Book Talk Legal Realism and American Law

Event time: 
Tuesday, February 4, 2014 - 6:00pm
Room 121 Yale Law School See map
Event description: 

Meet the author, Justin Zaremby ’10 and listen to a conversation about his new book, Legal Realism and American Law.  In the first part of the 20th century, a new movement originating from the law schools of Yale and Columbia University offered interesting, if not disconcerting, views on the role of judges and the nature of the law in America. Called legal realism, it developed new methods and questions to describe how judges and the law function. To investigate the nature of legal reasoning, legal realists looked at the origins, developments, and interpretations of the law, seeking to understand what the law is, who makes it, and its purpose. They argued that adjudications are a subjective system based more on the political, social, and moral inclinations of Federal and State judges than on dogma. Today, this is apparent in debates surrounding rulings, appointments, and judicial activism. This thorough analysis discusses the context in which legal realism developed along with the work of key figures and helps situate today’s complex judicial politics in America. It will be of great interest to any student researching judicial politics and American constitutional development.