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. The term hornbook law is sometimes used to describe basic, settled legal principles (see black letter law).
- A list of hornbooks and study aids, managed by the D'Angelo Law Library at the University of Chicago.