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Contract Law Classes and Education

Contract law classes can be found in legal studies and law degree programs. There are also contract law courses in programs offered for paralegals. Find out what you'll learn in a contract law course.

What Will I Learn in a Contract Law Course?

Courses in contract law cover fundamental legal practices while also training you to write and manage contracts. Typical contract law courses offered include the following:

Introduction to Contract Law

This is usually a required first-year law course, and the goal is to familiarize students with law and private exchange agreements. How a contract is defined by law is covered, as well as what constitutes a legally binding contract. Students may also study contract topics like breach of contract, reciprocal exchanges, bargaining within a contract, arbitration clauses, and negotiation of contracts.

Paralegal Contract Law

This course is designed for paralegal students who will be involved in the drafting of contracts. Topics covered may include the fundamentals of how contracts are created, an offer as defined by a contract, common breaches of contract and how to resolve them. Also covered might be contract litigation and potential defenses to breaches. Students may be required to research and draft a contract.

Drafting Contracts

Students in this course may learn the skills necessary to read and analyze contracts and then use them to draft and revise contracts. Some of the topics that may be covered include covenants, incentives, employment contracts, and binding agreements. Students will also study how to craft a contract with clear, concise language to avoid misinterpretation and manage risk.

Contract Law Theory

This course takes a look at the history and writings in the American legal canon and how they affect current contract law. Students may read legal theory connected to other legal subjects, such as formalism, how society is affected by the law, legal rules and policies, and the interpretation of law. Ethical issues within contract law may also be discussed.

Advanced Contract Law

Students will explore the complexities of contract law within modern society. Topics covered may include discussions and applications of contract law in different industries and businesses. Ethical considerations and obligations might also be covered. Students may be expected to write and present arguments based on actual contract cases.

What Programs Offer These Classes?

If you want to take courses in contract law at the undergraduate level, you could enroll in a degree program in legal studies. For example, such courses may be offered through a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree program in legal studies. These are commonly intended to be pre-professional programs that prepare you for graduate study. You can find these programs on traditional college campuses, but they are also widely available in distance-learning formats.

At the graduate level, you could pursue a law degree, or Juris Doctor (J.D.), or a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). Some programs offer joint degree programs, allowing you to earn both at the same time. While a law degree program prepares you to sit for the BAR exam, a Ph.D. program typically culminates in a dissertation, or a book-length work of original research.