In the first part of the 20th century, a group of law scholars offered engaging, and occasionally disconcerting, views on the role of judges and the relationship between law and politics in the United States. These legal realists borrowed methods from the social sciences to carefully study the law as experienced by lawyers, judges, and average citizens and promoted a progressive vision for American law and society. Legal realism investigated the nature of legal reasoning, the purpose of law, and the role of judges. The movement asked questions which reshaped the study of jurisprudence and continue to drive lively debates about the law and politics in classrooms, courtrooms, and even the halls of Congress. This thorough analysis provides an introduction to the ideas, context, and leading personalities of legal realism. It helps situate an important movement in legal theory in the context of American politics and political thought and will be of great interest to students of judicial politics, American constitutional development, and political theory.
John Henry Schlegel recovers a largely ignored aspect of American Legal Realism, a movement in legal thought in the 1920s and 1930s that sought to bring the modern notion of empirical science into the study and teaching of law. In this book, he explores individual Realist scholars' efforts to challenge the received notion that the study of law was primarily a matter of learning rules and how to manipulate them. He argues that empirical research was integral to Legal Realism, and he explores why this kind of research did not, finally, become a part of American law school curricula. Schlegel reviews the work of several prominent Realists but concentrates on the writings of Walter Wheeler Cook, Underhill Moore, and Charles E. Clark. He reveals how their interest in empirical research was a product of their personal and professional circumstances and demonstrates the influence of John Dewey's ideas on the expression of that interest. According to Schlegel, competing understandings of the role of empirical inquiry contributed to the slow decline of this kind of research by professors of law. Originally published in 1995. A UNC Press Enduring Edition -- UNC Press Enduring Editions use the latest in digital technology to make available again books from our distinguished backlist that were previously out of print. These editions are published unaltered from the original, and are presented in affordable paperback formats, bringing readers both historical and cultural value.
Of Studies in Legal Education (1929) / Edited by Herman Oliphant. "Institute Priests and Yale Observers - A Reply to Dean Goodrich" (1936) / Thurman W. Arnold. "Goodbye to Law Reviews" (1936) / Fred Rodell.
Brian Leiter is widely recognized as the leading philosophical interpreter of the jurisprudence of American Legal Realism, as well as the most influential proponent of the relevance of the naturalistic turn in philosophy to the problems of legal philosophy. This volume collects newly revised versions of ten of his best-known essays, which set out his reinterpretation of the Legal Realists as prescient philosophical naturalists; critically engage with jurisprudential responses to Legal Realism, from legal positivism to Critical Legal Studies; connect the Realist program to the methodology debate in contemporary jurisprudence; and explore the general implications of a naturalistic world view for problems about the objectivity of law and morality. Leiter has supplied a lengthy new introductory essay, as well as postscripts to several of the essays, in which he responds to challenges to his interpretive and philosophical claims by academic lawyers and philosophers. This volume will be essential reading for anyone interested in jurisprudence, as well as for philosophers concerned with the consequences of naturalism in moral and legal philosophy.
First published in 1973, Karl Llewellyn and the Realist Movement is a classic account of American Legal Realism and its leading figure. Karl Llewellyn is the best known and most substantial jurist of the group of lawyers known as the American Realists. He made important contributions to legal theory, legal sociology, commercial law, contract law, civil liberties and legal education. This intellectual biography sets Llewellyn in the broad context of the rise of the American Realist Movement and contains an overview of his life before focusing on his most important works, including The Cheyenne Way, The Bramble Bush, The Common Law Tradition and the Uniform Commercial Code. In this second edition the original text is supplemented with a preface by Frederick Schauer and an afterword in which William Twining gives a fascinating account of the making of the book and comments on developments in relevant legal scholarship over the past forty years.
Federal judges are not just robots or politicians in robes, yet their behavior is not well understood, even among themselves. Using statistical methods, a political scientist, an economist, and a judge construct a unified theory of judicial decision-making to dispel the mystery of how decisions from district courts to the Supreme Court are made.
This book demonstrates how legal realism offers important and unique jurisprudential insights that are not just a part of legal history, but are also relevant and useful for a contemporary understanding of legal theory.
Martin (philosophy, Boston U.) critically compares and evaluates two versions of an important movement in early 20th-century legal thought. For both he recounts its origins and early development, surveys its main proponents, and considers it as a research program. He also looks at its influence on critical legal studies. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
This is the first of two volumes announcing the emergence of the new legal realism as a field of study. At a time when the legal academy is turning to social science for new approaches, these volumes chart a new course for interdisciplinary research by synthesizing law on the ground, empirical research, and theory. Volume 1 lays the groundwork for this novel and comprehensive approach with an innovative mix of theoretical, historical, pedagogical, and empirical perspectives. Their empirical work covers such wide-ranging topics as the financial crisis, intellectual property battles, the legal disenfranchisement of African-American landowners, and gender and racial prejudice on law school faculties. The methodological blueprint offered here will be essential for anyone interested in the future of law-and-society.
