Library Skills

No comments, posted on December 6, 2016

I have never used a law library before, where do I start?

At first, using a law library can be confusing.  There are lots of books, journals and resources online.

In your first few weeks, you should have a library induction and I recommended that you attend this.

You will be taught top tips (such as how to find hard copy cases) and the best ways to find the resources and information you need (such as using AND or OR in key word searches on online databases).

You might also have sessions in some of your tutorials based on this.  Getting used to how to find cases and journal articles early on will make studying law so much easier.  It will also help with any mooting you undertake, when you may be researching areas of law you have not yet studied.

Who can I get help from?

Your law librarians are the best people to get help from.  They know the best ways to find research, cases and journal articles.

If you need a refresher on how to use various online resources or how to find cases in the hard copy law journals then they should be able to help you.

Equally if you are really struggling with finding something, then you should have a contact email for the law librarians that you can use, or the law librarians will be able to assist you there and then if you go in.

Finally, don’t forget you can always ask your tutor.  They know how to use these resources as well and will be able to assist you.

Is there any other support or training I can have on these online resources?

If you need some help or additional resources then you can always contact your Westlaw UK representative.  They are a student at your University who is able to run training sessions, and assist you if you need it.

Westlaw UK also run interactive workshops with their representatives at Universities, where you can have tutorials on the platform.  At the end of this, it also gives you the option to test your skills and become certified, something which is looked on very positively by potential employers.  For more information on this, click here.

Written by Thomson Reuters guest blogger: Rebecca Morgan, current Part Time BPTC student and founder of Lawyer In The Making.  If you would like more information or want to read more head on over to or follow on twitter @lawyer_inmaking.