Black’s Law Dictionary: NO Substitutes

Apple is proving its apps aren’t just for games and trivial time wasters. Legal practitioners are flocking to the flood of new apps developed specifically for them. Earlier this year, Thomson Reuters released its Black’s Law Dictionary as an app. So far, it has been a success and the company anticipates releasing its more popular titles in the app store. The best part about the Black’s Law Dictionary app is that not only does it regurgitate definitions, but it also has audio pronunciations. The embedded audio content can pronounce terms with different regional dialects—which can really save face next time you walk into a courtroom in the South and try to pronounce voir dire. Added bonus: no need to lug around the 6.5 pound, 1882 paged book! It is a more expensive app (at $49.99), but it is still cheaper than the paper version. Despite the high price, this legal dictionary is the holy grail of legalese, so other cheaper competitors just can’t stand up to it.

There are seven other legal dictionary apps out there, ranging in price from $0.99 – $14.99. Yup, you guessed it: the $0.99 app is the worst of the bunch. The Dictionary of Legal and Law Terms is not a comprehensive reference. It is better suited for a pro se defendant looking to sound the part while trying to get out of a traffic ticket. The other apps (Oxford and Barron’s) are adequate for definitional purposes, but they don’t offer the embedded audio content, which really makes the Black’s Law Dictionary app stand out.