School of Library and Information Studies

LIS 598 Legal Resources

Course Outline:


Course goal: to provide an introduction to legal resources and legal information services provided
by law libraries

Course objectives: upon completion of this course, participants will have been introduced to

  • roles and responsibilities of information professionals concerned with legal resources and legal information services
  • the Canadian legal system and how it impacts legal information services
  • key sources of Canadian law, both print and electronic
  • legal research methods and reference tools used in the provision of legal information services
  • trends impacting legal resources and the provision of legal information services

Grades will be based on:

  • in class attendance and participation (30%)
  • one overnight assignment (20%)
  • one take-home assignment to be submitted no later than 3 weeks following course completion (50%)

Recommended reading list

Canadian legal system:

“Sources of law” (c. 3) in Gerald L. Gall, The Canadian legal system, 5th ed. (Toronto: Thomson
Carswell, 2004)

“Structure of the Courts” (c. 10) in S.M. Waddams, Introduction to the study of law, 4th ed.
(Scarborough, Carswell, 1992)

Legal research:

Cyndi Murphy, “Seven habits of highly effective researchers” (2002) 27:1 Can. L. Libr. 15

Laurel Murdoch, “Bloodhounds and butter tarts: a private law librarian’s efforts to teach legal
research skills to the Google generation” (2005) 30:4 Can. L. Libr. 202

Law librarianship:

Maria E. Protti, “Dispensing law at the front lines: ethical dilemmas in law librarianship” [1991]
Library Trends 234.

Mary Whisner, “Update to choosing law librarianship: thoughts for people contemplating a career
move” online (2008) LLRX www.llrx.com/node/2053/print

Nicole Eva, “Notes from a newbie librarian: what you need to know to work in law” (2008) 33:1
Can. L. Libr. 260

Nicole Eva & Nancy McCormack, “Legally satisfied: a survey of law library workers and job
satisfaction” (2009) 33:1/2 CJILS 39

Theodora Belniak, “The law librarian of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries: a figuration in
flux” (2009) 101:4 Law Library Journal 427