Study of the judicial process in civil actions for damages or equitable relief for physical, appropriational, and defamatory harms to personality, property, and relational interests, with some consideration of alternative reparation systems such as workers' compensation.
 Hours4.0 Credit, 4.0 Lecture, 0.0 Lab
 PrerequisitesAdmission to law school.
Course Outcomes

Reading Judicial Opinions

Learn how to read judicial opinions with an eye on the relationship between a case’s procedural posture and its substantive outcome.

Rules and Standards

Understand the distinction between bright line “rules” and more general “standards” like reasonableness.


Have a greater understanding of the relative roles of jury, trial court and appellate court, particularly including the distinction between questions of law and fact and the concept of a standard of review.

Common Legal Arguments

Recognize common legal arguments such as efficiency, fairness, distributional, precedent, slippery slope, problematic incentives, etc.


Understand the difference between the common law, statutes, and constitutional law.


Develop greater ability to offer counter-arguments and dissect claims and assertions regarding a particular law or policy.

Basic Understanding

Gain a basic understanding of the law of torts (personal injury), including the basic elements of, and defenses to, intentional torts, negligence, and strict liability.

Critical Thinking

Be able to think critically about competing approaches to compensating persons who suffer injuries in our society.