What is the difference between lawyers and the rest of us? There is no lawyer gene that makes some folks more argumentative, precise, or abrasive, than others. The distinctive professional characteristic of lawyers is a critical method of thinking and of argument that has a number of components. This article sets out these components, and thereby demystifies this method of thinking and argument.
This book is concerned with the techniques of argument—of persuasion—used by lawyers. The domain of these techniques is not limited to the legal system, but they were developed within the legal system, and they are used intensively within it.
One of my goals is to convince you that these techniques are logical and reasonable, even when they have a result that may seem counterintuitive or unjust. In order to see the power and utility of these techniques, it is necessary first to consider the legal system, and to understand why these techniques of thinking and argument make sense within that system.