The Art of Legal Reasoning | Professional Education Group

Lind 2015 v2

The Art of Legal Reasoning

Douglas Lind

The Art of Legal Reasoning is carefully designed to help you get the most out of your cases and your practice. Legal reasoning is applied logic. While your logical intuitions may well be strong enough to generally permit smooth navigation through webs of complex legal arguments without error, unfamiliarity with logic and argument limits your analytical oversight, making you vulnerable to committing or overlooking mistakes of reasoning that can affect the outcome of cases.

Douglas Lind recognizes that you have precious little time to study logic as an independent subject. This course provides short and concise descriptions of argument forms and logical fallacies (errors of reasoning) most relevant to legal practice. The principles of inductive and deductive reasoning Lind teaches apply equally to

  • trial work
  • contract drafting
  • adjudicative practice
  • any area of practice that calls itself “law.”

There are appeals to sentiment, provisions of self-interest, and “value-judgments” to be sure, but, as one appellate court stated:

“Every legal analysis should begin at the point of reason, continue along a path of logic and arrive at a fundamentally fair result.”

That is what Lind teaches in a fast-paced and information-packed day that his audiences love.

Program Outline & Schedule (6 hours including 1 ethics hour)

[Part I: 90 minutes]

Introduction to Argument Types

  • Basic Logic Terms and Concepts
  • Basic Argument Types
  • Distinguishing Deductive from Inductive Arguments
  • Basic Aspects of Inductive Reasoning

Analogy Inductive Generalization

  • Basic Aspects of Deductive Reasoning
  • Three Types of Deductive Arguments: Categorical Syllogisms, Hypothetical Syllogisms and Disjunctive Syllogisms

[15 minute break]

[Part II: 90 minutes]

Deductive Logic: Categorical Syllogisms

  • Categorical Propositions
  • Categorical Syllogisms: Standard Form
  • Determining Validity
    • Validity Concerns Form
    • Logical Analogies
    • Formal Analysis
  • Rules and Fallacies
  • Problem Set on Categorical Syllogisms


[Part III: 90 minutes]

Deductive Logic: Hypothetical & Disjunctive Syllogisms

  • Hypothetical Syllogisms
    • Pure and Mixed Hypothetical Syllogisms
    • Fallacies in Hypothetical Syllogisms
  • Disjunctive Syllogisms
    • Two Moods of Disjunctive Syllogisms
    • Fallacies in Disjunctive Syllogisms
  • Problem Set on Hypothetical and Disjunctive Syllogisms

[15 minute break]

[Part IV: 90 minutes]

Cases Illustrating Deductive Syllogisms & Inductive Reasoning

  • Detailed Analysis of a Series of Judicial Decisions
  • Logical Composition of the Arguments in the Illustrated Cases
  • Examples of Judicial Decisions Containing Sophisticated Logic and Analyses


Unconditional Guarantee
If you are not convinced that your understanding of the course topic has
improved after completion of any
P.E.G.® seminar, we will refund your course tuition.