This unique study offers a comprehensive analysis of American jurisprudence from its emergence in the later stages of the nineteenth century through to the present day. The author argues that it is a mistake to view American jurisprudence as a collection of movements and schools which have emerged in opposition to each other. By offering a highly original analysis of legal formalism, legal realism, policy science, process jurisprudence, law and economics, and critical legal studies, he demonstrates that American jurisprudence has evolved as a collection of themes which reflect broader American intellectual and cultural concerns.
The Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Law and Legal Theory is a handy guide to the state of play in contemporary philosophy of law and legal theory. Comprises 23 essays critical essays on the central themes and issues of the philosophy of law today, written by an international assembly of distinguished philosophers and legal theorists Each essay incorporates essential background material on the history and logic of the topic, as well as advancing the arguments Represents a wide variety of perspectives on current legal theory
In this book, one of our country's most distinguished scholar-judges shares with us his vision of the law. For the past two thousand years, the philosophy of law has been dominated by two rival doctrines. One contends that law is more than politics and yields, in the hands of skillful judges, correct answers to even the most difficult legal questions; the other contends that law is politics through and through and that judges wield essentially arbitrary powers. Rejecting these doctrines as too metaphysical in the first instance and too nihilistic in the second, Richard Posner argues for a pragmatic jurisprudence, one that eschews formalism in favor of the factual and the empirical. Laws, he argues, are not abstract, sacred entities, but socially determined goads for shaping behavior to conform with society's values. Examining how judges go about making difficult decisions, Posner argues that they cannot rely on either logic or science, but must fall back on a grab bag of informal methods of reasoning that owe less than one might think to legal training and experience. Indeed, he reminds us, the greatest figures in American law have transcended the traditional conceptions of the lawyer's craft. Robert Jackson did not attend law school and Benjamin Cardozo left before getting a degree. Holmes was neither the most successful of lawyers nor the most lawyerly of judges. Citing these examples, Posner makes a plea for a law that frees itself from excessive insularity and takes all knowledge, practical and theoretical, as grist for its mill. The pragmatism that Posner espouses implies looking at problems concretely, experimentally, without illusions, with an emphasis on keeping diverse paths of inquiry open, and, above all, with the insistence that social thought and action be evaluated as instruments to desired human goals rather than as ends in themselves. In making his arguments, he discusses notable figures in jurisprudence from Antigonc to Ronald Dworkin as well as recent movements ranging from law and economics to civic republicanism, and feminism to libertarianism. All are subjected to Posner's stringent analysis in a fresh and candid examination of some of the deepest problems presented by the enterprise of law.
Legal primitivism was a complex phenomenon that combined the study of early European legal traditions with studies of the legal customs of indigenous peoples. Lawyers and Savages: Ancient History and Legal Realism in the Making of Legal Anthropology explores the rise and fall of legal primitivism, and its connection to the colonial encounter. Through examples such as blood feuds, communalism, ordeals, ritual formalism and polygamy, this book traces the intellectual revolution of legal anthropology and demonstrates how this scholarship had a clear impact in legitimating the colonial experience. Detailing how legal realism drew on anthropology in order to help counter the hypothetical constructs of legal formalism, this book also shows how, despite their explicit rejection, the central themes of primitive law continue to influence current ideas – about indigenous legal systems, but also of the place and role of law in development. Written in an engaging style and rich in examples from history and literature, this book will be invaluable to those with interests in legal realism, legal history or legal anthropology.
There is no nation in which the teachers of law play a more prominent role than in the United States. In this unique volume Stephen Presser, a law professor for four decades, explains how his colleagues have both furthered and frustrated the American ideals that ours is a government of laws not men, and that our legal system ought to promote justice for all. In a dazzling review of three centuries of teaching about American law, from Blackstone to Barack Obama, Presser shows how these extraordinary men and women shaped not only our law, but also our politics and culture.
