The first semester of law school is mostly about learning to speak a new legal language (but emphatically not “legalese”), to formulate and evaluate legal arguments, to become comfortable with the distinctive style of legal analysis. We could teach these skills using almost any legal topic. But we begin the first-year curriculum with subjects that […]

The goal of this chapter is to introduce you to some of the fundamental questions that organize our study of contract law and theory. At least initially, we will focus exclusively on the judge-made rules of the “common law.” Prior judicial decisions—often referred to as “precedents”—comprise the only legally authoritative source of the common law. […]