ERIC Number: ED345668
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1986-Jan
Skills Training in "Legal Analysis": A Systematic Approach.
Wangerin, Paul T.
University of Miami Law Review, v40 n2 p409-85 Jan 1986
This paper describes a systematic method for teaching first year law students dialectical skills. An introductory section, Part I, critiques the traditional format for law education noting that at most schools, instruction in substantive courses impart knowledge but not the skills lawyers need in practicing their professions. Part II discusses, in a preliminary fashion, the idea of "thinking like a lawyer." It also defines and describes six individual skills in an attempt to divide up the dialectical skill of legal analysis into several discrete parts: (1) the skill of using facts; (2) the skill of using statutes; (3) the skill of using "synthesis"; (4) the skill of using analogies; (5) the skill of using "policy"; and (6) the skill of "reconciling" apparent contradictions. Part III explores some aspects of classroom teaching of dialectical skills including drill, syllabus development, recipes for construction of legal arguments, and the teacher as coach. The paper concludes with a call for combating the alien qualities generated by legal education through teacher willingness to transform their approach to instruction and their students. Included are 132 footnotes. (JB)
Publication Type: Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A