Jurisprudence: Realism in Theory and Practice compiles many of Llewellyn's most important writings. For his time, the thirties through the fifties, Llewellyn offered fresh approaches to the study of law and society. Although these writings might not seem innovative today, because they have become widely applied in the contemporary world, they remain a testament to his. The ideas he advanced many decades ago have now become commonplace among contemporary jurisprudence scholars as well as social scientists studying law and legal issues.Legal realism, the ground of Llewellyn's theory, attempts to contextualize the practice of law. Its proponents argue that a host of extra-legal factors--social, cultural, historical, and psychological, to name a few--are at least as important in determining legal outcomes as are the rules and principles by which the legal system operates. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., book, The Common Law, is regarded as the founder of legal realism. Holmes stated that in order to truly understand the workings of law, one must go beyond technical (or logical) elements entailing rules and procedures. The life of the law is not only that which is embodied in statutes and court decisions guided by procedural law. Law is just as much about experience: about flesh-and-blood human beings doings things together and making decisions.Llewellyn's version of legal realism was heavily influenced by Pound and Holmes. The distinction between ""law in books"" and ""law in action"" is an acknowledgement of the gap that exists between law as embodied in criminal, civil, and administrative code books, and law. A fully formed legal realism insists on studying the behavior of legal practitioners, including their practices, habits, and techniques of action as well as decision-making about others. This classic studyis a foremosthistorical work on legal theory, and is essential for understanding the roots of this influential perspective.
"The book addresses questions about the roles of law and politics and the challenge of legitimacy in constitutional adjudication in the Supreme Court. With all sophisticated observers recognizing that the Justices' political outlooks influence their decision making, many political scientists, some of the public, and a few prominent judges have become Cynical Realists. In their view Justices vote based on their policy preferences, and legal reasoning is mere window-dressing. This book rejects Cynical Realism, but without denying many Realist insights. It explains the limits of language and history in resolving contentious constitutional issues. To rescue the notion that the Constitution is law that binds the Justices, the book provides an original account of what law is and means in the Supreme Court. It also offers a theory of legitimacy in Supreme Court adjudication. Given the nature of law in the Supreme Court, we need to accept and learn to respect reasonable disagreement about many constitutional issues. If so, the legitimacy question becomes: how would the Justices need to decide cases so that even those who disagree with the outcomes ought to respect the Justices' processes of decision? The book gives a fresh and counterintuitive answer to that vital question. Adapting a methodology made famous by John Rawls, it argues that the Justices should strive to achieve a "reflective equilibrium" between their interpretive principles, framed to identify the Constitution's enduring meaning, and their judgments about appropriate outcomes in particular cases, evaluated as prescriptions for the nation to live by in the future. The book blends the perspectives of law, philosophy, and political science to answer theoretical and practical questions of pressing national importance"--
Taking up a single question - 'What does it mean to say that a proposition of law is true?' - this book advances a major new account of truth in law. Drawing upon the later philosophy of Wittgenstein, as well as more recent postmodern theory of the relationship between language, meaning, and the world, Patterson examines leading contemporary jurisprudential approaches to this question and finds them flawed in similar and previously unnoticed ways. Despite surface differences, the most widely discussed accounts of legal meaning - from moral realism to interpretivism - each commit themselves, Patterson argues, to a defective notion of reference in accounting for the truth of legal propositions. Tracing this common truth-conditional perspective - wherein propositions of law are true in virtue of some condition, be it a moral essence, a social fact, or communal agreement - to its source in modernism, Patterson develops an alternative (postmodern) account of legal justification, one in which linguistic practice - the use of forms of legal argument - holds the key to legal meaning.
The Brethren is the first detailed behind-the-scenes account of the Supreme Court in action. Bob Woodward and Scott Armstrong have pierced its secrecy to give us an unprecedented view of the Chief and Associate Justices—maneuvering, arguing, politicking, compromising, and making decisions that affect every major area of American life.
With over sixty cases as support, this text presents the philosophy of law as a perpetual series of debates with overlapping lines and cross connections. Using law as a focus to bring into relief many social and political issues of pressing importance in contemporary society, this book encourages readers to think critically and philosophically. Classic Readings and Cases in the Philosophy of Law centers on five major questions: What is law? What, if any, connection must there be between law and morality? When should law be used to restrict the liberty of individuals? To what extent should democratic states permit civil disobedience? What, if anything, justifies the infliction of punishment on those who violate the law? The extensive anthology of cases covers the mundane to the grandest of constitutional issues, including controversial topics like ownership of genetic material, capital punishment, and gay rights. Brief introductions to each case describe the central issue being litigated, the legal reasoning of the justices–both majority and dissenting–the decision of the court, and its philosophical significance.
For Richard Posner, legal formalism and formalist judges--notably Antonin Scalia--present the main obstacles to coping with the dizzying pace of technological advance. Posner calls for legal realism--gathering facts, considering context, and reaching a sensible conclusion that inflicts little collateral damage on other areas of the law.

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