The Brooklyn Law School Library New Books List for September is out with 32 print titles and 9 eBook titles. One of the items is Beyond Legal Reasoning: A Critique of Pure Lawyering (Call No. K212 .L57 2017) by Professor Jeffrey Lipshaw of Suffolk University Law School. In the book, the author addresses the concept of learning to “think like a lawyer,” one of the corners of legal education in the US and beyond. In his book, Professor Lipshaw provides a critique of the traditional views of “thinking like a lawyer” or “pure lawyering,” aimed at lawyers, law professors, and students who want to understand lawyering beyond the traditional warrior metaphor. Drawing examples from the intersection of real world law and business issues, the book argues the “pure lawyering” of traditional legal education is agnostic to either truth or moral value of outcomes. It offers a critique of pure lawyering’s potential both for illusions of certainty and cynical instrumentalism, and the consequences of both when lawyers are called on as dealmakers, policymakers, and counsellors.
This book offers a way of getting beyond merely how to think like a lawyer. It combines legal theory, philosophy of knowledge, and doctrine with an appreciation of real-life judgment calls that multi-disciplinary lawyers are called upon to make. The book is of interest to scholars of legal education, legal language, and reasoning as well as professors who teach both doctrine and thinking and writing skills to 1Ls and for anyone interested in seeking a perspective on “thinking like a lawyer” beyond the litigation field. Law students considering a career in transactional law are well advised to read it right away. Law students should read the book after the 1L year. Lawyers and academics should read it at any time, and judges right away.