Introduction to U.S. Law and The Way Lawyers Think

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This course is under review for 2021. Course registration will open to accepted students once courses are confirmed.

Course Description

The law touches nearly all aspects of our lives, and a certain amount of basic legal knowledge is necessary to identify important legal issues that arise in daily life and in various industries. The way that lawyers think and analyze serves as a valuable foundation for individuals in many fields. Learn at an introductory level, from an attorney, about: the legal system in the U.S., what lawyers really do, and how to analyze issues like an attorney, all through real examples and interactive hypotheticals and exercises.

This course will be taught by a practicing attorney who also teaches at the undergraduate, MBA, and law school level. Guest speakers from different areas of the law may be introduced.

Specific topics to include:
• Background: What is the legal framework in the U.S.? What are different sources of U.S. law? What does the court system look like? Why does U.S. law look the way it does (how did we get here)?
• What are the different areas of law, and how does the law interact with and affect other disciplines and industries?
• Where might I see legal issues pop up in my daily life, in my studies, and in my future field? What should I know about the law as background for my next level of education?
• What do lawyers really do? What do different types of lawyers do? How do they help, and how do they add value?
• How do lawyers think? What can we learn from the way that lawyers think? How do lawyers learn? How can we use an attorney's style of analysis to gain an advantage in studying and working in other fields?

Students will learn through varied techniques. While some some seminar style will help to gain background information, the overwhelming emphasis will be on learning through a combination of classroom discussion, in-class group exercises, and realistic/real examples and hypotheticals.

Students will gain familiarity with the U.S. legal system, learn how attorneys think and analyze, and build a general knowledge of the law that will serve as a helpful foundation for understanding how the law interacts with other disciplines that they study and pursue in the future.

Prerequisites: None

Course Information

  • Course Code: CEPS0960
  • Length: 3 weeks

Program Information

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Brown’s Pre-College Program in the liberal arts and sciences, offering over 200 non-credit courses, one- to four-weeks long, taught on Brown’s campus. For students completing grades 9-12 by June 2021.

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