What Do Law Librarians Do

Alyssa OmandacCareer, Overview

Law librarians are legal information professionals who work in law firms, law schools, courts, legal departments, and government departments. They have different tasks, such as researching the quality, accuracy, and validity of sources, writing, managing, teaching, training, and analyzing law library information.

Law librarians can specialize within the field, and they have a solid understanding of print and digital media within their specialty. Often they have a law degree, and some have a master’s in library or legal information sciences. This is a highly specialized field that is good for people who enjoy research.



Law Librarians

Law librarians help law firms, law students, judges, and other legal professionals make accurate decisions by collecting, analyzing, evaluating, and researching information in print and digital media. They make sure that they have access to all of the latest information.

Salary: $61000
Personality: The Organizer

What they do

Law librarians help law firms, law students, judges, and other legal professionals make accurate decisions by collecting, analyzing, evaluating, and researching information in print and digital media. They make sure that they have access to all of the latest information.

Manage Law Library Operations

Law librarians manage law library operations. They monitor the budget and allocate, organize, and disseminate legal resources. They also review the new and existing legal resources to improve the efficiency of service and research. They will promote the library services to students, the public, and other departments, and they catalog the materials that are in their possession. If the law library is in a law school, they will represent the library at meetings and help students, faculty, and staff find the materials they need.

Perform Research for People

Another responsibility of law librarians is to conduct research in specific areas of the law for lawyers, faculty at law schools, students, and the general public. They also research public records, legislative history, medical topics, and news. In a law firm, they often conduct research for attorney blogs, newsletters, and firm websites. They also help research media opportunities and the background of potential clients and vendors.

Train People to Use Internet-Based Research Programs

Internet-based research programs are important in the law, and law librarians train people to use them. This includes programs such as Westlaw, LexisNexis, Google Scholar, and other electronic journals. They teach attorneys and law students how to research online court dockets and legislative materials as well.

Teach Legal Research Skills

Law librarians also teach young lawyers and law students legal research skills. This is especially true in law school law librarians where first year law students need to learn these skills for research and writing courses.

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What is it like working as one

Pros

You get to stay on top of the latest information

If you enjoy the field of law, your work will keep you on the cutting edge of the latest information and technology for research.

You have an important job

This is a critical job in most law firms because lawyers rely on law librarians to research cases and laws so that they can best represent their clients and win their cases.

You can be very organized

If you like routines, structure, and organization, this is a great job. You will make sure that the resources are all catalogued and easy to access.

You get to be part of a team

You are part of a legal team that is working to fight for the rights of clients. This can be a rewarding experience.

Cons

You spend a lot of time in school before getting this job

Most employers expect you to have a law degree, and some require a masters in law.

You need to be very good to get a job

This is a highly competitive field, and you need to be very good at it to get hired.


Where they work

Courts
Law firms
Law schools
Government agencies


Law librarians work in law libraries. They might work at a law school, or they can work in a law firm. They can also work at the court or in government offices at the local, state, or federal level. The job varies depending on the environment. In a private law firm, the law librarian might do a lot of research for the lawyers, while in a law school library, he or she might spend a lot of time teaching students how to find their resources.

How to become one

Step 1: Get a Bachelor’s Degree

The first step is to go to college. You can gain some experience while you are in college working in the library so that you are familiar with how libraries work before you move on to graduate school.

Step 2: Get a Law Degree and an MLS

Many law librarian jobs require that you have a law degree. This is especially true in a law school library where faculty members must have a doctorate. You will need an MLS as well, and some law schools offer a joint program. Although you can find jobs that only require one or the other, you will have the most opportunities if you have both degrees.

Step 3: Apply for a Job

Once you have your degree, you can start applying for jobs. You can decide what kind of job you want, whether it is in a law library for a law school, a court, or a law firm. This is a very competitive field, so you may need to apply for any jobs that are available and gain experience while you wait for your dream job to open up.

Should you become one

Law librarians are organized and meticulous. They are problem solvers and know how to find information. They also have intellectual curiosity about the law, and they enjoy staying on top of the latest trends in their field. They have logical minds and enjoy putting the pieces of a puzzle together in their minds.

Take this quiz to see if this is the right career for you.


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