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Author Topic: Which law dictionary do you recommend?  (Read 2469 times)

jacy85

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Re: Which law dictionary do you recommend?
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2008, 08:22:13 AM »
I used mine several times throughout school, but a lot of that was for my journal comment (and I cited Black's a few times).

Although I gave advice to answer your question earlier, I'll add that I agree with others - you don't need one during school.  Westlaw has Black's online, and there's google.

I do think I'll be glad I have one for my office when I start work though, when westlaw access isn't free anymore, and when it can be just as fast (or faster) to just flip through the book then run a google search when you have terms that aren't as commonly defined as things you come across in 1L.

Dr. Balsenschaft

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Re: Which law dictionary do you recommend?
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2008, 09:03:35 AM »
Buy the  Black's Pocket Edition.  It's a small, paperback edition that you can buy for $20 from Amazon.  I used it a lot my 1L year when I was reading cases and came across a word I didn't understand.  I suppose I could have used Westlaw to look up the word, but the dictionary was just more convenient - Turning on my computer, getting online, signing into Weslaw, typing in the word, and then waiting for the definition is just too time-consuming when I'm trying to get through all that reading. Personal preference I guess.

vap

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Re: Which law dictionary do you recommend?
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2008, 09:22:46 AM »
Free on Westlaw = 'nuff said.

StrictlyLiable

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Re: Which law dictionary do you recommend?
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2008, 10:39:52 AM »
Half the things people recommend on here is not needed. I still get a kick out of all the "what type of laptop", "Should I take a LS prep course this summer", and "what note taking software are you gonna use" threads. The obsessivness and gullibility of incoming law students is totally comical.

philibusters

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Re: Which law dictionary do you recommend?
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2008, 11:49:49 AM »
Generally agree, though I could see having motives independent of law school for picking your laptop. 
2008 graduate of William and Mary Law School

nealric

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Re: Which law dictionary do you recommend?
« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2008, 11:56:10 AM »
Seconded

I never once felt the need to consult a law dictionary. If a term needs explaining it will be covered in class.
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TraciRai

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Re: Which law dictionary do you recommend?
« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2008, 11:57:08 AM »
Buy the  Black's Pocket Edition.  It's a small, paperback edition that you can buy for $20 from Amazon.  I used it a lot my 1L year when I was reading cases and came across a word I didn't understand.  I suppose I could have used Westlaw to look up the word, but the dictionary was just more convenient - Turning on my computer, getting online, signing into Weslaw, typing in the word, and then waiting for the definition is just too time-consuming when I'm trying to get through all that reading. Personal preference I guess.

You take notes by hand? Whenever I'm reading for class, I already have my laptop on, online, and permanently signed into West... so not really a big stretch to plug in a word or two (or to look up a case brief and save myself some time!).  Reading with the computer off is probably less distracting though.

Dr. Balsenschaft

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Re: Which law dictionary do you recommend?
« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2008, 12:07:38 PM »
Buy the  Black's Pocket Edition.  It's a small, paperback edition that you can buy for $20 from Amazon.  I used it a lot my 1L year when I was reading cases and came across a word I didn't understand.  I suppose I could have used Westlaw to look up the word, but the dictionary was just more convenient - Turning on my computer, getting online, signing into Weslaw, typing in the word, and then waiting for the definition is just too time-consuming when I'm trying to get through all that reading. Personal preference I guess.

You take notes by hand? Whenever I'm reading for class, I already have my laptop on, online, and permanently signed into West... so not really a big stretch to plug in a word or two (or to look up a case brief and save myself some time!).  Reading with the computer off is probably less distracting though.


I usually write my notes in the margin of the case I'm reading. But you're right, I read with the computer off because I get distracted really easily.  With the computer on, I spend way too much time checking out websites like this one.

JG

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Re: Which law dictionary do you recommend?
« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2008, 11:59:40 PM »
Get Black's pocket edition unless you do all your reading with a computer with internet handy.  You probably won't use it much, but it's cheap.  Don't get anything else. Black's is the standard.

Most terms will be explained or their meanings picked up from context, but not always. I once saw a professor ask a student to explain a new term in a case.  The student couldn't, and the professor chastised him for not having looked it up before class.  (I'm sure the whole class was googling it and IM-ing him the defniition as soon as it became clear he didn't know, but it was too late.)

Nimmy

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Re: Which law dictionary do you recommend?
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2008, 02:39:56 AM »
Get Black's pocket edition unless you do all your reading with a computer with internet handy.  You probably won't use it much, but it's cheap.  Don't get anything else. Black's is the standard.

Most terms will be explained or their meanings picked up from context, but not always. I once saw a professor ask a student to explain a new term in a case.  The student couldn't, and the professor chastised him for not having looked it up before class.  (I'm sure the whole class was googling it and IM-ing him the defniition as soon as it became clear he didn't know, but it was too late.)

I swear you people are so high strung.  Who cares if you don't look up a term before class?  I saw this happen once or twice in all of 1L.  And even if you are the poor sap that is called on, what happens if you can't answer?  NOTHING!  Grading is blind and based on final exams.  Socratic method is the last thing you should ever worry about.