The study of law requires familiarity with some unique language and legal terms. The following page highlights some of the dictionaries and reference works that are available in print and electronically.
A legal glossary produced by LexisNexis for Cambridge students. Created with student input and with explanatory videos
Oxford Reference Online service provides full text access to a range of reference titles including A Dictionary of Law, A Dictionary of Law Enforcement, A Guide to Latin in International Law and The New Oxford Companion to Law.
The Squire Law Library has several print dictionaries available which provide clear definitions and, in some cases more detailed descriptions, of legal terms. These are kept in the Reference Collection, near the Enquiry Desk and include:
You can find several introductory texts to the common law system via iDiscover. These include:
There is no set style for academic legal writing. However, you can find a range of books available providing guidance on writing for law and the use of legal language in your own work. These include:
For help with referencing material consult the separate referencing tab above.
This is a short list of some online writing tools that may be of use:
Copy and paste a sample of text (100 to 1000 words) to find out if your writing is flabby or fit.
Estimates the readability of a passage of text using the Flesch Reading Ease, Fog Scale Level, Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level, and other metrics.
Helps you write clearly and concisely by identifying possible weak points in your prose.
Aims to provide you with examples of some of the phraseological ‘nuts and bolts’ of writing organised according to the main sections of a research paper or dissertation
A verb cheat sheet from the Thesis Whisperer "The verb you use to describe someone else’s work indicates your feeling about the quality of the work."
Halsbury's Laws of England covers the whole spectrum of English Law, and can be browsed by topic or searched. This can be a useful starting point if you are doing research on a particular area of law. It’s available online via Lexis. Alternatively, the print volumes are held in the Squire Law Library on the first floor in bookstack 5.