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LAWS10-102: Foundations of United States Law


Foundations of United States Law is an undergraduate elective subject for non-law students offered by the Faculty of Law. The subject will introduce students to the essential elements of a US legal education, in terms of both content and course delivery. Students will learn about the foundations of US law (such as the history and structure of the US legal system, and the processes of US legal research and analysis) and the key concepts and principles underpinning principal areas of US law (such as US contract law, tort law, criminal law, constitutional law, and property law). The subject will be taught in the same way that law is typically taught in the US: classes will be run seminar-style with a focus on interactive discussion, and students will be expected to have read the assigned reading materials (primarily cases, statutes and journal articles) before class and to be prepared to discuss them, in depth, in class.

Subject details

Type: Undergraduate Subject
Code: LAWS10-102
Faculty: Faculty of Law
Credit: 10
Study areas:
  • Law

Learning outcomes

  1. Understand the interrelationship of the various sources of law in the United States and the overall framework of the United States legal system.
  2. Understand at a basic level how to read and analyse a US case.
  3. Understand at a basic level how US statutes work, including the basics of American statutory interpretation.
  4. Understand and be able to apply basic skills involved in researching the law and writing about US-centric legal problems.
  5. Be able to analyse and synthesise US law and facts in order to solve problems, both orally and in writing.
  6. Be able to orally communicate ideas in an organised and effective manner.
  7. Understand some basic elements of key areas of US law including contracts, torts, constitutional law, criminal law, property law, corporate law and international law.

Enrolment requirements



Assumed knowledge:

Assumed knowledge is the minimum level of knowledge of a subject area that students are assumed to have acquired through previous study. It is the responsibility of students to ensure they meet the assumed knowledge expectations of the subject. Students who do not possess this prior knowledge are strongly recommended against enrolling and do so at their own risk. No concessions will be made for students’ lack of prior knowledge.


Law students are not permitted to enrol in this subject.