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About Think Like a Lawyer
A thorough and engaging introduction to legal reasoning that is perfect for law students setting out to acquire the skills that will make them top performers in their field and for established lawyers who are looking to refresh and improve their legal reasoning and analytical abilities.
This book focuses on fundamental skills necessary for legal problem solving, such as rule-based reasoning (deductive reasoning), synthesis (inductive reasoning), analogical reasoning, distinguishing cases, and policy-based reasoning. The useful exercises that appear throughout the text enable you to practice the skills you are gaining as you progress through the chapters.
The chapters in this book present the different types of legal reasoning, the mini-skills that are related to those types of legal reasoning, and how to use these mini-skills in combination. Chapter One discusses the types of legal reasoning. Chapter Two will teach you how to be an engaged reader and analyze cases. Chapter Three concerns reasoning by analogy, which involves showing how your case is like a precedent case. Chapter Four examines rule-based reasoning and its connection to syllogisms. Chapter Five involves synthesizing cases, which is an important skill in establishing the law. Chapter Six investigates statutory interpretation, which is a type of rule-based reasoning that fills in the details with analogies. Chapter Seven brings the prior chapters together by demonstrating how the different types of legal reasoning relate to the small-scale paradigm (how to organize a simple analysis). Chapter Eight fills in this paradigm by examining how to respond to opposing arguments and distinguish cases. Finally, Chapter Nine serves as a capstone to this book with its presentation of advanced problem solving and creative thinking.