A History Of Black's Law Dictionary

As Black's Law Dictionary enters its 10th edition, the Legal Solutions Blog posted an interesting evolution of Black's.

"Over a century, Black’s Law Dictionary has been the leading standard for lawyers and anyone else needing to understand the intricacies of the legal word. Founded by Henry Campbell Black, the publication is the go-to source for definitions in both legal briefs and court opinions. The book has proven its lasting value and has been cited as a secondary legal authority in many cases heard by the United States Supreme Court."

How has Black's evolved?
"The freshman edition was published in 1891 with sophomore version coming out in 1910. Until the sixth edition, the book also provided case citations for each term used. Some attorneys found these citations to be the books most useful feature and used it as a starting point in building cases.

The citations were dropped in the seventh edition which came out in 1999. The arrival of the internet made legal research easy and the citations were no longer seen as valuable.

The eighth edition introduced cross-referencing to legal encyclopedias and the ninth edition, published in 2009, kept this feature."

The 10th edition is set to arrive shortly, and it "is said to be the most authoritative, comprehensive legal dictionary every published.  Containing over 50,000 terms, the edition includes 7,500 new terms not seen before. Along with the new terms are over 16,000 updated definitions and an expanded bibliography containing twice as many sources."

Some of the new entries include: Affluenza defense, Legaldegook, Mommy track

As an FYI, the 2nd edition of Black's is available to search for free on the web here.


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