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Study of Law: A Critical Thinking Approach, Fifth Edition

  • Katherine A. Currier
  • Thomas E. Eimermann
  • Marisa S. Campbell
Series / Aspen Paralegal Series
Teaching Materials
Table of contents

Proven effective in the classroom, The Study of Law: A Critical Thinking Approach, now in its Fifth Edition, brings real-world perspective to understanding basic legal concepts and the mechanics of the American legal system. The authors’ acclaimed critical thinking approach actively engages students in the process of legal reading, analysis, and critical thinking. The text offers a thorough introduction to core topics and concepts, including sources and classifications of law, the structure of the court system, civil litigation and its alternatives, analyzing and interpreting the law, and substantive law.

New to the Fifth Edition:

  • Streamlined with the student in mind. For example, an enhanced explanation of how to brief a case in Chapter 1 (Introduction to the Study of Law), and a clearer discussion of executive orders and memoranda in Chapter 2 (Functions and Sources of Law).
  • Chapter 5 on Civil Litigation and Its Alternatives is edited to focus on the key topics.
  • Updated throughout, including:
    • Chapter 6 (Constitutional Law): Packingham v. North Carolina regardingFirst Amendment rights as they relate to the internet; Masterpiece Cakeshop Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, addressing the balancing act between giving states the right to legislate for the general public good and the individual right to express religious beliefs; American Legion v. American Humanist Association with examples of how the Supreme Court applies the Lemon test; and an enhanced discussion of the internet and the U.S. Constitution.
    • Chapter 7 (Torts): Contemporary torts related to the #MeToo movement, cyberbullying, and cybertorts.
    • Chapter 9 (Property and Estate Law): Matal v. Tam and expanded discussion of cases related to the Lanham Act.
    • Chapter 10 (Laws Affecting Business): New coverage of public benefit corporations and the Family Medical Leave Act.
    • Chapter 11 (Family Law): expanded discussion of Obergefell v. Hodges; Terrell v. Torres; and new discussion of DNA testing and its impacts on family law.
    • Chapter 12 (Criminal Law): Commonwealth v. Carter
    • Chapter 13 (Criminal Procedure): Mitchell v. Wisconsin regarding blood testing without a warrant; Carpenter v. U.S. regarding use of cell-site locations without a search warrant
  • New co-author, Marisa Campbell, brings her extensive teaching experience to the book.

Professors and students will benefit from:

  • Critical thinking approach introduces students to the study of law, encouraging them to interact with the materials through hypothetical scenarios and exercises, realistic examples, discussion questions and legal reasoning exercises.
  • Strong pedagogy reinforces well-written text presented in an accessible and well-organized format.
  • Edited cases in every chapter teach students how to read and analyze the law.
  • Thorough introduction to substantive law, with chapters on torts, contracts, property and estate law, business law, family law, and criminal law and procedure, and professional responsibility and ethics.
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About the authors
Katherine A. Currier
Elms College

Katherine A. Currier, J.D., served as the Elms College Paralegal and Legal Studies program director for many years. Currently, she coordinates the Department of Criminal Justice and Legal Studies. She has developed and taught many lawrelated courses, including Legal Reasoning, Research, and Writing; Introduction to Legal Studies I and II; Law Office Computer Literacy; Law Office Applications; Interviewing, Counseling, and Negotiating; and Law and Literature. In addition to the three texts she has coauthored with Professor Eimermann, Professor Currier has publications in the areas of legal ethics as applied to paralegals and law office computing. Professor Currier is actively involved in the development of undergraduate legal education at both the regional and the national levels, particularly through her work with the American Association for Paralegal Education (AAfPE) and the American Bar Association (ABA) Approval Commission on Paralegals. Professor Currier has served on the national board of AAfPE, first as its parliamentarian and then later as the elected representative of four-year paralegal programs. She served many years as the AAfPE publications chair, charged with the final responsibility for overseeing the Journal of Paralegal Education and Practice and The Educator. Professor Currier frequently speaks at both the AAfPE Northeast regional meetings and the annual AAfPE conferences on topics as diverse as the use of computer shareware, paralegals and the unauthorized practice of law, creative teaching techniques, and conducting legal research on the Internet. Professor Currier also chaired the American Bar Association Approval Commission on Paralegals, the body charged with conducting site visits of paralegal programs that are seeking their initial ABA approval or reapproval. She has also served on the Board of Directors of the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE), an organization dedicated to promoting excellence in business education. Prior to teaching at Elms College, Professor Currier taught at Suffolk Law School and Western New England College School of Law. She graduated magna cum laude with her B.A. in Political Science from Carelton College, with her M.A. in Political Philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley, and with her J.D. from Northeastern University Law School.

