Logic for Law Students: How to Think Like a Lawyer

22 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2007 Last revised: 28 Jun 2014

Ruggero J. Aldisert

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Stephen Clowney

University of Arkansas - School of Law

Jeremy Peterson

Arnold & Porter LLP

Date Written: 2007

Abstract

Law schools no longer teach logic. In the authors' view this is tragic, given that the fundamental principles of logic continue to undergird the law and guide the thinking of judges. In an effort to reverse the trend, this essay explains the core principles of logic and how they apply in the law school classroom. The manuscript begins by examining the basics of the deductive syllogisms and then turns to inductive generalizations and the uses and abuses of analogies. The authors claim that students who master the basics of logic laid out in this article will be better lawyers and will feel more comfortable when they find themselves presenting arguments to judges and juries.

Keywords: Logic, legal education, syllogism, deductive reasoning, inductive reasoning, reasoning, legal analysis

JEL Classification: K4, K49, K19, I21

Suggested Citation

Aldisert, Ruggero J. and Clowney, Stephen and Peterson, Jeremy, Logic for Law Students: How to Think Like a Lawyer (2007). University of Pittsburgh Law Review, Vol. 69, No. 1, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=966597

Ruggero J. Aldisert

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ( email )

601 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA
United States

Stephen Clowney

University of Arkansas - School of Law ( email )

260 Waterman Hall
Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States

Jeremy D. Peterson (Contact Author)

Arnold & Porter LLP ( email )

601 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States

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