American Law in a Global Context: The Basics


American Law in a Global Context: The Basics



American Law in a Global Context is an elegant and erudite introduction to the American legal system from a global perspective. It covers the law and lawyering tools taught in the first year of law school, explaining the underlying concepts and techniques of the common law used in U.S. legal practice. The ideas central to the development and practice of American law, as well as constitutional law, contracts, property, criminal law, and courtroom procedure, are all presented in their historical and intellectual contexts, accessible to the novice but with insight that will inform the expert. Actual cases illuminate each major subject, engaging readers in the legal process and the arguments between real people that make American law an ever-evolving system.



Publication Date



Oxford University Press


New York, NY


"This book is essential reading for all 'thinking' students and lawyers, both inside and outside the United States, who want to understand the place of American law in the great legal traditions of the West. The authors brilliantly identify the central themes, develop them with comparative commentary, and make the most difficult issues accessible to the uninitiated."
The Honourable Claire L'Heureux Dubé (retired), Canadian Supreme Court

"American Law in a Global Context: The Basics is a uniquely comprehensive introduction to the American legal system. From common law to constitutional law, the book takes the reader through the building blocks and provides just the right amount of historical and theoretical context. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a crash-course in American public, private, and criminal law."
The Hon. Alex Kozinski

"American Law in a Global Context is an ideal introduction for LL.M.'s to the study of American law, as well as for United States undergraduates and foreign law students. It is lucidly organized, elegantly written, and exceedingly accurate in its details."
Daniel R. Coquillette, Director, Harvard Law School History Project

"American Law in a Global Context examines the foundations and evolution of common law in the United States, with an explicit focus on an audience not familiar with these aspects.... In conclusion, I believe this is a well-written volume that accomplishes its stated goal--to help familiarize readers with the American common law. It is a text that I will strongly encourage my students to read, if they wish to pursue a legal education."
The Law and Politics Book Review

"This book is particularly valuable in its use of legal materials from outside the United States as a way of introducing readers to United States law. The materials are consistently thought-provoking as well as informative."
Mark Tushnet, author of Comparative Constitutional Law

"A challenging case book for foreign lawyers. The case method, while frustrating at first to foreign students, will ultimately help them to build their skills in the common law method. ...Exposure to actual cases provides these students with a deeper understanding of how Americans approach law and also confers the benefit of enabling them to be more successful on law school exams, including the bar examination. Fletcher and Sheppard's work is an important contribution to pedagogy and to the resources available to those of us who teach U.S. law to students from abroad."
American Journal of Comparative Law


Also available as an eBook through the Columbia University Libraries.


American Politics | Comparative and Foreign Law | International Law | Jurisprudence | Law | Law and Philosophy | Law and Politics | Political Science


Center on Global Governance

American Law in a Global Context: The Basics

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