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Law students must become adept at understanding how various bodies of law interact-supporting, balancing, and even conflicting with each other. This article describes an attempt to achieve these goals by merging two canonical first-year courses, civil procedure and torts, into an integrated class titled ‘Introduction to Civil Litigation’. Our most pressing motivation was concern that students who study civil procedure and torts in isolation develop a skewed, unrealistic view of how law works in the real world. By combining these courses, we hoped to teach students early in their careers to approach problems more like practicing lawyers, who must deal with multiple bodies of law simultaneously. And while the course did yield a higher level of practice readiness, the experience also brought unexpected rewards to both students and faculty. As we developed and refined the course, we discovered that we were not just merging two courses. We were bringing together two different perspectives on how the law functions. We came to believe that more can be gained by viewing torts and civil procedure together than by studying them apart. Torts and Civil Procedure tell different sides of the same story.

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Journal of Legal Education