Thinking Like a Lawyer: An Introduction to Legal Reasoning

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Westview Press, 1996 - Law - 254 pages
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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 lawyers—even very good ones—are 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 Lawyer avoids 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.

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About the author (1996)

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.

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