What is Law According to Black's Law Dictionary?

Law is a set of rules of action or conduct prescribed by a controlling authority and that have binding legal force. It is what must be obeyed and followed by citizens subject to sanctions or legal consequences. Black's Law Dictionary, 6th ed. is a book of legal definitions, largely drawn from decided cases.

Corpus Juris Secundum (which in Latin means “Second Body of Law”; its predecessor was known as Corpus Juris) is an encyclopedia that contains entries on legal topics, while American Jurisprudence 2D is another widely used encyclopedia. It may happen that a law is passed in violation of the law, that is, of the fundamental law or the constitution of a state; in such cases, the courts have the prerogative to declare it null and void or, in other words, to declare that it is not law. The judgment of a competent court, until it is overturned or otherwise replaced, is law, as much as any law. Legal encyclopedias such as Black's Law Dictionary, Corpus Juris Secundum and American Jurisprudence 2D can be very useful for the practicing lawyer and sometimes for the practicing academic, but only as starting points.

They are not intended to be used as authoritative sources on law in any area and are therefore not cited in abstracts, memos, or academic articles. The Law Dictionary website provides free access to Black's Law Dictionary and other legal resources. It can be very useful as a general introduction to an area of law that is new to you. However, it does not create an attorney-client or legal counsel relationship.