At the great majority of American law schools, students begin with a set of required courses that bear the titles of the next six chapters: 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 Chicago phone book. Each casebook will devote more pages to the decisions of courts of appeals than any other form of material, and assignments will come almost entirely from the casebook. In class, the professors will have an arched eyebrow for every confident assertion a student makes. 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.
Publication Information & Recommended Citation
Chambers, David L. "The First Year Courses: What's There and What's Not." In Looking at Law School. 3rd ed., edited by S. Gillers. New York: Meridian, 1990.