August 18, 2009
Starting with Intent to Enter Legal Relations [or Why I Don't Start with Remedies]
In his first post as guest blogger, Alan White explained his reasons for starting with Peevyhouse. Alan's arguments were enough to persuade me to move Peevyhouse into the number 2 spot, but I try to ease the students into the study of contracts with a set of concepts that I think most students find less challenging than damages. The contracts course I took as a law student began with damages, and there is not a thing I would have changed about my experience with that course (other than my grade). Nonetheless, in retrospect I must confess that I was bewildered for the longest time as to what exactly it was that we were studying. It was a pleasant bewilderment for me, but I know that some of my fellow students were not as appreciative. And I have a sense that my own students grasp the material more easily if we take the typical contractual transaction through from beginning to end, with many gestures toward the end along the way.
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I agree with you here, I have a background in contract law because of my jag time, so I had an (carefully stated) easier time with contracts. However, a majority of my friends had the hardest time with contracts because they didn't understand any basic contracts concepts while trying to navigate damages. Contracts was my favorite first semester 1L class because it is so easy to find things to argue about in the cases, but I think many students would have found it more bearable had we started with another topic (or had they known what a nutshell was).
Posted by: Daniel Reed | Aug 20, 2009 6:39:38 AM