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Book Chapter

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For many of you, law school will be a full-time occupation for three school years; for others, a second job squeezed in at night over four or five years. Whatever your route to a degree, whatever sort of law school you attend, the beginnings of law school are likely to be much the same. You will face initially a set of required courses that will probably bear the same titles as the titles of our next six chapters: Civil Procedure, Contracts, Criminal Law, Property, Torts and Constitutional Law. The six are likely to be taught in ways that resemble each other on the surface. Each will have a "casebook" slightly heavier than a medicine ball. Each casebook will devote more pages to the decisions of courts of appeals than any other form of material, and your assignments will come almost entirely from the casebook. Your professors will have an arched eyebrow for every confident assertion a student makes, though they will probably be far less cold and crusty than the caricature of the film Paper Chase. They will lecture in varying degrees, but nearly all will call on students who have not volunteered, asking questions about the assigned cases and the issues they raise.