Boston University School of Law

Introduction to the American Legal System

All LL.M. Students receive a general introduction to American law and the US legal system through the fall semester class, Introduction to American Law. The class covers the basic structure and function of US legal institutions: the congress, the president, and regulatory agencies, and, especially, the federal courts. It examines the role of state law and state courts in the American system of federalism. The course also studies the American judicial processes of constitutional analyses, interpretation of statutes, and development of common law. Some attention is paid to court procedures, including trial by jury. Finally, students study a few topics that are illustrative of the treatment of individual rights in American law, such as freedom of speech, anti-discrimination law, and protection of private property. The class grants two credits towards the American Law degree.