This week, we feature Gerry W. Beyer, Professor of Law at Texas Tech University School of Law. He is the author of Modern Dictionary for the Legal Profession, Fourth Edition.
Gerry W. Beyer on Modern Dictionary for the Legal Profession, Fourth Edition
“Another legal dictionary – who needs one?”
That was my initial reaction when the late Kenneth Redden (Professor, University of Virginia Law School) asked me in 1990 to assist him with his newest project, a dictionary of terms with which an attorney should be familiar but which aren’t necessarily “legal” and thus not found in traditional legal dictionaries. As Ken was an accomplished author of over 40 books, I figured I should pay close attention to his offer especially since he had already spent years accumulating terms and definitions from hundreds if not thousands of sources. After much consideration about taking on a project so far afield from my teaching and scholarship interests (wills, trusts, probate, estate planning, and property), I decided to take the plunge.
Time would bear out that this was an excellent decision for several reasons. From a personal perspective, I have acquired a tremendous amount of knowledge about a huge variety of topics which I never would have had but for my work on Modern Dictionary for the Legal Profession. It certainly helps out at parties and trivia contests! More importantly, from a professional perspective, the four editions of the Dictionary and its supplements, have assisted many constituents of the legal profession, including attorneys, judges, professors, students, paralegals, legal secretaries and researchers, broaden their understanding of this ever changing world. As evidence of the Dictionary’s success, judges from New York to California and even Hawaii, as well as dozens of legal authors have cited the Dictionary in their writings.
In this new and challenging millennium, people have an enhanced interest in effectively relating to others, learning about innovative technological advances, and improving their communication skills. As I begin work on the 2016 Supplement, I continue to place emphasis on modern terminology, including slang and colloquial references, rather than on purely historical concepts. Of course, legal terms are occasionally included when they are appropriate to a complete understanding of other terms. To keep the Dictionary and its updates useful, informative, and entertaining, I encourage you to send me suggestions for new terms or revisions to existing terms that you think would enhance the Dictionary. I would be most appreciative.
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Modern Dictionary for the Legal Profession
This title contains thousands of words, focusing on modern terminology, including slang and colloquialisms, rather than historical terminology. The supplement contains approximately 450 new, updated and revised terms which have been carefully selected to help the reader achieve superior communication skills which are essential for success in the always challenging legal arena.
Item: 4th Edition
Item: 2014 Supplement to the 4th Edition
Item #: 9690
ISBN: 9780837730301, 9780837739915
Published: Buffalo; William S. Hein & Co., Inc.; 2008, 2014