The Legal Analyst: A Toolkit for Thinking about the Law

Ward Farnsworth (Author)

Product Details

University of Chicago Press
Publish Date
June 15, 2007
6.1 X 0.76 X 8.89 inches | 1.06 pounds
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About the Author

Ward Farnsworth, who clerked for both Judge Richard A. Posner and Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, is professor of law and Nancy Barton Scholar at the Boston University School of Law. He is the coauthor of Torts: Cases and Questions.


"This is one of those rare books that will actually raise the level of analysis at every law school in the country. A must-read not only for students just beginning law school, but indeed for anyone who could use a reminder of how diverse and powerful the legal toolkit really is."--Douglas Lichtman, Professor, University of Chicago Law School
"This book is a very accessible introduction to the major ideas of modern legal thinking and useful survey of current thinking in the field. It covers an extraordinarily broad range of topics in a limited space and is very clearly written, studded with interesting examples and observations. It can profitably be read by law students, lawyers, and lay people with an interest in the legal system."--Daniel Farber, Sho Sato Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley
"This is an outstanding book that occupies a significant and unique niche in the literature of jurisprudence and legal methodology. Farnsworth introduces students and practitioners alike to basic methods of legal analysis across a broad range of disciplines. This book should become the ultimate 'toolkit' for those new to the profession."--David J. Bederman, Emory University School of Law

"Every good lawyer knows that there's a standard set of argumentative moves that are repeatedly made in different legal settings. Farnsworth's book is chock full of the kind of tools that every legal analyst should have in his or her back pocket. This ambitious book is likely to spur a lively debate about what exactly are the essential tools of legal analysis. While some will grouse that their pet tool was excluded, the books points toward a new way of organizing the first-year curriculum. Farnsworth is forging a new pedagogical canon."

--Ian Ayres, Townsend Professor, Yale Law School and author of Super Crunchers

"The Legal Analyst provides an engaging and enlightening introduction to the most essential concepts of legal reasoning. In exceptionally clear prose, Ward Farnsworth walks the reader through concepts such as the Coase Theorem, the Prisoner's Dilemma, and Property Rules and Liability Rules--peeling away the fog of confusion that often envelops them to reveal the deep and startlingly simple insights that they offer. The reader comes away from the book with a toolkit of ideas that can be used to take apart and examine almost any legal issue."

--Oona A. Hathaway, Associate Professor of Law, Yale Law School