This chapter aims to survey contemporary usage of “legitimacy” and “legitimation;” to appraise methods for identifying them in order to determine whether either exists in measurable form; to evaluate some unfortunate effects of overuse of the concepts in studies of law. None adduced the slightest empirical evidence for the existence of the supposed effect on public belief called legitimation. Anthropologists of law do not assume as a working proposition that, as legitimation theory would have it, there is any tendency for popular behavior or belief to reflect legal norms as such, at least without considerable force of sanctions. Under a considerably weaker version of legitimation theory, there is no necessary propensity on the part of the population to adhere to the norms of the legal system just because they have been promulgated properly. Legitimation may offer an attractive way of discussing the sociological effects of law without addressing its substantive moral content.