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Law 101: Everything You Need to Know about the American Legal System
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Law 101: Everything You Need to Know about the American Legal System

3.75  ·  Rating Details  ·  494 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
Most of us know very little about the law. We pick up bits of information at random, from Court TV, from news accounts of current legal battles, from bestselling novels and popular movies. But these pieces do not really help us fill in the picture. In this book, the author offers an introduction to law, covering the main subjects found in the first year of law school and g ...more
Hardcover, 353 pages
Published March 30th 2000 by Oxford University Press, USA
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(showing 1-30 of 1,391)
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Sharon
Nov 10, 2014 Sharon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Law 101, by Jay Feinman, is a practical and indispensable guide for general readers. The book enables citizens who are not lawyers to understand the basics of U.S. federal and state Constitutional law, our criminal and civil justice system, and other aspects of our judicial system that impact our lives, directly and indirectly. By providing the historical context for the U.S. legislative, executive, and judicial system, the author helps readers understand the increasingly complex and controversi ...more
Erik
Nov 27, 2009 Erik rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As an introductory text to the American justice system, Feinman’s 2000 book has no equal – at least this far into my preliminary research as I gear myself up for law school in less than two years’ time. Not only is he judicious in his explanations, but he also doesn’t shy away from the more complicated theoretical matters upon which our fundamental rights are based. For example, when he discusses the nuances of how our First Amendment rights have been interpreted over the course of two centuries ...more
Cornelio
Aug 27, 2009 Cornelio rated it really liked it
Maybe I should go to law school.

This book read like a page turner, which either means the author did a good job, or that it's a subject I love. In this case, definitely both. Feinman structures this book to be a good one volume intro to law, covering the major topics that a 1st year law student would tackle. His explanations and good historical examples make law less some abstract, technical, unfeeling entity, and reveal its imperfect humanness, beauty and warts and in between.
Jacob Kuckkahn-Maybe?
Personal Response: I really wanted to read an exciting book about law ,and it's enforcement; However, I found this book relatively boring. It consistently used and reused subjects that the book has already listed to create more content in a book that should really be a textbook for law schools. However, as much as it is boring, it does have a bit of humor and sarcasm that is easily identifiable; As far as my understanding goes that makes Law 101 a lot more enjoyable than reading a sectioned book ...more
Keith
Apr 29, 2010 Keith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I finished reading this book last month and it was a very compelling read, if a bit dry. Understanding the U.S. legal system is increasingly important as we look at what new policies our state and federal governments are enacting, and to avoid responding out of rhetoric instead of a factual knowledge about the law.

While this book will certainly not make anyone a lawyer, it does provide a fairly solid foundation of the various components of law and it's application. As such, it makes for an educa
...more
Stuart Woolf
3.5 stars.

I've only read about two-thirds of this book, specifically the chapters on constitutional law, contract law, torts, and property law. I may go back to read the chapters on civic and criminal procedure, but they do not interest me to the same degree.

What can I say? If you know little to nothing about law, this book has a plenty to teach you, and I would recommend it as a general reference text. It doesn't go too deeply into details, but given the subject matter, this is probably a good
...more
Kim
Apr 12, 2012 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: made-me-think
This book shouldn't have taken me a month to read. It was engaging, interesting and insightful. However, I was so intent on absorbing every piece of information and memorising every legal term (I failed utterly) that I would put the book down whenever my concentration slipped a bit (which was almost all the time). On the whole, this book's catch is that it makes the subject of law really, really the opposite of boring. And that's a really big deal.
Dayla
Throughout the twentieth century, contract, property, and personal injury law evolved to take more account of social conditions and the needs of consumers, workers, and less powerful members of American society. Contracts were interpreted in light of common sense, property ownership was subjected to reasonable-use provisions to protect the environment, and consumers were protected against dangerous products.

The author discusses all three types of law mentioned above, in addition to criminal and
...more
Josh
Jan 15, 2016 Josh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting introduction to topics one would encounter in the first yeah of law school.
Chris Burd
I honestly had few expectations of this book, purchasing the audio book when it was part of a sale at Audible.com.

