Whatever your background, if you seek an understanding of the legal system of the United States, this is the book for you. American Law in a Global Context is an elegant and erudite introduction to the American legal system from a global perspective. It covers the law and lawyering tools taught in the first year of law school, explaining the underlying concepts and techniques of the common law used in U.S. legal practice. The ideas central to the development and practice of American law, as well as constitutional law, contracts, property, criminal law, and courtroom procedure, are all presented in their historical and intellectual contexts, accessible to the novice but with insight that will inform the expert. Actual cases illuminate each major subject, engaging readers in the legal process and the arguments between real people that make American law an ever-evolving system. George P. Fletcher and Steve Sheppard's exciting approach contrasts the American legal system with other legal systems, especially those of continental Europe. This comparison illuminates the core concepts of US law, making them easily understandable to readers from other systems, and offering a unique perspective on American law as part of global network of laws. Designed to help the foreign student grasp the basic ideas of pedagogy, legal institutions, and substantive law in the US, appendices include an introduction to the common law method, instruction on how to read a case, and the interpretation of statutes. Based on the course for lawyers from across the globe studying American law at Columbia University, this cutting edge volume makes the basics of American legal education accessible to students and the public worldwide. A must-own reference source for LLM students, undergraduates, and students of US law in other countries.