The law school is pleased to announce the addition of a new course entitled "Foundations of Law" to the first year curriculum beginning in the Fall of 2011. As a faith-based institution we believe first principles and ideas matter. Foundations of Lawensures all of our first-year students are exposed to the most prominent, fundamental ideas of our legal institutions. The writings of St. Thomas Aquinas, William Blackstone, John Locke, James Madison, Oliver Wendell Holmes, H.L.A. Hart, John Rawls, John Finnis, Joseph Raz and other thinkers who have shaped American legal institutions will comprise a substantial part of the readings for the course. Important and well known appellate court opinions will be used to illustrate the theoretical principles outlined by the great minds of Western legal and political thought. We want our students to leave the course with a deeper understanding of their own convictions about justice and with a better appreciation for some of the most influential
principles and historical developments in American jurisprudence. Additionally, and equally as important, the Foundations course will focus heavily on the basics of legal reasoning: the doctrine of precedent, the distinction between rules and principles, standards of decision-making, and most importantly for new law students, the rudiments of logic, including heavy focus on syllogistic reasoning.