The center of Legal Thinking: Analysis and Synthesis

Here is wherever I reveal the most mode of thinking sort of a attorney. Drum roll, please. we have a tendency to decision it “analysis and synthesis.” Lawyers break legal queries down into elements, or components, of a criminal offense or of a claim, then analyze every part individually. So, if the weather of the crime of murder embrace intent, causation, death, and lack of excuse, we have a tendency to analyze every of those elements individually then synthesize the analyses for an entire understanding.

It’s not rocket science, folks. however it will dissent from what could also be the layperson’s approach, that is to succeed in a conclusion less through the separate analysis of elements, however additional holistically or impressionistically. The common person may conclude “that’s murder” or “that’s theft” or “that’s fraud” within the sense of common expression, while not inquiring the analytical steps needed by law. behavioural scientists have confirmed that personalities, over we’d prefer to admit, reach conclusions 1st and analyze later. The legal discipline is enticing wherever it will slow things down and permit America to suppose analytically before reaching a conclusion.

This kind of analysis and synthesis is additionally the key of fine legal writing. within the 1st paragraph, or section, of your argument, break the crime or claim into elements: analyze the claim. In future paragraphs or chapters, examine every part individually to see whether or not it’s factually glad. Once you’re finished, it’s straightforward to “synthesize” or cross-check all the weather and see whether or not they comprise the crime or claim in question. this can be the last paragraph or chapter. Yes, it’s dry and stylistically sure, however its beauty is within the magnificence of its operate. smart legal writing, like different informative writing, ought to be parsimonious—including exactly what’s necessary to succeed in the conclusion, and zip additional.

All legal prohibitions or needs, as well as those in an exceedingly contract, take the logical type of “if-then” statements: if x, y, and z, then a. The initial analytical question merely asks “if what?” what’s enclosed within the “if” portion of the if-then statement? the solution is that those area unit the weather of the crime or claim, or of the written agreement obligation. So as to see “if what,” we have a tendency to merely scan the law or contract and confirm what conditions it specifies for the relevant legal consequences. Once we all know the weather, we all know what goes within the “if” portion. The law specifies the consequences: the “then” portion.

This analytical technique is repetitious and inductive—we don’t apprehend that potential “if-then” statements to consult till we have a tendency to see if a number of the “ifs” area unit glad. We glance at those “if-then” statements that area unit doubtless glad by the facts we have a tendency to at the start determine, then pursue associate degree analysis to visualize if they’re so absolutely glad.


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