This new dictionary is derived from the famous 1853 law dictionary used by
Daniel Webster, Abraham Lincoln, and Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
Relying on Bouvier's structure and original entries, Professor Stephen
Sheppard of the University of Arkansas, has added thousands of new terms and
rewritten the most appropriate of the original terms for the first complete
revision of this essential dictionary in a hundred years.
Clear. These entries are written to be understood by the modern
student, argued by the modern lawyer, and cited by the modern judge. They
explain, rather than repeat old jargon.
Authoritative. The definitions are derived from ancient and
contemporary sources, including current statutes, regulations, cases, and
treatises, as well as ancient and medieval sources. They are newly written by
Steve Sheppard, whose writings have been published by Oxford, Cambridge and
other presses, whose law degrees and doctorate are from Oxford and Columbia,
whose international legal practice and litigation and whose experience
teaching at the University of Arkansas guided the selection of terms.
Encyclopedic. The definitions are organized in intuitive structures.
Major terms are used to organize concepts and related terms, so that, for
instance, the exceptions to Hearsay are under hearsay, and the forms of estate
are under Estate. With thorough cross-references, this is an easy book to use
and to locate one term from another.
Thorough. The 8,500 entries explain more than 11,200 words and phrases.
This is far longer than the original two-volume Bouvier's 6,600 entries, and
reaches not only the terms most often sought but many scarce terms used in
In-Depth. These entries are robust, written in paragraphs, not sentence
fragments. Each is a clear statement of the meaning of the word or phrase, and
many provide context and examples that explain not just what the term means
but why it matters and how it’s used.
Resourceful. The concise edition is soon to be followed by a desk
edition that provides very single entry with quotations that are carefully
selected both to illustrate the use of the word or phrase in legal writing but
also to demonstrate some of the greater number of sources consulted in writing
the definition. The full effect of these tens of thousands of quotations is to
be a reference like the great Abridgments of the Common Law, a source for
thought and research.
The Compact Edition is available in Paperback and iOS App formats
(optimized for both iPhones and iPads). Android App is coming soon!
I'm a part time 4L who has had to work in order to support my legal
education. I worked for a few lawyers and have had to look up legal phrases
and words dozens of times. Naturally I was hesitant to use the Bouvier Law
Dictionary since I wasn't even aware it existed but it completely surpassed
Thankfully I started to use Bouvier and was able to understand legal
concepts which arose in my law classes and in legal practice. When I was
working for a local attorney I was able to use the dictionary in practice and
in the classroom. The Bouvier Law Dictionary provides the reader with
clarity and that's the best a dictionary can do.
The Bouvier Law Dictionary is worth every cent as it provides a law
student with everything they need to know in law school and in law practice.
- Matt F., UMASS Law