ILS: first-day instructions

  1. All course materials—including the syllabus, assignments, and readings—are also posted to the course website located at
  2. Before doing any of the readings you must first read these instructions and the syllabus.
  3. Then read the study questions. Don’t answer them yet.
  4. Next, do the readings. Read them slowly and carefully. Mark up all materials and brief all cases. For cases, brief all opinions, whether majority, dissent, or concurrence.
  5. After reading the assigned materials, answer the study questions. Be prepared to discuss the questions in class and to provide your answers to the questions. The readings and questions work together, so to understand the readings you should use the questions as your guide, and to answer the questions, you should carefully and critically study the readings.
  6. Our primary goal will be to learn how to learn law by building basic skills in reading, briefing, and discussing cases, statutes, and other legal materials. We will also develop skills in multiple-choice and written-answer essay questions.
  7. The primary means for reaching our goals this week will be through an abbreviated but intense study of some of the core principles of Intellectual Property Law, or “IP Law.” This area of law deals with rights regarding writings, inventions, names, and personas. IP Law is one of the fastest-growing and most important areas of the law today. In class, we will study selections from the law of misappropriation (Monday), copyright (Tuesday), patent (Wednesday), trademark (Thursday), and right of publicity (Friday) as means to learn basic law-school learning skills. Along the way, we will also learn some basic IP Law.
  8. Readings are edited by Professor Nathenson. Some materials (generally citations) have been removed without indication. Other significant alternations are noted in the text through the use of ellipses (…) or brackets ([]).
  9. Note that many of the readings are paragraph-numbered. When talking in class, I will use these “pin-point” citations to draw your attention to specific paragraphs. Similarly, when you are reciting in class and need to refer to part of a case, be prepared to provide pin-point citations to relevant paragraph numbers.