from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. An early primer consisting of a single page protected by a transparent sheet of horn, formerly used in teaching children to read.
- n. A text that instructs in the basic skills or rudiments of a subject.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A legal textbook that gives a basic overview of a particular area of law.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The first book for children, or that from which in former times they learned their letters and rudiments; -- so called because a sheet of horn covered the small, thin board of oak, or the slip of paper, on which the alphabet, digits, and often the Lord's Prayer, were written or printed; a primer.
- n. A book containing the rudiments of any science or branch of knowledge; a manual; a handbook.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A leaf or page, usually one containing the alphabet, the nine digits, and the Lord's Prayer, covered with transparent horn and fixed in a frame with a handle: formerly used in teaching children to read.
- n. Hence A book containing the first principles of any science or branch of knowledge; a primer.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a primer that provides instruction in the rudiments or basic skills of a branch of knowledge
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Especially if you plan to work on anything interesting and not totally routinized it is far more important to learn how to read the law and learn to navigate within it than it is to learn to regurgitate a hornbook.
That said, there are two legitimate reasons why you might want to consult an outline or a hornbook.
It is possible to learn the rules of torts from a hornbook.
She gave me her old childhood hornbook to practice my letters and verse.
It is hornbook law that an entity is not liable for misconduct of one of its employees or that occurs beyond the scope of that individual's employment.
Indeed, this is pretty much hornbook law in this case.
It is again hornbook law that if a party is a third-party beneficiary then that party has standing to sue to enforce its rights.
I should add that the Socratic method plus the case method leads to a perverse form of instruction in which neither the teacher nor the textbook explain the actual subject matter of the course, which students are expected to learn from third-party outline or hornbook.yankeeQuote
I took con law from John Yoo, he taught straight out of Erwin Chemerinksy's hornbook.
They will buy every book that they're advised to, including "Plain English For Lawyers" and every, and I mean every, hornbook in the bookstore.