9.18.2011

"Torts", "Civ Pro", Say What?

Law school naturally has its own lingo, and short hand.  This semester I'm taking four classes.  Torts, Civil Procedure, Contracts, and Lawyering Skills.  So what exactly am I studying?  Here is a brief overview.


Torts - If your like me, you had to google "tort" the first time you heard it.  You can read more about it here, but basically, this is about law suits among people when they break their duties with one another, separate from contractual obligations they may have to one another, which are governed by their own set of laws.  Many torts are similar to crimes, assault or battery for instance are crimes and also torts.  If I beat you up, I might go to jail, but you also have a right to sue me for the costs and damages I have caused you.

Civil Procedure - These are the rules governing how one files a law suite and sees it through to completion.  These laws are different than Criminal Procedure.  Sounds boring, until your prof starts telling war stories, illustrating the strategy that goes into this.  Things like where to file the law suit, and how much material to disclose in the initial complaint.

Contracts - Pretty strait forward, until its not.  Simply put, the law of contracts concerns what promises we as a society will enforce amongst one another.  Not all promises are enforceable, in fact, probably most promises are not enforceable.  Which ones are and are not, that is the law of contracts.  Generally speaking, if you bargain with another person to exchange some good or right, or even not to do something, that is a contract...  and then there are exceptions.  One misconception is that a contract needs to be written out and signed by both parties.  The writing of it merely assists in the proof.

Law Skills - This is about research, drafting legal documents, understanding the legal system, and to a certain extent, public speaking.  It is a fairly easy class, till you get to the assignments.  Then you are spending hours in the library debating the placement of a comma, and falling asleep over your "blue book" the bible of legal citation.

So that is an outline of the first semester of law school.

One last aside, I don't know what people did without google.  Type any word into it, add "definition" on the end and boom, you have your answer.  Same thing with cases.  Google "Marbury v. Madison case brief " and that's what you get.  Of course if that's all you bring to class, you are headed for mediocrity or worse, but they are nice helps when you are stuck in the middle of a case and can't make out the difference between the judges reasoning and pig-latin.

1 comment:

KKG said...

Awesome!!! You have it so right classmate :-)