Jethro K. Lieberman

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Jumpstart Constitutional Law

Wolters Kluwer Law & Business, 2013, 176pp.

For students studying constitutional law, this book explains, in language easy to grasp, what the subject is about and how to learn it. Read it before beginning the course, or in the early weeks: it will help you mentally organize what you're studying.

From pp. 1 - 2


The basic subject of most first-year law school courses is easy enough to grasp, but for too many students constitutional law seems different and much more difficult to pin down. The Constitution contains a hodge-podge of commands, permissions, and restraints, often only obliquely connected.
      Unlike such first-year staples as torts and contracts, in which the factual settings are relatively stable and, in many ways, repetitive, the cases that arise under the Constitution spring from a vast array of activities having little or no apparent common thread. . . .
      The range of legal issues encompassed by the Constitution is large indeed. If you think about the Constitution simply as a grab bag of unrelated provisions, the study of constitutional law may well confuse and exasperate you. You may ask, in the midst of that confusion and exasperation, why you are being forced to study the subject. . . . The reasons for studying constitutional law are straightforward. Constitutional questions lurk in almost every field of law and legal practice. . . . [And] in fact, constitutional law does have important unifying principles. If you grasp these, you will be well on your way toward mastering the subject as a whole without feeling overwhelmed by the number of seemingly discrete and unrelated topics.

Selected Works

New
A retort to friends who thought it was time to thin out the bookshelves.
A critique of hypotheticals as a tool for judging the thought of others.
For students studying constitutional law: what it's about, how to learn it, in language easy to grasp.
Political Theory, Government
Resuscitates liberalism as a practical political doctrine.
Writing
On writing clear, readable, and persuasive prose. 3d edition published January 2016
An article on the sins of scholarly writing — and a video to boot.
Constitutional Law
The meaning of the Constitution, and how it has changed over time, on the eve of its bicentennial.
Law and Society
The first book to seek the underlying causes for, and consequences of, America’s growing urge to sue.
A searching look at the moral disarray of the post-Watergate lawyers' code of ethics.
Fiction
Terrorists take over the United Nations and commit a series of atrocities to free their imprisoned soldiers. An Israeli agent to the rescue. Sounds familiar, but this appeared in 1978, before some of the things imagined had ever played out.
Miscellany
Edited anthologies.
Articles in the popular press, pamphlets, and more.