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A Law Dictionary For All Seasons

by | Feb 25, 2011 | Archived Material, February 2011

Legal definitions are a fun thing.  Depending on the version of the same dictionary, two words can take on completely different meanings.  The most famous, and therefore most used, legal dictionary in the United States and Great Britain (and for that matter, the English speaking world) is Black’s.  You’ll hear it mentioned in nearly every legal brief and it’s on the tip of every patriot tongue.  Sadly, many of you lack a copy.  This is understandable.  They’re expensive.  I own a physical copy of the 6th edition, but would love to own a 1st edition (that’s a hint for those of you who are inclined to send gifts).

The Right of Self-Determination depends on our collective grasp of terms used in law, and as such, we’ve endeavored to provide our users with the means to obtain that grasp.  Provided below are digital copies of Black’s Law Dictionary (1st through 9th editions), and a copy of the 6th edition of John Bouvier’s Law Dictionary.  Remember that these books were the most prevalent books in the colonies (law books and dictionaries in general), even more prevalent than the Bible (shoots the notion that the US was founded on the principle of religious freedom in the foot, doesn’t it?).

The older versions are scanned PDF’s (essentially JPG images embedded in the PDF pages), so they’re large.  The newer ones are proper PDF’s, and are searchable.  As time progresses, articles written here will require you to research these dictionaries for words contained within them.  If you see a reference to a version of Black’s following a word, you know what to do.

These books alone are worth the price of admission to the site for a year.  Check out the prices for the copies in our store below as well as Ebay for digital copies.

There is a directory in most of the folders (after they are unzipped) called “_MACOSX.”  Feel free to delete it.  Enjoy.

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