It was an enjoyable listen - and I came away with a stronger foundation of knowledge of key concepts and key terms. I'm a bit of a geek, so I'm not sure that it is a particularly "fun and engaging" book for a typical person, but if you are interested in a general basis in law, it's worth the time.
Jose Guzman
Aug 01, 2015 Jose Guzman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Delivers what it promises. As a foreign lawyer, my knowledge of the common law system in general and American law in particular was very poor. This book gives an accurate introduction and insight on the law and its intricacies, providing good basis for understanding how lawyers, judges and lawmakers reason and make decisions.
Alex Timberman
Jan 04, 2016 Alex Timberman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: legal
Here is an excellent review over the American legal system. I listened to it (instead of reading it) in preparing me to teach civil procedure to Korean law students. This book was a refreshing review over many legal topics familiar to American law students. Professor Feinman is a master of the law and knows how to explain the law in a simple and clear way.
William
Feb 22, 2016 William rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great introductory book on the basics of the American legal system, including constitutional law, torts, contracts, property, civil procedure, criminal law, and criminal procedure. The legal system in the United States is incredibly complex, being a combination of precedents, common law, statutes, and constitutions at both federal and state levels, yet this book manages to do a coherent summary at a reasonable length.
Laura
Apr 28, 2015 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I know next to nothing about law, and this is really helping me; for those who never went to law school we can connect and commiserate with how the minds of the lawyers and students of law have been working over the years.
Abdelhamid Abdou
May 14, 2014 Abdelhamid Abdou rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book because it provides a good overview of the law. The author does a good job in explaining the different areas of the law. It is important to know that there are different opinions on some of the subjects in the book such as constitutional interpretation and tort law. The author outlines the different opinions but clearly he has his own biases so it is important to think after each chapter about these issues and formulate opinion about them. One example is how much freedom should ...more
Terrance
Dec 22, 2008 Terrance rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good as a review or a preview before going to law school. Will give you insight regarding laws and procedures. If you don't know anything about the world of law, this book may be confusing. Good if you sit down and read it, and try to understand what the author is saying (who is clearly very knowledgeable of the nuances of law; he is a law professor). This book will only teach you the theories behind (basic) laws, criminal, civil, contract, business. Doesn't go over the real fundamentals of law, ...more
Lisa Salinas
Jun 25, 2015 Lisa Salinas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to the audio version. Definitely want to listen again, and possibly read the print version too. Tons of info to absorb.
Mohamed
Jun 04, 2015 Mohamed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty informative!
Ryan
Aug 24, 2008 Ryan rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, law
This book was written as an introduction to the American legal system with ample references to the historical origins of many features we see today. I learned a lot about various aspects of the law from consitutional law to property & contract law to criminal law. This would probably be a good read for anyone considering entering the legal profession or for anyone who wants to gain a broader understanding of how the legal system works.
Mark Zodda
Sep 01, 2015 Mark Zodda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Easy to read and informative. Worthwhile read for those interested in the US legal system.
Will Pennell
Mar 15, 2016 Will Pennell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good layman's overview of concepts and significant cases--though I am not a lawyer and can't say for sure :)
Serenity
Apr 13, 2007 Serenity rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Law Students/ Everyone
The basic foundation of our legal system and the basic areas that you learn in your first year of law school.

It helps you categorize different legal problems that you face on a daily basis.

When people ask me what is it your learn in law school, I direct them to read this book to understand the basic principles.



mcat
Jan 01, 2011 mcat rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: law-legal
Another book I picked up right before 1L. I read the relevant portions as I was taking the classes and it's actually a well put together little book. Clearly written, the chapters are good birds-eye views of their respective areas of the law and something that will make you look at your world a little differently.
M. Patrick
This listen is a great primmer on the law. The author does an excellent job of explaining complex concepts in a simple understandable way. He also is very effective at maintaining the reader's/listener's interest throughout the presentation of a lot of new ideas.
James
Apr 16, 2011 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: law
Really great intro to the basics of American law for us non-law folks. Probably a good read for those thinking about a legal career of some kind, but also great for a general understanding of issues and cases that are in the headlines every day.
Eva
Jul 18, 2015 Eva rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this book. A nice overview of all(?) aspects of law, with some hypotheticals and case law to illustrate how it works (including some interesting contradictions and fuzzy situations). I might even read this a second time!
Jack
Aug 06, 2011 Jack rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: other
a good crash course to american law. instead of skimming over subjects with mindless summarizations, the author dives into the subjects with intelligent discourse on the rationales of practices and invites critical thought on law.
Ben
Feb 23, 2009 Ben rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fantastic book for all those who want to understand the law better. While the book's treatment is quite superficial for the law student, it provides the perfect balance of readability and technicality for the average reader.
Isaac
Jan 24, 2016 Isaac rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think everyone has a patchy picture of how the law works which we get from TV and the news, but I found it very satisfying to have the pieces arranged properly and the gaps filled.
Rachel
Aug 04, 2015 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: law-school
Romance! Intrigue! Plot twists! JK. Still, a good refresher for rising law students like me, or anyone interested in an accessible overview of the law.
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