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3.8 out of 5 stars
Before the Law: An Introduction to the Legal Process
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
I first read this book as a freshman at the University of Massachusetts over a decade ago. I still have it on my bookshelf. What the writers have done, all proffesors at UMass, is to aggregate numerous sources of content some legal, some on the fringes which are made to be legal oriented in context, to offer an anti clinical and humanisitic approach to the study of law. The focus is to offer the reader/student a different perspective on law and its impact and effect on society. I would imagine that reading the text alone may be a less than gratifying experience, but coupled with intellectual discussion it can be a tremendously powerful tool. The text is required reading for all UMass Legal Studies majors, and offers a wonderful foundation for moving forward within the study of law with a unique point of view.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is no doubt an excellent collection. Obviously, a lot of thought has gone into the selecting of the numerous reading. I've used it as companion to my course on sociology of law. It proved, however, a little too complex for undergraduates. I still believe it would be very useful for graduate courses, in particular the notes and questions accompanying the readings. My main objection is the clearly leftist (or anarchical ?) bias the reader rather rapidly detects. I am not questioning the right of the editors to promote their point of view. But I believe their sympathies should have been stated to start with. Textbooks need not be neutral; their leanings, however, should not be hidden behind pretended scientific or academic objectivity. It is somewhat annoying to have to warn students. The above does not mean that I will never assign the book again. But it is my considered opinion that the higher level of critical ability of graduate students is more appropriate to confront the propaganda aspect of this text.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 19, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I like this book so far, and I'm reading it as a companion to my (undergrad) internship at a law firm. It has a broad overview of several areas of the law, but some chapters seem overly specific for a general survey. It has case summaries, interviews, excerpts from other books and essays written in the area, and commentary. It also addresses intersections of the field in sections like like "Law and Power." I would recommend it, but it's definitely a textbook and written that way.
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on January 9, 2009
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This diverse collection of cases, parables, description of procedure and references demonstrates the broad range, politik, and capriciousness of THE LAW. Its offerings include the evolution of women being able to sue their husbands; marijuana decriminalization; gun control; free speech; gay marriage and more! The extensive references include literary and online. And it's a very readable read too!
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on October 22, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Excellent book! Rather than citing different academic papers, he just compiles the papers themselves and weaves them as sections of the chapter. The book is brilliant, it bestows one with historical perspectives, case history, and gives great insight into the challenges lawyers of all walks of life face.
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Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
The book was pretty well used and wrote in prior to my rental. Water damage, torn pages but cheap none the less. Return wasn't easy since you have to mail it back through the USPS. You can't use anything labeled Priority or Express by UPPS. Head to the dollar store for a bubble envelope to return book.
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on April 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
I used this book for an upper division law course I took in 2011. Has a moral-philosophic type feel to it with many examples of the US's history in law and its workings.
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on January 2, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I had to tape the book binding back together twice and I didn't regularly use the book. Very worn and pages with rips and bent cover. Served its purpose
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on November 24, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This text is very informative and provides some great background when it comes to the history of law and the legal profession.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 25, 2015
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
poor construction. The pages are so poorly printed you can hardly read them. the glue from the binding is on the pages and causes them to tear after you turn the pages... rip-off for a book costing almost 100 bucks.
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