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This work is intended, as its title implies, as a first book for those who are entering upon the study of the law, and particularly for those who may take the course of THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF LAW. It is designed to give the student that general knowledge of the nature, sources, and subject-matter of the law, and of the elementary principles of both the substantive and the adjective law, without which he cannot take up and study the particular branches of the law to much advantage. The book is based upon Holland's Jurisprudence; Blackstone's Commentaries; Kent's Commentaries; Walker's American Law; the Cyclopedia of Law and Procedure; Smith's Elementary Law; Clark's Criminal Law; Jaggard on Torts; Clark on Contracts; Tiffany on Agency; and Tiffany on Persons and Domestic Relations.
The particular branches of the law, such as Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Domestic Relations, Real and Personal Property, Contracts, Torts, Remedies, etc., are treated merely in a general way, only the elementary principles being given. These special branches will be separately studied during the course.
The study of cases under the direction of the professors will constitute an important part of the work of the Institute. These cases, carefully selected and arranged with reference to the subjects under consideration by the class, will be furnished to the students with instructions as to their study. A number of illustrative cases are given in the back of this volume, as to the study of which the student will be directed at the proper time. Other cases will be sent out from time to time in connection with particular subjects.
We have also included in this volume a short introduction on legal ethics, followed by the code of legal ethics recently adopted by the American Bar Association.