Primary Sources and Ambiguity in Legal History

Teaching Legal History: Comparative Perspectives. London: Wildy, Simmons, and Hill (2014)

University of Toledo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2014-13

5 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2014

See all articles by Evan C. Zoldan

Evan C. Zoldan

University of Toledo College of Law

Date Written: June 18, 2014

Abstract

In this essay, I describe my methodology of teaching a legal history seminar. I design my class to include an intensive study of primary sources with two main goals in mind. First, by interpreting statutes and cases alongside sources like public letters and speeches, students learn to situate sources of mandatory legal authority within their historical context. Second, by reading primary sources that present conflicting historical narratives, students learn the more difficult skill of drawing conclusions in the face of interpretative ambiguity.

Keywords: Legal History, Constitutional History, Constitutional Interpretation, Ex Post Facto Clause, Legal Education

Suggested Citation

Zoldan, Evan Craig, Primary Sources and Ambiguity in Legal History (June 18, 2014). Teaching Legal History: Comparative Perspectives. London: Wildy, Simmons, and Hill (2014), University of Toledo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2014-13, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2456440

Evan Craig Zoldan (Contact Author)

University of Toledo College of Law ( email )

2801 W. Bancroft Street
Toledo, OH 43606
United States

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