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Your Brain and Law School
  • Marybeth Herald, Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Building on the latest scientific research, Professor Marybeth Herald's practical yet entertaining book, "Your Brain and Law School" (Carolina Academic Press, 2014), offers law students a formula for success in law school, on the bar exam, and as practicing attorneys. Mastering the law, either as a law student or in practice, becomes much easier if one has a working knowledge of the brain’s basic habits. Before you can learn to think like a lawyer, you have to have some idea about how the brain thinks.

The first part of this book (the Introduction to which is available for free download here) translates the technical research, explaining learning strategies that work for the brain in law school specifically, and calling out other tactics that are useless, explaining why they lead to dead ends. This book is unique in explaining the science behind the advice.

The second part of the book explores the brain’s decision-making processes and cognitive biases. These biases affect the ability to persuade, a necessary skill of a successful lawyer. The book explains the art and science of framing, the seductive lure of the confirmation and egocentric biases, and the egocentricity of the availability bias. This book uses easily recognizable examples from law, and life generally, to illustrate the potential of these biases to lead people to mistaken judgments. Understanding these biases is critical to becoming a successful attorney, proficient at fashioning arguments that appeal to the sometimes quirky processing of the human brain.

  • law school,
  • cognitive bias,
  • learning theory
Publication Date
Fall September 4, 2014
Carolina Academic Press
Citation Information
Marybeth Herald. Your Brain and Law School. 2014Durham, North Carolina(2014)
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