Broad Overview of the American Legal System:

A reader writes:

What one book would you recommend that gives a broad overview of the American legal system? Even if I don't go to law school, I need the background just to get a better understanding of public policy.

It's a great question, but I don't know the answer (nor do I know whether such a book exists or even can exist). If you have a recommendation, please post it in the comments, which I'm enabling for this post.

Note, though, that my correspondent and I are looking for a clear, objective description of the legal system as it is. We're not looking for condemnation or praise of the system, or descriptions of the system as it ought to be -- those can be great, but they aren't the subjects of this particular question.