Hornbook (law)

In United States legal education, hornbooks are one-volume legal treatises, written primarily for law students on subjects typically covered by law school courses.[1]

Hornbooks summarize and explain the law in a specific area. They are distinct from casebooks, which are collections of cases (or parts of cases) chosen to help illustrate and stimulate discussion about legal issues.

The term derives from the hornbook, an early children's educational tool, implying that the material is basic.[2] A hornbook law is a basic, settled legal principle (see black letter law).

See also


  1. "Hornbooks and Study Supplements". D'Angelo Law Library. The University of Chicago Library. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  2. Austin, Tammy L. "The Hornbook". www3.nd.edu. University of Notre Dame. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
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