1L - First Year Topics

This set of Topics covers subjects typically taught during the first year of law school.

1L - First Year Topics

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Statutory Interpretation

This lesson introduces the student to the doctrine and processes involved in interpreting state and federal statutes. Statutes are a critical part of every substantive area of the law, so this is important background for every student, legal professional, lawyer and judge.

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Strict Liability: Abnormally Dangerous and Ultrahazardous Activities

Strict liability for dangerous activities began with the English case of Rylands v. Fletcher. The First Restatement and the Second Restatement both contained provisions for a similar form of such strict liability and such liability is widely recognized in the United States. This lesson explains and uses examples to explain and then compare and contrast those different theories. In addition, this lesson covers the basic limitations on that form of strict liability.

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Student Speech

This lesson addresses the First Amendment protections for student speech in public elementary and secondary schools. You willl learn about the legal standards from United States Supreme Court cases that apply to different types of student speech, and how lower courts have interpreted these standards. You will then apply these standards to factual scenarios in multiple choice and essay type questions. This lesson includes the standards that apply to off-campus and online speech.

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Subject Specific Treatises

This lesson introduces students to Subject Specific Treatises, a type of secondary source helpful for conducting legal research. Students will learn the type of information contained in Subject Specific Treatises, where to find and how to update them, as well as under which circumstances they are particularly useful to the legal research process.

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Supranational Organizations: The European Union

This lesson provides an overview of the history and structure of the European Union, followed by an introduction to researching European Union documents. The European Union is a truly unique structure which represents over half a century of cooperation between select nations. As the sole supranational legal order in the world, the European Union offers a truly unique model of study to legal scholars and practitioners.

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Suspendatur!

This exercise is designed as a review for students taking the basic first year course in criminal law. Suspendatur! (Latin for “let him be hanged”, the final entry in medieval plea rolls in capital cases) is patterned after the familiar game of hangman, in which each wrong answer adds a part to a stick figure on the gibbet. The student must answer multiple choice and true-false questions based on hypothetical situations. Each right or wrong answer provides substantive feedback in what aims to be at least a mildly humorous fashion.

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