Thomas E. Eimermann
Emeritus Professor
Illinois State University

Thomas E. Eimermann is an Emeritus Professor of Political Science at Illinois State University where he started their paralegal program in 1976 and served as its Director until 2004. During those years he taught the Introduction to Paralegal Studies and the Legal Research and Writing courses as well as constitutional law and administrative law. Professor Eimermann was a member of the American Association for Paralegal Educationrsquo;s Board of Directors from 1986ndash;1993 and served as president of that organization in 1991ndash;1992. He has also served in the Certification Board and Specialty Task Force of the National Association of Legal Assistants; as a member of the Illinois State Bar Association Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services; and as a member of the Hearing Board, the Inquiry Board, and the Oversight Committee of the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission. As a consultant for the Illinois Department of Corrections, he designed their Uniform Law Clerk Training Program. In addition to the three paralegal texts he has coauthored with Professor Currier, Professor Eimermannrsquo;s publications also include Fundamentals of Paralegalism, Fundamentals of Criminal Practice: Law and Procedure (coauthored with Thomas McClure), and journal articles on paralegals, jury behavior, and free speech issues. He earned his B.A. in Political Science at North Central College. He went on to receive an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Illinois-UrbanaChampaign campus. Professors Currier and Eimermann have also authored Introduction to Paralegal Studies: A Critical Thinking Approach, and The Study of Law: A Critical Thinking Approach.

Marisa S. Campbell
Program Director, Paralegal Progam
Meredith College School of Business

& bMarisa S. Campbellb, J.D., has served as the program director for the Meredith College Paralegal Program since 2000 and has taught the Legal Survey and Legal Research and Writing courses. In addition, she has taught Constitutional Law in the Political Science department and business law classes in both the undergraduate and MBA programs. She taught international law students introduction to American law and culture in the Summer Institute at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. She has spoken on a number of topics, nationally and regionally, including paralegal regulation, ethics, profes­sionalism, and assessment. Ms. Campbell served as President of the American Association for Paralegal Education (AAfPE) from 2007 to 2008 after serving as South East Regional Representative. She served on the American Bar Association Approval Commission on Paralegals from 2009 to 2010. She has served on the North Carolina State Board of Continuing Legal Education. From 2001 to 2004, she served on the Board of the Alliance for Paralegal Professional Standards and on a joint committee with the North Carolina State Bar to develop the North Carolina paralegal certification standards. She served on the inaugural North Carolina State Bar Board of Paralegal Certification from 2004 to 2010. She served as a member of the North Carolina Bar Association CLE Committee, as Chair of that Committee from 2014 to 2016; as a member of the Publication Committee; as a member of the Law Office Management and Technology Section Council; and as a member of the Membership Committee. In 2013, she was awarded the Women of Justice Award for North Carolina Lawyers Weekly in the Legal Scholars Award category. In addition to this text, she coauthored the iNorth Carolina State Bar Paralegal Certification Exam Guide iin 2013 as well as numerous articles and manuscripts. She graduated with Honors in Political Science and Honors in Studies in Religion from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She earned her Master in International Affairs from Columbia University and her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.

Product Information
Fifth Edition
Publication date
Introduction to Law
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