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IDST 371 American Legal System, Reasoning and Writing

This Mitchell Hamline School of Law course is an introduction to the American legal system as practiced in the United States and is taught as a standard law school presentation approach. Students must demonstrate an understanding of the legal methodology used in interpreting the law. To address this, te course reviews the legal practices and describes the process of law, interpretation of the law and doctrinal courses in areas of criminal law, criminal procedures, contracts, and commercial law. This course also includes elements of the law, legal reasoning and writing. Students are given a mix of case law and statutory law, and are shown how the law is applied in factual, hypothetical situations.

Special information

Note: Text will be available at Mitchell Hamline School of Law.
4 Undergraduate credits

Effective December 18, 2018 to present

Learning outcomes


  • Describe different legal structures (public and private) at multiple levels (local, state, federal) and within the Constitution framework.
  • Identify selected specific legal practice areas and areas of the law (i.e. employment, criminal, tort, i.p.).
  • Legal research, writing, analysis, and application of fundamentals.
  • Obtain practical knowledge and understanding for legal application to everyday situations.
  • Understand foundational principles of law of land use and the Constitutional Structure.
  • Demonstrate understanding of legal methodology and interpreting the law.

Summer 2023

Section Title Instructor
50 American Legal System, Reasoning and Writing Tsai, Evan C Books Course details