Law Librarians

Positions for Law Graduates as Law Librarians

Work Law Librarians Do:

  • Research law and non-law materials for scholars, practitioners, and the public
  • Help connect lawyers, law students, judges, pro se litigants, and members of the public to legal information resources
  • Teach lawyers, law students, judges, pro se litigants, and members of the public to use legal information sources effectively and efficiently
  • Manage services and information resources for their users

Who Might Enjoy This Specialty?

You might enjoy being a law librarian if you are:

  • Curious
  • Detail oriented
  • Adaptable, embracing change
  • Team oriented
  • Technology-savvy

What Law Librarians Do in Different Types of Law Libraries

Academic Law Libraries

  • Research and train faculty
  • Teach law students
  • Provide reference services
  • Find materials in other libraries
  • Research and publish articles and books
  • Create and manage print and digital collections
  • Manage budget and personnel, in supervisory positions

Private Law Firm Libraries

  • Research and reference for attorneys and staff in the firm
  • Select databases and manage library budget
  • Competitive intelligence and other business-related research
  • Knowledge management
  • Manage research portals and intranets
  • Teach lawyers to use databases and other research tools
  • Enjoy management and leadership opportunities

Court/County/State/Public Law Libraries

  • Provide reference services for clientele
  • Select digital and print collections
  • Manage budget and personnel, in supervisory positions
  • Train clientele to use various legal resources

Credentials Needed for Law Librarian Positions

You will need a JD and a Master in Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree

  • At the UW, with careful planning, you could earn your JD in 2 years(including summers) and enroll in the 10-month program in the Information School to earn your MLIS, saving 1-2 quarters of tuition and time

  • Or, you could do the regular 3 year JD program and enroll in the iSchool after earning your JD
  • You could also practice law before earning your MLIS

Pathway for Law Librarian Positions

A broad-based legal education is the best preparation for a career as a law librarian

Knowledge Base

Knowledge Fundamentals

Pathway Knowledge

Pathway Specialized Knowledge

Any complex regulatory area that you might wish to focus on in politics, such as tax policy and environmental law

Professional Skill

Professional Skills Fundamentals

Pathway Professional Skills

Real Life Lawyering

Beyond Classrooms and Credits


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