INF 8120: Legal Information Resources and Services

Credits: 1

Prerequisite(s):  INF 6010; INF 6080; INF 6120

Rationale for inclusion in curriculum

An increasingly litigious society has made legal information materials more important to library collections. Public, academic and special librarians need to be aware of the process of legal research and the legal information tools available to assist patrons in finding primary and secondary sources of law as well as legal reference materials.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will be able to:

  1. Gain knowledge of the literature of the law in its various formats.
  2. Utilize fundamental research tools in legal reference work.
  3. Be familiar with primary sources of United States law (judicial, administrative and legislative) at the state and federal level.
  4. Be familiar with legal citators and their use in legal research.
  5. Be familiar with the major commercial and public access legal databases.
  6. Be familiar with the major types of secondary sources used in legal research.
  7. Possess knowledge of the types and functions of law libraries, the practice of law librarianship, as well as its professional standards and publications.


This course provides an introduction to the United States legal system, with an emphasis on sources of legal information, as well as an introduction to the legal research process, including strategies and techniques used with print and electronic resources. This course also provides an overview and introduction to the law library profession including its practice and administration as well as the unique characteristics of legal information and law library collections.

Course methodology

  1. Online  lectures
  2. Reference assignments
  3. Visits to area law libraries/interview of practicing law librarian
  4. Analysis and review of legal information sources (print and electronic)
  5. Commercial database training

Bases for evaluation of student performance

  1. Exercises in retrieval/analysis of legal information
  2. Midterm examination
  3. Develop, perform and analyze online search strategy using commercial and open access sources
  4. Online discussion board participation/lead
  5. Final examination or project


To be determined

Approved: 1/12

Updated: 3/16