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Thinking Like a Lawyer

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1996-03-07
  • Publisher: Westview Pr
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Students of the law are often told that they must learn to "think like a lawyer," but they are given surprisingly little help in understanding just what this amounts to. Generally, they are expected to pick up this ability by example and perhaps by osmosis. But it remains the case that very few lawyerseven very good onesare consciously aware of what it means to think like a lawyer.In this insightful and highly revealing book, Kenneth J. Vandevelde identifies, explains, and interprets the goals and methods of the well-trained lawyer. This is not a book about the content of the law; it is about a well-developed and valuable way of thinking that can be applied to many fields.Both practical and sophisticated,Thinking Like a Lawyeravoids the pitfalls common to most books on legal reasoning: It neither assumes too much legal knowledge nor condescends to its readers. Invaluable for law students and practicing lawyers, the book will also effectively interpret legal thinking for lay readers seeking a better understanding of the often mysterious ways of the legal profession.

Author Biography

Kenneth J. Vandevelde is dean and professor of law at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego. He is author of United States Investment Treaties: Policy and Practice and many papers, primarily on constitutional law and international law.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
Introduction 1(6)
Part One: Basic Legal Reasoning
Identifying Applicable Law
Analyzing Statutes and Cases
Synthesizing the Law
Researching the Facts
Applying the Law
Part Two: Advanced Legal Reasoning
A Historical Perspective on Legal Reasoning
Policy Analysis, Synthesis, and Application
Part Three: Applications
Constitutional Law
Civil Procedure
Conclusion 235(2)
Selected Bibliography 237(4)
About the Book and Author 241(2)
Index 243

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