Teaching a country’s legal system as a "system"

The proposed presentation concerns my course “The United States Legal System.” The course is somewhat unusual, in that it tries to portray the U.S. legal system as an organic whole in which lawyers are key players. Thus the presentation would fit nicely into panels concerning either: (1) teaching a country’s legal system as a “system,” rather than a collection of doctrinal areas (other panelists could discuss teaching other countries’ systems); or (2) conveying how lawyers in different practice settings affect the functioning of a legal system. These panels would be less about global legal skills as such, and more about understanding the context in which skills operate. I would be happy to help organize either kind of panel. Because the course introduces students to the U.S. legal system and U.S. legal writing, the presentation also could fit into more conventional panels on teaching these subjects. These options interest me less, however. A brief course description: “The United States Legal System exposes LL.M. students to basic concepts underlying the U.S. legal system, gives them survival skills for the LL.M. year, exposes them to different doctrinal areas, and provides a frame of reference for comparing the U.S. legal system with their own. The course is organized around three units: (a) basic legal institutions and constitutional law, (b) a private law problem that also serves as a legal writing exercise; and (c) how the legal profession and different modes of lawyering contribute to the functioning of the U.S. legal system as a whole.
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