Documents dealing with the law require special treatment. Practitioners such as barristers and solicitors often need both rapid and accurate access to specific subjects within primary legislation, whilst for the lay person unhindered access to popular subjects in legal commentaries is more important.
This book describes how a good index is key to understanding the law. A good index is one in which the qualities of consistency, clarity and organization are paramount. Creating a good index to legal materials requires a rigorous approach and attention to many special features of legal writing.
Indexing legal materials introduces the reader to the peculiarities of legal documents and describes how to compile a good index, from selecting subjects to deciding how to treat phrasal terms which have entered common use in legal circles.
Law librarians and indexers alike will find this book both useful and fascinating.
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By Society of Indexers
Jan 7, 2008
"Review in The Indexer April 1994" From The Indexer Vol. 19 No. 1 April 1994, p.68 This, the second in a planned series of Occasional Papers published by the Society of Indexers, is intended to contribute to raising standards of indexing in the legal field by providing a practical guide for indexers called on to work with any type of law text. It contains fascinating examples of early indexes of law books and goes on to explain the differences between various types of law book, the structure and design of indexes, selecting and analysing subjects, indexing terms, the form of entries and references, indexing EC materials and tables of cases and statutes. It concludes with a detailed bibliography and, as is to be expected from a Wheatley Medal winner, a faultless index. Elizabeth Moys and her co-editors make the most important point that indexes to law books are crucial to the busy legal practitioner. Most law books are seldom read through, but often referred to: their users... More > demand total accuracy, immediate accessibility and utter comprehensiveness from their indexes, and will complain loudly if these requirements are not fulfilled. As a law indexer, I was particularly heartened to read the editors' view that BS 3700 standards are not tablets of stone and that the selection of subjects must eventually be a matter for the judgment of the indexer. This recognition of the creative and subjective element, even in preparing an index for a highly technical reference book, may help to assuage the inevitable loneliness of the long-distance law indexer. If the principles discussed in this book are applied, then the general aim of the legal indexer—to direct the attention of the lawyers to the most likely sources of information that they need—is far more likely to succeed. The book is very detailed, accurate and exhaustive. It is set to complement Hewitt and Banwell's A Practical guide to law indexing, now out of print, as the new authorized version of the law indexer's Bible. Review by Robert Spicer, barrister< Less
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