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 book 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. I know you want to get to the arguments, but bear with me. I will make this
brief, and the material presented in this chapter will serve as important context and preparation
for acquiring the skills of analysis and argument presented afterwards. win every argument