Legal realism was arguably the most important jurisprudential movement of the twentieth century. Iconoclastic at its core, it defined itself in opposition to the legal formalism that had dominated American legal thought for much of the preceding century. The academics who led or were otherwise associated with the movement sought to challenge conventional understandings of legal analysis and judicial decision making-in particular, the idea that the law comprised a closed universe of scientifically-deductible principles that judges only need discover and apply.
Curtis, Marcus J.
"Realism Revisited: Reaffirming the Centrality of the New Deal in Realist Jurisprudence,"
Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities: Vol. 27
, Article 4.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yjlh/vol27/iss1/4