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Legal realism
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Legal realism

Legal realism is a family of theories about the nature of law, usually associated with the United States (American Legal Realism) and Scandinavia (The Scandinavian Realists). Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. is sometimes considered the most important precursor of American legal realism. Among the important realists were Jerome Frank, Karl Llewellyn, and Roscoe Pound. No single set of beliefs was shared by all legal realists, but many of the realists shared some of the following ideas: The legal realist movement was in its heyday in the 1920s through the 1940s, but as its leading figures retired or became less active, it gradually faded. In contemporary legal theory, there are many groups that claim to be heirs to legal realism, including the critical legal studies movement and the law and economics school.

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