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1L - First Year Lesson Topics

Periodicals and Periodical Indexes

In conducting legal research it is frequently better to begin with secondary sources that explain and interpret the law rather than attempting to start with primary legal authority. Legal periodicals are excellent secondary source starting points. This lesson focuses on strategies and resources to find legal periodicals and relevant articles in support of legal research projects.

The Pre-Existing Duty Rule, Contract Modification, and Accord & Satisfaction

This lesson presents an introduction to the doctrine that the performance of a pre-existing duty, or a promise to perform such a duty, does not constitute a sufficient consideration to make a promise binding. Coverage includes: the performance of duties owed to the promise or third parties as consideration; modifications on one side of executory contracts; substituted contracts following rescission; executory accords; satisfaction; liquidated claims and offers to settle unliquidated claims.


This lesson has been revised to reflect the December 1, 2006 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, as they were re-written effective December 1, 2007.

Preparing for Trial

This lesson is designed to familiarize law students with legal materials that can be used when preparing for litigation. Rather than creating from scratch many of the documents needed in preparing for a trial, it is much more efficient to find sample documents that can help guide you. Students will be introduced to the various sources that attorneys turn to, including sample forms, pleadings, interrogatories, and other useful resources.

Preparing for Your First Semester of Law School

Professors Brown and Grohman, are the authors of many CALI lessons. Additionally, both teach 1L courses. In this podcast they share their experiences and insights on time management issues for law school students, preparing for class, how to brief a case, research tips applicable for 1L writing assignments (and the eventual practice of law), how to develop an understanding of the law, and techniques and tips for studying and preparing for the final exam.

In this podcast Professors Grohman and Brown mention several additional resources students may want to review. They are:

Prescriptive Easements

This exercise introduces one of the most significant vehicles for acquisition of an easement without the agreement of the servient landowner. Prescriptive Easements (also known as Easements by Prescription) arise out of open, notorious, adverse and continuous use of another person's land for the statutorily determined period of time. Through this use, a person essentially "adversely possesses" an easement over another's land. This tutorial introduces the user to the significant hurdles that face a claimant of an easement by prescription.