Learning Legal Reasoning
Learning Legal Reasoning: Briefing, Analysis and Theory by John Delaney, a law professor at NYU Law School for many years, is an excellent and popular choice among first-year law students.
This widely used book in many printings begins with responses to over forty commonly asked questions of first-year law students, mostly about legal reasoning. It then specifies a six-step approach to briefing a case with specific guidelines for accomplishing each step.
The process of briefing cases to learn legal reasoning is then demonstrated with excellent and poor briefs of increasing complexity. Emphasis is placed initially on the techniques of briefing as an introduction to the learning of legal reasoning, the first priority of the first year of law school.
In addition, the book also demonstrates the relevance of more advanced modes of legal reasoning, the different architectures, including positivist, pragmatic, policy oriented, natural-law and other perspectives in decoding and understanding cases.
In its introduction of jurisprudential perspectives, Learning Legal Reasoning: Briefing Analysis and Theory transcends the typical and insufficient legal-positivist orientation of most first-year materials.