Do not believe those reviewers who say that 1L's do not need this dictionary. I have struggled for almost a month now with my Mirriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law and other online dictionaries because these dictionaries do not give clear definitions. Black's, however, excels in clarity. For brevity's sake, I refrain from giving examples. Go look at the dictionary.
Some reviewers contend that the 7th edition is missing valuable information included in earlier editions. The missing information are largely case citations that give authority to various definitions. The 7th edition dispenses with this patchwork of lexicography in favor of an amalgamization approach aimed at transferring legal understanding to your mind as quickly as possible. If you need to do research on jurisdictional definitions of terms, consult Words and Phrases (multi-volume dictionary, every law library has it).
For those who are tempted to get the abridged version, I strongly encourage you to get the full version. The full version includes much commentary from legal treatises that expands understanding of the terms beyond the given definitions.
Finally, while you will have access to Black's on Westlaw your second semester, is there really a good substitute for hardcopy when your internet connection is down? Besides, if you are like me, you get sick of staring at the screen all day long.
Go buy this dictionary. You won't regret it.