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Spring 2015

Welcome to Introduction to the U.S. Legal System.  As you know, this course is required for all students who do not hold a degree from a U.S. law school.  Please click here to view the tentative class syllabus.

The course will begin on an intensive basis during orientation, starting on Saturday, January 3, 2015.  For more information, please consult the orientation schedule on the orientation webpage.  Following orientation, the class will continue to meet for the first several weeks of the semester. 

Before orientation week, I recommend that you read the Constitution of the United States of America.  The primary material for this course will be an online case book, available for purchase online.  An updated version of the book will be available soon, and you will be contacted when it is available for download.

If you wish to read other things in preparation for your LL.M. studies, you might consider one or more of the following:
• Steven Burton, An Introduction to Law and Legal Reasoning
• Allen Farnsworth, An Introduction to the Legal System of the United States
• Toni M. Fine, American Legal Systems: A Resource and Reference Guide
• Toni M. Fine, An Introduction to the Anglo-American Legal System
• Edward Levi, An Introduction to Legal Reasoning
• Karl Llewelyn, The Bramble Bush
Some students like to read judicial opinions before beginning their law studies in the United States.  This is a good idea for those students who do not have much experience reading or analyzing case law.  You will want to read United States v. Morrison for the first Academic Enrichment Seminar. Depending on your interests, you might want to read recent decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States (available on a number of sites, including the Supreme Court's official website), or cases on specific substantive topics that interest you.  Numerous open-access websites offer judicial opinions organized by legal topic or subject, including Cornell's Legal Information Institute and the University of Pittsburgh's Jurist

The best advice I can give is to enjoy your time before joining the LL.M. program.  We look forward to seeing you at the beginning of orientation on January 3, rested and ready to begin what I am sure will be a fantastic experience for all of you and for us.  Best wishes to all of you and your families.


  Toni Jaeger-Fine
  Assistant Dean
  International and Non-J.D. Programs