Introductory Summer Classes

Professor Irene Ayers

Introduction to US Law and Introduction to US Legal Practice

Introduction to US Law is an intensive course that reviews the fundamentals of the US legal system, including an overview of the US Constitution, federalism, the structure and function of courts, sources of legal authority and common-law methodology. Introduction to US Legal Practice teaches practical skills needed in a US legal environment including locating cases, statutes and other legal source materials, citing legal authority correctly and checking the validity of case citations. In addition, these introductory classes help prepare students for study at a US law school by developing their skills in briefing cases, course outlining and taking law school examinations.

All LLM students who received their first degree in law outside the United States must take the summer classes Introduction to US Law and Introduction to US Legal Practice, unless a waiver is granted. Please note that credits earned for these summer classes do not count toward the 24 credits needed in fall and spring to earn the LLM degree. Both classes will be held from Monday, August 10, 2015 through Friday, August 21, 2015. You should plan to be able to attend classes from 9:00 a.m. through 2:00 p.m with some longer days.

On Friday, August 21 there is an essay exam on the line of cases covered during the second week of Intro. Students have found studying and writing the exam for Intro. to be important preparation for the fall semester.

Students who need the LLM degree to qualify to take the New York Bar use credits earned in Introduction to US Law and in Introduction to US Legal Practice toward fulfilling NY Bar eligibility requirements.

Intro. Sections
During the second week of Introduction to US Law, several days are devoted to exploring an evolving line of cases; the topic of these cases differs between sections as indicated below. To register for a section of the class, please go here (the link will be live beginning mid-June) and click on "Registration" on the left sidebar. Indicate your first, second, and third choices. We will honor your preference to the extent possible, while maintaining classes of equal size. If you have not registered for a section by July 15 at 9:30 a.m. (New York time), we will place you in one of the Intro sections. Once you are registered for Introduction to US Law, you will be automatically registered for the summer course Introduction to US Legal Practice.

Section One: Just or Unjust? Punitive Damages and the American Judicial System
Professor Irene Ayers

Section Two: Just or Unjust? Private Arbitration and the American Consumer
Professor Mary Holland

Section Three: Just or Unjust? The Alien Tort Statute and Human Rights Violations Abroad
Professor Gerry Lebovits

Syllabus and Schedule

The syllabus for the 2014 Introduction to US Law and Introduction to US Legal Practice can be found here, and the schedule for the class can be found here.


Students who have applied for housing in Law School Residences, may also Request Early Arrival to stay in Law School residences during Introduction to US Law.

Important Dates

Deadline to Request a Waiver (of Requirement to Take Introduction to US Law): July 7
Deadline to Register for a Particular Section of Introduction to US Law: July 15
Dates of Class: August 10 - August 21