Legal Literacy
220 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:30 Nov 2014

Legal Literacy

An Introduction to Legal Studies

Athabasca University Press

To understand how the legal system works, students must consider thelaw in terms of its structures, processes, language, and modes ofthought and argument—in short, they must become literate in thefield. Legal Literacy fulfills this aim by providing afoundational understanding of key concepts such as legal personhood,jurisdiction, and precedent, and by introducing students to legalresearch and writing skills. Examples of cases, statutes, and otherlegal materials support these concepts.

While Legal Literacy is an introductory text, it alsochallenges students to consider critically the system they arestudying. Touching on significant socio-legal issues such as access tojustice, legal jargon, and plain language, Zariski critiques commonlegal traditions and practices, and analyzes what it means “tothink like a lawyer.” As such, the text provides a sound basisfor those who wish to pursue further studies in law or legal studies aswell as those seeking a better understanding of how the legal fieldrelates to the society that it serves.

A former litigator in Edmonton, Alberta, Archie Zariski has been
teaching law and legal studies since 1991, including classes on
mediation, alternative dispute resolution (ADR), evidence, and legal
literacy. He is co-editor of The Multi-Tasking Judge: Comparative
Judicial Dispute Resolution (
Thomson Reuters).


Chapter 1    Introduction

Chapter 2    Legal Literacyand Other Literacies: Examining the Concept and Objectives of LegalLiteracy

Chapter 3    LegalStructures: Structures of Law and Legal Institutions

Chapter 4    Legal Systems:Legal Systems—Linking Legal Institutions

Chapter 5    Legal Processesand Procedures: Planning and Procedures for Processes used by LegalInstitutions

Chapter 6    Legal Language:Examining Language in Legal Institutions

Chapter 7    Legal Research:Skills and Techniques for Researching Law

Chapter 8    LegalInterpretation: Skills and Techniques for Making Sense of Law

Chapter 9    LegalCommunication: Oral and Written Communicationto Achieve LegalObjectives

Notes / Glossary of Terms / Bibliography

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