This survey course will introduce students to various aspects of contract law. The course begins with concepts relating to the formative process of a contract, with questions including:

  • What is a contract?
  • What component parts are generally necessary for there to be a valid contact?
  • When does a contract form, and does it have to be in writing to be valid?
  • In a written deal, what do the written terms mean, and is there more to the deal than what is in the writing?
  • Who can make a contract?

From contract formation, and a few related items, the course then moves to the operative stage of a contract. This major topic includes issues of performance of promises, contract conditions, and breach of contract. Related concepts include contract defenses, remedies, damages, and other topics such as third-party beneficiaries and assignment/delegation of contract benefits and duties. Finally, students look at the practical side of contract drafting and execution.

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Identify the particular elements that make promises legally enforceable and recognize the general problems that arise in legal enforcement of promises.
  • Explain doctrinal principles of contract law using real-world contractual language.
  • Recognize different remedial options available for breach of contract claims.
  • Distinguish and explain the unique ethical problems associated with the making, breaking, and enforcement of promises.