First Year Curriculum

    First year law school curriculum is a time-honored tradition.  For the most part every law school in the United States demands that 1L's complete a similar set of core courses.  Those courses form the basis for understanding the common law legal system.  After your first year, you will be offered electives and have fewer required courses.  Until then you will be taking the following: Contracts, Torts, Civil Procedure, Real Property and perhaps Constitutional Law, Criminal Law and legal research and writing.  All of these courses run the full year, with the possible exceptions being Criminal Law and Constitutional Law which might last only a semester at your school.  The strict legal definition of these subject areas can be confusing and is not particularly helpful. 
    For now, think about them in terms of their component parts and you'll have a better idea of what the subject entails.  The following will give you a quick idea of the course content:

Contracts - This course will involve things like determining when parties have a contract, the different types of contracts, defenses to contract enforcement, etc.

Torts - When we talk about torts we're talking about intentional torts like battery or intentional infliction of emotional distress.  We’re also talking about negligence, product liability actions, etc.

Civil Procedure - This course will likely be based around the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and will cover matters like service of process, jurisdictional issues involving state court’s powers to bring people from other jurisdictions before it, etc.

Real Property - This course covers topics such as easements, deeds, conveyances, the different interests people can have in property, etc.

Constitutional Law - This course will cover the landmark decisions that have interpreted the constitution.

Criminal Law - This course will introduce you to the common law crimes, burglary, kidnapping, murder, etc., as well as fundamentals such as mens rea and actus reas.

Legal research and writing - Research, writing and citation in a legal context are done differently than what you are used to.  This class will teach those differences and probably also culminate with a big research and writing project.

    Again, understanding the technical legal definition of these topics found in Blacks Legal Dictionary will not help you.  Going through the Index of Chapters of the assigned textbook will give you a much better idea of the class coverage.