With the understanding that reasonable scholars and critics may differ, it is nevertheless this article's contention that law schools today must still strive to teach the basic logical principles-and process-of legal reasoning. By analogy, a swimmer must learn at least a few basic strokes in order to survive in his new environment. The same is true with law students and legal reasoning. An elementary foundation in legal reasoning skills, limited though it may be, is still better than nothing at all-especially when the latter alternative offers only confusion and misunderstanding.

The purpose of this article is to discuss one such approach in teaching the principles and process of legal reasoning to first year students at the University of Richmond Law School. Although the author realizes that this is only one of many approaches to the subject in question, it is hoped that some of the fundamental assumptions within this discussion may serve as a catalyst for teaching legal reasoning techniques in other schools as well.

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