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Civil procedure, more than any other of the basic law-school courses, conveys to students an understanding of the whole legal system. I propose that this purpose should become more openly the organizing theme of the course. The focus should remain, of course, on the mechanics of the judicial branch. What I am championing is giving some conscious attention, albeit mainly in the background and at an introductory level, to the big ideas of the constitutional structure within which the law formulates civil procedure. Such attention would unify the doctrinal study, while enriching it for the students and revealing its true importance.

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