website statistics Thinking Like a Lawyer: A New Introduction to Legal Reasoning - PDF Books Online
Hot Best Seller

Thinking Like a Lawyer: A New Introduction to Legal Reasoning

Availability: Ready to download

This primer on legal reasoning is aimed at law students and upper-level undergraduates. But it is also an original exposition of basic legal concepts that scholars and lawyers will find stimulating. It covers such topics as rules, precedent, authority, analogical reasoning, the common law, statutory interpretation, legal realism, judicial opinions, legal facts, and burden This primer on legal reasoning is aimed at law students and upper-level undergraduates. But it is also an original exposition of basic legal concepts that scholars and lawyers will find stimulating. It covers such topics as rules, precedent, authority, analogical reasoning, the common law, statutory interpretation, legal realism, judicial opinions, legal facts, and burden of proof. In addressing the question whether legal reasoning is distinctive, Frederick Schauer emphasizes the formality and rule-dependence of law. When taking the words of a statute seriously, when following a rule even when it does not produce the best result, when treating the fact of a past decision as a reason for making the same decision again, or when relying on authoritative sources, the law embodies values other than simply that of making the best decision for the particular occasion or dispute. In thus pursuing goals of stability, predictability, and constraint on the idiosyncrasies of individual decision-makers, the law employs forms of reasoning that may not be unique to it but are far more dominant in legal decision-making than elsewhere. Schauer’s analysis of what makes legal reasoning special will be a valuable guide for students while also presenting a challenge to a wide range of current academic theories.


Compare

This primer on legal reasoning is aimed at law students and upper-level undergraduates. But it is also an original exposition of basic legal concepts that scholars and lawyers will find stimulating. It covers such topics as rules, precedent, authority, analogical reasoning, the common law, statutory interpretation, legal realism, judicial opinions, legal facts, and burden This primer on legal reasoning is aimed at law students and upper-level undergraduates. But it is also an original exposition of basic legal concepts that scholars and lawyers will find stimulating. It covers such topics as rules, precedent, authority, analogical reasoning, the common law, statutory interpretation, legal realism, judicial opinions, legal facts, and burden of proof. In addressing the question whether legal reasoning is distinctive, Frederick Schauer emphasizes the formality and rule-dependence of law. When taking the words of a statute seriously, when following a rule even when it does not produce the best result, when treating the fact of a past decision as a reason for making the same decision again, or when relying on authoritative sources, the law embodies values other than simply that of making the best decision for the particular occasion or dispute. In thus pursuing goals of stability, predictability, and constraint on the idiosyncrasies of individual decision-makers, the law employs forms of reasoning that may not be unique to it but are far more dominant in legal decision-making than elsewhere. Schauer’s analysis of what makes legal reasoning special will be a valuable guide for students while also presenting a challenge to a wide range of current academic theories.

30 review for Thinking Like a Lawyer: A New Introduction to Legal Reasoning

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tycho Toothaker

    A nice introduction to legal reasoning. I feel slightly more prepared to go to law school.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Hong

    (I only quickly skimmed over this book in less than 5 hours.) This book is not written for a popular audience who just wants to speculate how a lawyer thinks, but for an audience with a serious attitude towards law studies. The book title, "Thinking Like a Lawyer," is a bit misleading on that point. To me (not a lawyer but with some nexus to law), this book is not too hard to read, but I can tell that many points would not be easily understood without any legal experience. The writing, in my opin (I only quickly skimmed over this book in less than 5 hours.) This book is not written for a popular audience who just wants to speculate how a lawyer thinks, but for an audience with a serious attitude towards law studies. The book title, "Thinking Like a Lawyer," is a bit misleading on that point. To me (not a lawyer but with some nexus to law), this book is not too hard to read, but I can tell that many points would not be easily understood without any legal experience. The writing, in my opinion, is a bit prolix and can be certainly abridged. Nevertheless, this book can be a useful kickstarter and reference.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    All law students should be required to read this book at some point during law school to provide a broader context for their studies. The book provides so much more than can be learned from the traditional case method. The silly title notwithstanding, this is not a how-to book, but a dense, but compact study on the prominent features of legal reasoning (precedent, stare decisis, burden of proof, standards of review, presumption, deference, etc.) which has as its goal the Rule of Law (sometimes a All law students should be required to read this book at some point during law school to provide a broader context for their studies. The book provides so much more than can be learned from the traditional case method. The silly title notwithstanding, this is not a how-to book, but a dense, but compact study on the prominent features of legal reasoning (precedent, stare decisis, burden of proof, standards of review, presumption, deference, etc.) which has as its goal the Rule of Law (sometimes at the expense of the right decision for the immediate parties). Clear prose, good examples, and with ample footnotes for further reading on specific issues.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Alexander L

