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Teaching Legal Analysis Using a Pluralistic Model of Law

94 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2010  

Wilson Ray Huhn

Duquesne University - School of Law

Date Written: January 1, 2001


A primary purpose of legal education is to teach the skills of legal analysis - the ability to identify, generate, and evaluate legal arguments.

There are five kinds of valid legal arguments: arguments may be based upon text, intent, precedent, tradition, or policy. Each type of legal argument is constructed from a different set of evidence of what the law is. Furthermore, each type of legal argument has characteristic strengths and weaknesses, and is subject to characteristic kinds of attacks. The persuasiveness of an argument is measured by its susceptibility to both “intramodal” and “intermodal” attacks.

Intramodal attacks challenge arguments on their own terms, while intermodal critiques are addressed to the validity or weight to be accorded to each kind of argument.

Suggested Citation

Huhn, Wilson Ray, Teaching Legal Analysis Using a Pluralistic Model of Law (January 1, 2001). Gonzaga Law Review, Vol. 36, p. 433, 2001; University of Akron Legal Studies Research Paper . Available at SSRN:

Wilson Ray Huhn (Contact Author)

Duquesne University - School of Law ( email )

600 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15282
United States

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