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Traditionally, many non-law librarians have, by policy or preference, avoided legal questions, either because their libraries lack legal resources or because they lack expertise in finding legal materials. Today, legal issues are so intertwined with daily life that they are virtually impossible to avoid, and the Internet has made legal resources available in even the smallest library. Users need assistance in finding the appropriate legal information, whether it is the text of a law referred to in a newspaper article, a court ruling needed for a school assignment, the name of a lawyer in another city, or practical instructions for do-it-yourself legal matters.

Workshop Description: Using hands-on exercises, discussion, and handouts, participants in this all-day, hands-on workshop will explore the variety of resources available for legal research on the Internet. We will discuss both California and federal sources for statutes, pending legislation, case law, and regulations as well as municipal codes.

Highlights: Using the Internet this workshop will cover the following topics:

  • Where to Find California Legal Resources
    • Legislative: California Code, Statutes, Bills, and Legislative History Materials
    • Cases
    • Regulations
  • Federal Law
    • Legislative: United States Code, Bills
    • Cases: U.S. Supreme Court, 9th Circuit, District Courts
    • Agency Materials
  • Where to Look up Municipal Codes
  • Finding Printable Legal Forms
  • The Best Legal News and Legal Journals
  • Websites for Locating Attorneys
  • Evaluating Legal Websites
  • Strategies for Determining When to Consult a Traditional Law Library or a Lawyer

Workshop Instructor: Laura Cadra