Jurisprudence: Diagrams for Law Students

Jurisprudence: Diagrams for Law StudentsThis book contains diagrams and flowcharts as an aid to the study of Jurisprudence. Designed to help you get the big picture of the theories, jurists, and terms of the subject. Use them to see an overall picture of each before you begin reading your texts, to organize your own notes, and to review and revise. Prepare for your exams by using them to test your knowledge on the details.

Topics include:

  • The Imperative/Command Theory
  • Classical and Modern Natural Law Theory
  • Hart’s Concept of Law
  • Hart’s Defense Against Natural Law and Fuller’s Critiques
  • Raz, Practical Reason, the Authority of Law
  • Kelson’s Theory
  • Dworkin: Integrity and Interpretation
  • Marxist Legal Theory
  • Liberalism and the Law
  • Feminist Legal Theory

Jurisprudence & Legal Theory: Outlines, Diagrams, & Exam Study Sheets

Jurisprudence & Legal Theory: Outlines, Diagrams, & Exam Study SheetsJurisprudence & Legal Theory: Outlines, Diagrams, & Exam Study Sheets

Jurisprudence: Outlines, Diagrams, and Study Sheets is a collection of outlines and diagrams as an aid to the study of Jurisprudence and Legal Theory. Designed to help you get the big picture of the theories, jurists, and philosophical and historical background of the subject. Use the diagrams to see an overall picture of each subtopic before you begin reading your texts, to organize your notes, and to review and revise. Prepare for your exams by using them to test your knowledge on the details.

This book covers the following topics:

  1. Introduction to Jurisprudence
  2. The Nature of Legal Theory
  3. Hobbes, Bentham, and Austin: Imperative Theory
  4. Natural Law Theory
  5. HLA Hart’s The Concept of Law
  6. The Rule of Recognition
  7. Hart’s Defenses Against Natural Law Theory and Fuller
  8. Raz’s Theory of Law: Service Conception
  9. Practical Reason
  10. Kelsen’s Theory of Law: Norms and Delicts
  11. Dworkin’s Theory of Law
  12. Marxism and Marxist Legal Theory
  13. Liberalism
  14. Feminist Legal TheoryOutlines and Exam Study Sheets are available for Kindle.
    Diagrams are available for Kindle Fire and as a separate paperback.

Why Life Experience Between College and Law School Matters

From the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System:

For years, there is one piece of advice I give prospective law students that hasn’t changed: take time off before you go to law school. Work, travel, volunteer. Do something that isn’t school. Experience the world, whatever that means to you.

So it didn’t surprise me when lawyers responding to our Foundations for Practice survey indicated that “life experience between college and law school” was helpful in identifying that a new lawyer has the foundations (characteristics, professional competencies, and legal skills) that they believe are important. Almost 30 percent said “life experience between college and law school” was “very helpful”; another 49 percent said it was “helpful.”

Yet, we know that far too many law students do not take time between college and law school. I didn’t—and I wish I had. We even refer to students who take just a couple years off as “non-traditional.”

This could change, if Harvard Law School has anything to say about it. In a move to entice students to gain work experience before they enter law school, HLS announced it is expanding a pilot program for Harvard juniors to juniors from any college. The program lets law school applicants defer admission to the law school for two years, which “allows students to go and do something they love, and not to feel they have to build their résumé,” Jessica L. Soban, HLS’s Associate Dean for Admissions and Strategic Initiatives, told the New York Times.

While it’s great that Harvard wants its students to have the opportunity to do something they love, Harvard is getting a lot out of this deal as well. The same survey respondents who valued “life experience between college and law school” told us that the foundations they most needed in new lawyers were, predominantly, characteristics and professional competencies. They were things like conscientiousness, common sense, maturity, working collaboratively in a team, and exhibiting tact and diplomacy (see the full list here). They were things that may be best developed through experiences like those that prospective Harvard Law Students will now seek out before starting law school.

By encouraging applicants to engage in activities that will help them develop these key characteristics and competencies before they ever even come to law school, Harvard is ensuring that its graduates have yet another leg up. Well played, Harvard. Well played.

Read full article at iaals.du.edu

What Do Students Do in Clinics?

From Law School Cafe:

Douglas Kahn has posted an article criticizing the “proliferation of clinical and other experiential courses” in legal education. These courses, he argues, reduce the number of “doctrinal” courses that students take, leaving them “ill-prepared to practice law as soon after graduation as law firms would like.” The TaxProf Blog posted a summary of the article, and a baker’s dozen of readers have offered pro and con comments.

It’s an old debate, one that has bristled for more than 50 years. The discussion doesn’t surprise me, but Professor Kahn’s ignorance of clinical education does. His bold assertions about clinics reveal little familiarity with the actual operation of those courses. Let’s examine some of Kahn’s claims.

“[S]kills in legal reasoning, analysis, and statutory construction are best learned in doctrinal courses . . . .”

Seminar sessions in a clinic “likely are more focused on the delivery of legal services than on the analysis of legal issues and policies.”

“Much of th[e] time [in clinical courses] can be spent in ways that have little or no educational value (such as sitting in court waiting for a case to be called).”

“Another reason [to prefer simulation courses] is that the instructor in a simulation course can control the issues that will arise rather than . . . depend on what issues a client brings.”

One can, as Professor Kahn suggests, debate the appropriate balance among doctrinal, experiential, and (I would add) interdisciplinary, perspective, and seminar courses in law school. But to have an intelligent debate, we need to know the content of those course types. Professor Kahn’s article reflects many of the stereotypes that educators hold about clinical and other experiential courses. Let’s learn the facts before we begin to negotiate: that’s a key lesson we teach in clinics.

