PRSP 370

The American Legal System

2 Undergraduate credits
Effective January 1, 2003 – December 17, 2018

Graduation requirements this course fulfills

A William Mitchell College of Law course, this course covers some basic elements that make up the American legal system, starting with the way lawyers think (in tandem with the PRSP 371 Legal Reasoning and Writing). The course describes the process of law, and goes into units which cover the basic application and interpretation of law. These units focus on examples and applications in two areas of law - torts and criminal law. Students are given a mix of case law and statutory law, and are shown how the law is applied in factual, hypothetical situations. The classroom instruction is given as a standard law school presentation. The final exam tests students in the same way law students are tested, by applying law to hypothetical fact situations.

Special information

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

Learning outcomes


  • Describe different legal structures (public and private) at multiple levels (local, state, federal).
  • 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.