of the administrative state and the central role of agencies and regulations in our legal system. The course will end with an extensive case study. Students will receive a total of 2 credits for this course. This course runs for the first six weeks of the semester in both the fall and spring, for a total of 2 credits.

Degree Requirements
Pre/Co-requisites
None
Enrollment Restrictions
None
2014
Fall 2014
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Day/Times Room

101.01 1 James Salzman Tu 1:45-3:25 pm Rm 3041; Rm 4055; Rm 3037
This year-long, signature course exposes all first year students to foundational legal concepts, themes and issues in the study of law. The first semester presents a historical perspective on such basic ideas as the common law, equity, and American Legal Realism. We will consider the development of legal thought in the Anglo-American legal tradition, the role of external perspectives such as political science in understanding and practicing law, and the relationship between law and other forms of normative thought. The second semester will examine the rise of the administrative state and the central role of agencies and regulations in our legal system. The course will end with an extensive case study. Students will receive a total of 2 credits for this course. This course runs for the first six weeks of the semester in both the fall and spring, for a total of 2 credits.

Degree Requirements
Pre/Co-requisites
None
Enrollment Restrictions
None
Spring 2014
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Day/Times Room

101.02 1 James Salzman Tu 3:00-4:40 PM Tu 3:00-4:40 PM Room 3041
This year-long, signature course exposes all first year students to foundational legal concepts, themes and issues in the study of law. The first semester presents a historical perspective on such basic ideas as the common law, equity, and American Legal Realism. We will consider the development of legal thought in the Anglo-American legal tradition, the role of external perspectives such as political science in understanding and practicing law, and the relationship between law and other forms of normative thought. The second semester will examine the rise of the administrative state and the central role of agencies and regulations in our legal system. The course will end with an extensive case study. Students will receive a total of 2 credits for this course. This course runs for the first six weeks of the semester in both the fall and spring, for a total of 2 credits.

Degree Requirements
Pre/Co-requisites
None
Enrollment Restrictions
None
2013
Fall 2013
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Day/Times Room

101.01 1 H. Jefferson Powell Tu 1:15-2:45 pm Gross Hall, Room 107
This year-long, signature course exposes all first year students to foundational legal concepts, themes and issues in the study of law. The first semester presents a historical perspective on such basic ideas as the common law, equity, and American Legal Realism. We will consider the development of legal thought in the Anglo-American legal tradition, the role of external perspectives such as political science in understanding and practicing law, and the relationship between law and other forms of normative thought. The second semester will examine the rise of the administrative state and the central role of agencies and regulations in our legal system. The course will end with an extensive case study. Students will receive a total of 2 credits for this course. This course runs for the first six weeks of the semester in both the fall and spring, for a total of 2 credits.

Degree Requirements
Pre/Co-requisites
None
Enrollment Restrictions
None

*Please note that this information is for planning purposes only, and should not be relied upon for the schedule for a given semester. Faculty leaves and sabbaticals, as well as other curriculum considerations, will sometimes affect when a course may be offered.