The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
With the fall semester just a few weeks away, I thought I would again link to my short article for new law students, How to Read a Legal Opinion. It's available free for download, and it's a pretty quick read.
I've been delighted to hear that a lot of schools and professors assign this to incoming law students. The article is published with a Creative Commons license, so no one needs permission to copy it for educational purposes.
I have also heard from some critical readers that everything in the article is obvious and that anyone who starts law school should know everything in it already. I doubt that. I remember being incredibly clueless when I started law school, and I suspect a lot of other people were in the same boat. In any event, everyone has to start somewhere. This article offers a place to start if you know nothing about how to read a legal decision.