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About Linda L. Berger
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Examples & Explanations: Legal Research is designed to meet the needs of law students who have come to expect that they will instantly receive answers to their questions. Rather than cataloging sources or outlining processes, this text starts where today’s law students are when they realize they have a research problem. By that time, their research problem is not locating sources, but knowing what to do with them.
The Legal Research E & E guides students through examples and explanations of the kinds of sources they’ve found, using the context of interesting and entertaining real-world problems. The text helps students determine which sources are the most useful for the current project and which not; it leads students to understand how one source affects and relates to the others; and—equally important—it shows students how to write about the sources they have found.
Because this book covers the kinds of research projects faced not only by beginning law students but also by advanced students and even new lawyers, its value to its readers is long-lasting. Even experienced researchers will learn more about working with the difficult, as well as the easy, research questions that today are addressed by an array of sources.
This book develops a central theme: legal persuasion results from making and breaking mental connections. This concept of making connections inspired the authors to take a rhetorical approach to the science of legal persuasion. That singular approach resulted in the integration of research from cognitive science with classical and contemporary rhetorical theory, and the application of these two disciplines to the real-life practice of persuasion. The combination of rhetorical analysis and cognitive science yields a new way of seeing and understanding legal persuasion, one that promises theoretical and practical gains. The work has three main functions. First, it brings together the leading models of persuasion from cognitive science and rhetorical theory, blurring boundaries and leveraging connections between the often-separate spheres of science and rhetoric. Second, it illustrates this persuasive synthesis by working through concrete examples of persuasion, demonstrating how to apply this new approach to the taking apart and the putting together of effective legal arguments. In this way, the book demonstrates the advantages of a deeper and more nuanced understanding of persuasion. Third, the volume assesses and explains why, how, and when certain persuasive methods and techniques are more effective than others. The book is designed to appeal to scholars in law, rhetoric, persuasion science, and psychology; to students learning the practice of law; and to judges and practicing lawyers who engage in persuasion.