Ideal for courses in constitutional law, judicial process and politics, or law and society, The Craft of Legal Reasoning prepares students for case analysis and debate through systematic instruction in legal language and the legal method. Learning the complex sentence structure of the law can be daunting to undergraduates. With its clear, conversational writing style, Porto offers a shirt-sleeves approach to legal terminology and reasoning that students will appreciate. Features: * The author's clear and engaging writing style helps make the content accessible to a wide range of students. * Numerous case examples of the legal method in operation allow students to learn the legal method prior to reading cases on their own. * An illustrative case and set of discussion questions conclude each chapter. * Analysis of the components of legal reasoning as a combination of rules and discretion demonstrates that the law is neither fixed and immutable nor an exercise in unfettered discretion. * Analysis of techniques of statutory and constitutional interpretation illustrates competing schools of judicial thought about legislative history. * Comparison of common law and civil law traditions shows the unique roots of American law and the values that continue to shape it. * A discussion of legal reasoning in the administrative context demonstrates how much law regulatory agencies make and how regulatory issues become legal disputes. * Three helpful appendices explain the structure and jurisdiction of state and federal courts, list the federal apellate circuits, and explain how and where to find the legal sources cited in the book.