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Fall 2014

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 see the left-hand navigation panel to locate the tentative class syllabus and materials. Materials will be added later in the summer so please check back regularly.

The course will begin on an intensive basis during orientation, starting on Monday, August 11.  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 (available under "Materials").  The primary material for this course will be an online case book, which will be available in the middle or end of July.  We will notify you when it is available for purchase. 

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 August 11, 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 for a relaxing summer!


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