That bane of my personal time planning, Wikipedia, is especially prone to get me in its clutches of fascinated clicking whenever I run across a legal topic. I learn all sorts of stuff I didn’t know about torts, contract law, constitutional law, the history of law . . . and lately I find myself intrigued by reading actual cases–police reports, trial info, appellate and Supreme Court decisions.*
Have any other non-lawyers developed a similar interest (esp. like me, in mid life)?
A pastime doesn’t necessarily have a point, I know, but can there be a point to my learning all this stuff? Anything I can, well, do with it?
*ETA: I also find myself reading all the way through software license agreements.
Some non-legal careers where it’s helpful to have knowledge of various laws are HR, purchasing, and political activism.
The guy’s voice is a little annoying, but you might enjoy this audiobook
The American Legal Experience - http://www.amazon.com/The-American-Legal-Experience/dp/1402557868
Constitutional law, yes. I didn’t go to law school. But, I spent most of my time hanging out with people on my college’s law review. I’ve read casebooks cover to cover.
Heck, I may still go to law school one day.
I think so. The problem arises when you take the next step and think you can be a lawyer. Go to your local traffic court some day for a few hours of entertainment, when some guy who thinks he is F. Lee Bailey tries to get out of a speeding ticket…
Oh, I know that I’m not going to be a lawyer. I’m just interested in reading about it.
I have no legal education (though my father and grandfather were lawyers and some of it probably rubbed off on me.) I do find myself reading the occasional Supreme Court decision on topics of interest (technology issues, intellectual property, Constitutional stuff, etc.) I also think I have a pretty good knowledge of Constitutional issues and the workings of the federal government for a non-lawyer (largely thanks to this board and Wikipedia.)
I do follow certain cases in the news, without necessarily reading all the minutia. For example, I was fascinated by all the arguments and decisions in the recent FLDS cases, but stuck to reading detailed news accounts rather than the actual arguments and decisions. Same with the Hans Reiser murder trial, but that spectacle is fascinating for a whole host of reasons.
Yeah. I took a course in “practical law” way way back in HS, and then all the courses I could take as an undergrad. I planned to go to law school, but I educated myself out of the attraction. I still follow legal issues as closely as I can through the media – which isn’t very closely.