Law Libraries

What is a Law Librarian?
Law librarians are information professionals that specialize in facilitating access to legal information. The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) is the primary professional association serving law librarians and other legal information professionals. AALL’s strategic directions include continuous improvement in the quality of justice among its core values. 

Access to Justice
As providers of legal information in their institutions, law libraries of all types play a fundamental role in fostering access to justice. The 2014 AALL Law Libraries and Access to Justice special report identifies existing law library programs for access to justice and recommends new collaborations and roles for law libraries depending on their work setting.

AALL has other initiatives in access to justice, including:

The AALL website provides online resources for all types of law libraries:

There is a plethora of materials here that may drawn upon from around the country in gauging the public’s need for access to legal information and services and the evolving role of law libraries in facilitating access.

Survey: SRLN Library Working Group National Self-Help in Libraries Survey (SRLN 2019)

SRLN Report (March 2021) Evaluating Library Services to Self-Represented Litigants: A Story of Two Surveys

Survey: SRLN Library Working Group National Self-Help in Libraries Survey (SRLN 2013)

The Law Librarians’ Working Group of the Self-Represented Litigation Network surveyed law libraries in the summer of 2013 about their services, including self-help programs.

SRLN Brief: Law Library Ethics

The following are resources on law library ethics:

Resource: Access to Justice and Law Libraries (Law Librarians of New England 2011)

This newsletter outlines some of the ways that law librarians can get involved in the access to justice movement.

Conference: ALL ACCESS: Access to Justice Conference (LLAM 2014)

The Law Library Association of Maryland (LLAM) hosted a day-long Access to Justice Conference focused on librarian involvement in Access to justice.  Program Highlights:

SRLN Brief: The Case for Public Library Services for the Self-Represented: An Opportunity to Enhance Access to Justice for All (SRLN 2008)

This advocacy piece is designed as part of a series by the SRLN to make the case to a variety of stakeholders of the value of innovation in support of access for the self-represented.
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Article: Law Libraries Serving Self-Represented Litigants (NCSC 2015)

Law libraries provide essential services to self-represented litigants.

Report: Law Libraries and Access to Justice. A Special Report of the American Association of Law Libraries Access to Justice Special Committee (AALL 2014)

This white paper is the work of AALL's 2013-2014 Access to Justice Special Committee, chaired by Sara Galligan, and explores how all types of law libraries - including private; state, court and county; and academic - contribute to the ATJ movement

Report: The Sustainable 21st Century Law Library: Vision, Deployment and Assessment for Access to Justice (Zorza 2012)

Richard Zorza writes that “this is a moment of opportunity for law libraries to transform themselves as leaders in providing access to justice for all as part of a broad alignment of the legal system.” He notes that law libraries are becoming entr