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Introduction to the U.S. Lega System

Summer School of law, 10 ECTS
Law, public administration, public order and safety

Institution Aarhus University (AU)
Campus Aarhus
Duration 3 weeks
Tuition per term (Non-EU/EAA/CH) 1700 EUR
Tuition per term (EU/EAA/CH) 1230 EUR


  • Have you ever wondered why many Americans embrace the death penalty?  Or why the 12-person jury is such an important part of the U.S. legal landscape?  Come find out!The U.S. Legal System is one of the most important Common Law legal systems in the world.  It differs significantly from legal systems in almost all European Union member countries that follow the Civil Law tradition.  This course examines the origins, development and characteristics of core United States’ legal concepts, courts, personnel, and institutions.  It will equip you with knowledge of how the U.S. legal system operates, increasing your intercultural competence and allowing you to operate more effectively in the international arena.   Using primary source materials (cases, statutes, codes, ordinances) and occasional narrative overviews for context, this course provides a comprehensive foundation unto understanding U.S. law, how it functions, and the role that lawyers and judges play within the U.S. legal system.  It will also help students situate the U.S. legal system within its historical context and illuminate how modern American legal practice has been shaped by the past.This course will be taught over three weeks (July 4—July 21).  Students are expected to attend classes on campus in Aarhus for the duration of the course.  Students will learn the following topics: 
  • History of English Common Law and the English legal profession
  • Reception and modification of English Common Law in the early U.S.
  • Creating law in the United States
  • United States court structure, jurisdictions, and hierarchy
  • Education, training and licensing of U.S. lawyers
  • Education and training of U.S. judges (federal and state)
  • The Jury system (civil and criminal)
  • Litigation in the United States (civil, criminal, bankruptcy, tax)
  • Alternatives to litigation (e.g., arbitration, mediation)
  • Hot Topics in U.S. law (e.g., death penalty, same-sex marriage, immigration, guns)

       About the Degree

  • This is a summer course that counts 5 or 10 ECTS. 


    • You must be enrolled in a university programme at the time of the AU Summer University
    • If you are applying for admission to AU Summer University courses at the Master level, you must hold a relevant Bachelor's degree (or as a minimum 180 ECTS in your study programme
    • The application deadline is March 15th


    The tuition fee varies from course to course. Find the price on the individual course page. Find more information here

    For Further Information

    You can find more information on the programme here
    If you have any questions regarding the programme please write


Application date
Mar 15
Start date
Jul 04


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