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About the Book

Synthesis: Legal Reading, Reasoning, and Writing

Front Cover - Synthesis: Legal Reading, Reasoning, and Writing

Fourth Edition

Deborah A. Schmedemann, William Mitchell College of Law 
Christina L. Kunz, William Mitchell College of Law

2012.  640 pages.  ISBN: 978-1-4548-0865-7.

With Teacher’s Manual.

About the Book

Synthesis employs a successful step-by-step approach to effective legal reasoning and writing skills, teaching students how to think like a lawyer: how to read the law, how to reason a client’s situation, and how to write about the case in different legal forms. One solid case file—the HomeElderCare case involving the unauthorized practice of law—is used to demonstrate how to carefully analyze a case from the initial client interview through appellate argument. Maintaining a pedagogy designed to teach students in a variety of ways, the text  incorporates numerous charts and diagrams for visual learners. Exercises—based on tort law issues that are particularly accessible to first-year students—provide opportunities for active application of skills. Also included is complete coverage of memo and brief writing. Synthesis is accompanied by a Teacher’s Manual that contains additional exercises based on different areas of the first-year curriculum, suggestions for how to most effectively use the book, and sample syllabi.

Hallmark features of Synthesis: Legal Reading, Reasoning, and Writing

  • Utilizes a step-by-step approach 
  • guides students through effective legal reasoning and writing tactics 
  • Teaches how to think like a lawyer
  • how to read the law 
  • how to reason a client’s situation
  • how to write about the situation in different legal forms 
  • Uses one case file
  • the HomeElderCare case involving the unauthorized practice of law
  • demonstrates how to carefully analyze a case from the initial client interview through appellate argument 
  • Maintains a pedagogy designed to teach in different ways, with numerous charts and diagrams for visual learners 
  • Employs vigorous exercises 
  • based on tort law issues particularly accessible to first-year students
  • provides opportunities for active application of skills 
  • Includes a Teacher’s Manual 
  • additional exercises based on different areas of the first-year curriculum
  • suggestions for effectively using the book
  • sample syllabi
  • Offers complete coverage of memo and brief writing