Study Guides: Lower prices, PDF downloads added, and Apple Pay option!

Now that Legal Yankee has partnered with Sulis International Press to publish our law school resource books, there are lower prices and the option to buy as a PDF for immediate download.

Prices range from 14.95-29.95, depending on the course level and format. Here are the available study guides (click for more info, pricing, and format options.


Legal Yankee Publications is now an Imprint of Sulis International. We publish study guides, learning resources, and reference material for law students in the United Kingdom, the United States, and other common law countries. If you have a manuscript you would like to submit for possible publication, visit the submission page at Sulis International here.

Sulis International is a modern small press that partners with authors to produce and promote select fiction and nonfiction. Print-on-demand, eBooks, and social media marketing results in lower costs for the publisher and therefore higher royalties to the authors. Visit Sulis International here.

Young lawyers seek to shake up legal profession with mobile apps

From the Boston Globe:

Young lawyers seek to shake up legal profession with mobile appsWilliam Palin is a 32-year-old lawyer who passed the bar exam in 2013. But it didn’t take him long to wonder why, when the rest of the world is increasingly conducting business on cellphones and tablets, the legal profession is so tied to paper, desktop computers, and e-mailed Microsoft Word documents.

So as a child of the digital age, he decided to act, joining a growing group of young, tech-savvy lawyers dedicated to developing technology to deliver legal services more efficiently.

Legal Hackers hopes to bridge that generational divide — and the group seems to be making progress. In August, at the American Bar Association’s annual meeting, one panel was titled “Cracking the Code: Everything You Wanted to Know About Coding, Open Data & More But Were Afraid to Ask.”

‘If lawyers want to be competitive, they have to learn a new skill set and that is what the Suffolk program provides its students.’

The tech industry, meanwhile, is eager to see lawyers on board.


As for Palin, his PaperHealth app won the American Bar Association’s Hackcess to Justice Legal Hackathon, held at Suffolk last summer. It’s available in the app store.

Top 5 Reasons Why People Really Fail The Bar Exam

From bar Exam Toolbox:

Top 5 Reasons Why People Really Fail The Bar Exam

It’s probably every law student’s worst fear: failing the bar exam. You’ve invested time and money in seven years of higher education, three of them specifically aimed at one particular profession…so what will you do if you can’t get admitted to that profession? What will you do when everyone finds out? Will your career be over before it starts? Are you too lazy or not intelligent enough to be a lawyer?

The fact is that not everyone passes the first time. In some states less than a third of people taking the exam pass.

If you fail the bar exam, there are two important things you need to know: First, you’re not stupid and your life is not over. Second, it’s critical to figure out why you failed so you can pass the next time.

It’s a common mistake to assume that if you failed the bar, you didn’t study enough and you simply need to redouble your efforts. But if you repeat the same preparation as last time, just with more hours, you’re probably going to keep making the same mistakes.

It doesn’t matter if you were at the top of your class in law school or have always done well on exams. Many smart, hardworking people still fail the bar exam. The good news is, if you figure out what went wrong, you can address whatever stood in the way of passing. So, why do people really fail the bar exam?

  • 1. You Did Not Practice Enough
  • 2. You Did Not Course Correct
  • 3. You Did Not Know The Law
  • 4. You Didn’t Practice Time Management
  • 5. You Have Anxiety

Ahead of the Curve: What Are Big Law Recruiters Really Looking For?

More from Law School Toolbox:

Ahead of the Curve: What Are Big Law Recruiters Really Looking For?Whether you are applying to law school, just starting, or are finishing up your first year, you’re probably already thinking about what will come after graduation. Will you be able to make the cut and get that job you’ve heard about in “big law” with the astronomical starting salary? You will probably have student loans to pay back, and a high-paying first attorney position could help you to make those repayments quicker, as well as offer resources and excellent training for a new lawyer. But you may be wondering, what are those recruiters at the big firms looking for? And can you really get one of those coveted positions?

As someone who worked as a recruiter in a few of those top firms for over ten years, I have some insight into what they are really looking for in a summer associate or new hire, and I know the common mistakes that will prevent you from even meeting anyone in person.

Here’s my best advice to you, if you want a position in a large law firm.

  1. Proofread Your Materials
  2. Know Your Story
  3. Let Yourself Shine
  4. On-Campus Interviewing


Five Techniques For Using Deep Work To Excel In Law School

There is an interesting article from Law School Toolbox on “Deep Learning.” Here are some excerpts:

Five Techniques For Using Deep Work To Excel In Law SchoolLaw school presents law students with a number of incredible intellectual challenges. You have to memorize a great quantity of information in various substantive areas of law in a relatively short time. You have to learn to use a lot of arcane technical jargon correctly. You have to master a new system of legal proof that is just as complicated as the system of geometrical proofs you learned in high school. The only difference is that you will get substantially less support in learning how to do a legal proof than you did when you were learning how to do a geometrical proof.

The best way for law students to meet and overcome these challenges is to engage in “Deep Work.” Deep Work is the ability to focus exclusively for a long period of time on one particular intellectual task without distractions. Engaging in deep work means working with total uninterrupted concentration on whatever you are doing. It is the opposite of multi-tasking. Students who engage in deep work will be able to more quickly master complex information and produce superior results in less time.

Five suggestions are:

1. Avoid Multi-Tasking

2. Incorporate Deep Work Into Your Calendar

3. Prevent Interruptions

4. Close Or Minimize Social Media Accounts

5. Evaluate The Usefulness Of Study Groups And Other Meetings



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