First Year Students

First Year Advance Assignments

Legal Research & Writing I (all day and evening sections)

Day Division

Civil Procedure & Drafting I (Sections 01 and 02): Please read the study guide in the casebook (pages xxxv-xl) and this document Important Memo About the Civil Procedure Text

Contracts I (Sections 01 and 02): Please read this document and think about the following questions:

  • Who is suing who in this case?  Why? To what end?
  • It seems the parties disagree about whether a contract was formed.  Does this opinion set forth any rules about when contracts are formed?
  • This case focuses on assent of the parties to form a contract.  What is the difference between "subjective" and "objective" assent?
  • Can you state the court's primary rule in just one sentence?  Does that rule prioritize subjective assent or objective assent?
  • Is a rule that gives priority to subjective assent or objective assent easier to satisfy?  For whom?  What rule is better?  Why?
  • What variations in the facts would have led to a different legal outcomes under this common-law rule?

Property I (Section 01, full-time students ONLY): Advance Assignment

Property I (Section 02, full-time students ONLY): read pages 1-8 in Property- A Contemporary Approach (3rd edition 2012) by John G. Sprankling & Raymond R. Colletta

Torts I (Section 01): Please watch the documentary film "Hot Coffee": in advance of the "mock class" on Thursday, August 17th at 11 a.m. and come prepared to discuss it.  A copy of the film is available in the law library, and it is available to rent/download on iTunes, Amazon, PlayStation and Netflix.

Torts I (Section 02): Please read pp. 1-20 in the Russell Weaver et al., Torts: Cases, Problems, and Exercises (4th edition, 2013 Matthew Bender/LexisNexis publisher) (required textbook).

Evening Division

Civil Procedure & Drafting I (Section 61): Please read the study guide (pages xxxv-xl) and Chapter 1 of the text and this documentImportant Memo About the Civil Procedure Text

Contracts I (Section 61): Students can read the materials in the materials in the textbook (Contracts: A Contemporary Approach by Christina L. Kunz and Carol L. Chomsky (2nd edition, West Academic Publishing, 2013)- brief the cases and work the problems- as early as they like.  The recorded lectures and quizzes are accessed through Blackboard, the University's course management system, which will be available to students in the beginning of August.  Students can access the Restatement of the Law of Contracts on Westlaw after being licensed by the law school.

  • Watch the recorded lectures and take the quizzes: 1. Outline of the Law of Contracts; F. Briefing a Case (The links to the recorded lectures and quizzes are in this folder- just click on the folder.  The numbered lectures and quizzes are on the law of Contracts; the lettered lectures and quizzes comprise a general introduction to law and legal reasoning.)
  • Restatement (Second) of Contracts: Read Sections 1, 2, 3, 17 and 33.  You can find Section 1 of the Restatement (Second) of Contracts on Westlaw.  You will register with Westlaw and log in using the password that the law school has assigned to you.
  • Textbook: Study pages 233-283. Specifically:
    • Brief all the cases.  You may skip the "Peerless" case on pages 246-247.
    • Prepare an answer to Problem 4-1 on page 280, and be ready to defend your answer in class.


Torts I (Section 61): Please read and be ready to discuss Chapter 1 (pp. 1-33) of the Franklin, Rabin, Green, Geistfeld casebook, including the Hamontree case, Christensen v Swenson and Roessler v Novak.  Also, please read the first part of Chapter  (pp. 35-43) focusing on Brown v Kendall.


Required Textbooks for Legal Research and Writing I & II Fall 2017 & Spring 2018

Citation Manual: ALWD & Coleen Barger, ALWD Guide to Legal Citation (6th ed. 2017)
Research Textbook: Amy E. Sloan, Basic Legal Research: Tools and Strategies (6th ed. 2015)
Writing Textbook: Richard K. Neumann, Jr., Ellie Margolis, & Kathryn M. Stanchi, Legal Reasoning and Legal Writing (8th ed. 2017)
Style Manual: Mary B. Ray & Jill J. Ramsfield, Legal Writing: Getting It Right and Getting It Written (5th ed. 2010)

NOTE: You do need to have the current edition of each book; there have been significant changes from previous editions. The Sloan textbook and the Ray & Ramsfield reference book are available as used books, but the other two required books are brand-new editions and are only available as new books.



Registration for first-year law students is conducted by the Duquesne University School of Law Registrar's Office in mid-July. First-year students may not change the course section or division to which you are assigned. Prospective students with questions should contact the Admissions or Registrar's Office at 412-396-6300. You may also email at or

The School of Law's "Orientation Program" for ALL first-year day, evening, and part-time students is mandatory and usually scheduled for the third week of August. All First-year students must obtain their Duquesne University photo ID card which will permit the Registrar's office to download your picture to the office. In addition, the School of Law must receive an official copy of your undergraduate and, if applicable, graduate transcripts with the appropriate university seal.

All transcripts must include the words, "Degree Awarded" and must be issued by the University Registrar of your previous school(s), and mailed directly to Duquesne University School of Law. If your LSAC transcript is final includes your degree awarded or conferral date, you do do not need to send another official copy to our office.  Registration for first-year students is not complete until all necessary paperwork has been completed, you have attended orientation and made arrangements to pay all tuition and fees.

Your financial obligation as a registered student who does not subsequently attend will NOT be cancelled unless a written (typed) notification of your decision not to attend is given to the Law School Admissions Office before the first day of classes. Students deciding to withdraw after the first day of classes must notify the Law School Registrar's Office of the withdrawal and are subject to the official withdrawal policy which can be found in the Academic Bulletin.

Tuition bills are only available online by logging into your DORI account. Tuition can be paid by eCheck or by credit card. For more information regarding billing or financial aid please visit the Student Accounts or Financial Aid websites. 

The full-time day division is designed to provide training and education for those students who wish to devote full time to the study of law.  The School of Law strongly suggests that first-year day division students not engage in any outside employment during their first year at the School of Law, and strongly suggests that upper-level full-time, day division students not engage in more than 20 hours per week of outside employment.