    This book was depressing to read. Schauer attempts to present an impartial descriptive account of “the law,” and he does that well enough. There are terms in the book, and those terms have definitions. At first, he seems bold enough to state that legal reasoning can lead to the wrong answer—a claim that seemed shocking to me when I first heard of it. I expected the book to be as eye-opening as that thesis. It was not. For Schauer seems to believe in, or at least accept, the injustice of the justic This book was depressing to read. Schauer attempts to present an impartial descriptive account of “the law,” and he does that well enough. There are terms in the book, and those terms have definitions. At first, he seems bold enough to state that legal reasoning can lead to the wrong answer—a claim that seemed shocking to me when I first heard of it. I expected the book to be as eye-opening as that thesis. It was not. For Schauer seems to believe in, or at least accept, the injustice of the justice system. He dismisses out of hand the theory of legal realism in a page, most bitingly with an allusion to how law students will certainly receive low marks on exams if they answer according to legal realism. This was used to frame an entire theory—one with a tremendous amount of evidence from political scientists much more versed in the actual evidence than the uppity law professors willing to dismiss such schools of thought without considering them—as a joke. It becomes clear as you read the book that Schauer does not persuade you why a system that gets things wrong is one you should accept. The reason behind that is not objectivity. No, he lends substantial time to the arguments of the conservative legal tradition, and no time to critical theories describing the role of race and sex in the law. By omission, Schauer seems to tell you such theories are not part of the distinguished form of Legal Reasoning. By omission, Schauer seems to tell you that the way things are is the only question worth answering, seemingly because this book is Thinking Like a Lawyer, and Lawyers do not think of other such things. Perhaps I am uncharitable towards it because of the way it was presented, and the material does not reflect the criticism I level against it. If so, I will read it again in time and change this review accordingly.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kaleb

    As a future law student, I loved it! Great overview of different aspects of legal reasoning. Gave me a good framework for understanding what it means to think like a lawyer. Intended for future law students, but a great read for a person serious in learning more about law. The repeated use of understandable examples helps ground the work. I will be returning to this book for years to come for refresher and to explore more reading offered in the excellent footnotes.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nina

    Definitely a great primer for what to expect in law school. By no means comprehensive but can there even be a comprehensive book that prepares one for law school? Doubt it. This issue aside, the book provided a great introduction to legalese and I would have been more lost without it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sovi Herring

    Eye opener to situations and methods, but overall rough to read

  8. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Kapral

    This is very dense material and tough to read without an introduction to the legal world. If you're intent is to use it as a "legal primer" while you are an upper level graduate or your summer before law school, then I highly encourage you to choose a different book. The first few chapters are well written, flow nicely together, and introduced a few major cases that he uses throughout the rest of the book, and I think that was a useful introduction, but as the book continues it dives down into s This is very dense material and tough to read without an introduction to the legal world. If you're intent is to use it as a "legal primer" while you are an upper level graduate or your summer before law school, then I highly encourage you to choose a different book. The first few chapters are well written, flow nicely together, and introduced a few major cases that he uses throughout the rest of the book, and I think that was a useful introduction, but as the book continues it dives down into some legal philosophy and becomes disjointed making it hard to read without any prior legal exposure. I will likely reread it after my first semester, or first summer (if and when I have the time), but it is not written at the appropriate level to be considered an introduction or a primer.

  9. 4 out of 5

    B

    It is very tough to introduce someone to "the law." What "the law's" most basic elements are is pretty disputable. Is it a way of thinking? A set of particular rules? Standards of review? The Article III judiciary? National? Transnational? Norms? Although Schauer is talking about "legal reasoning," it seems like he is really trying to introduce the "the law." It seemed to run out of steam near the end because the parts just seemed more and more disconnected. Also, while I felt like this was some It is very tough to introduce someone to "the law." What "the law's" most basic elements are is pretty disputable. Is it a way of thinking? A set of particular rules? Standards of review? The Article III judiciary? National? Transnational? Norms? Although Schauer is talking about "legal reasoning," it seems like he is really trying to introduce the "the law." It seemed to run out of steam near the end because the parts just seemed more and more disconnected. Also, while I felt like this was something I would have benefited from reading earlier, it is also something I'm not sure I would have understood until recently.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    I don't think that my body of legal knowledge is such that I can assess this book on a 5-point scale. I picked it up for the chapter on statutory interpretation, and I found many of its anecdotes fun but not especially eye opening. I much prefer "The Language of Law School" as an introduction to legal reasoning as distinct from other modes of inquiry and analysis. I don't think that my body of legal knowledge is such that I can assess this book on a 5-point scale. I picked it up for the chapter on statutory interpretation, and I found many of its anecdotes fun but not especially eye opening. I much prefer "The Language of Law School" as an introduction to legal reasoning as distinct from other modes of inquiry and analysis.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    The author provided a great explanation of how lawyers, courts and administrative hearing examiners reason and render opinions. If you've ever wondered how legal reasoning differs from how the lay person thinks, this is a good primer for you. It was easy reading and not overly technical, with many interesting case law examples to illustrate salient points. The author provided a great explanation of how lawyers, courts and administrative hearing examiners reason and render opinions. If you've ever wondered how legal reasoning differs from how the lay person thinks, this is a good primer for you. It was easy reading and not overly technical, with many interesting case law examples to illustrate salient points.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Gwenn Wright

    I've only read what's available on the sample and, when the book buying moratorium ends, I will definitely buy this one. I've only read what's available on the sample and, when the book buying moratorium ends, I will definitely buy this one.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Chiefmoneygripps Givens

    Wish I had read this before 1L year.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Hayden Bui

  15. 5 out of 5

    Caleb

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

  17. 4 out of 5

    Clayton

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kenneth

  19. 4 out of 5

    Tina

  20. 4 out of 5

    Scott G

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jay

  22. 5 out of 5

    D

  23. 4 out of 5

    Chris

  24. 4 out of 5

    Clarissa

  25. 4 out of 5

    Chrissie

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jackson Kim

  27. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mark

  29. 5 out of 5

    James W.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Learning and Growing

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.