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Research Guides

COVID-19 and The GW Law Library

Effective Monday, March 23, the Jacob Burns Law Library will be closed to help flatten the COVID-19 infection curve.

View the two guides below for information during this period.

GW Law Library COVID-19 Operations

Information for Students Regarding Online Learning


About Contracts

"The traditional definition of the term 'contract' is 'a promise or set of promises for breach of which the law gives a remedy, or the performance of which the law in some way recognizes as a duty.' The heart of 'contract' is thus found both in its promissory nature and in its enforceability. As such, a contract enables parties to project exchange into the future and to tailor their affairs according to their individual needs and interests; once a contract is entered, the parties' rights and obligations are binding under the law, unless the contract is subject to some invalidating cause, such as fraud, mistake, duress, or the like, which would enable one of the parties to avoid its undertaking." (From Williston on Contracts.)

Study Aids

The following study aids may be borrowed from the Reserve Collection at the Law Library's Circulation/Reserve Desk for up to 2 hours. Older editions may be found in the Law Library stacks. For more study aids in the Law Library's collection, please consult our Study Aids guide.



Hornbooks are concise one-volume legal treatises, written primarily for law students on subjects typically covered by law school courses.

Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI)

CALI lessons are interactive tutorials written by law professors at CALI member schools. They can be used for studying topics in contracts law, including offer & acceptance, consideration, good faith, and the parol evidence rule.

Ask a Reference Librarian for the GW Law CALI code.

Black's Law Dictionary