Law librarians are legal information professionals who work in a variety of settings. Some work in law offices, public libraries, law schools, and in government agencies. The majority, however, work in law firms as members of the firm‘s legal information department.
What is the Job of a Law Librarian
A law librarian is responsible for:
- Managing a law library or a section of a law library
- Organizing the library and its collections
- Providing training and assistance to library users
- Managing the library budget
- Maintaining and updating the library’s catalog
- Providing bibliographic instruction to students and attorneys
- Writing legal research guides
- Updating the library’s collection to meet the research needs of the legal community
- Assisting the library users in their research projects
- Assisting with the production of legal documents, including drafting and redrafting of pleadings, briefs, and other legal documents
- Participating in legal research projects
A law librarian provides research and reference assistance to attorneys, judges, law students, paralegals, and others who need legal information. Law librarians conduct research and provide information on a wide range of legal topics. They help students and researchers identify relevant legal materials, such as case studies, treatises, and law reviews. Law librarians may work with a variety of information sources, including books, databases, electronic resources and other electronic media. They may also use specialized computer software to help organize and manage legal information.
What Education and Training Do I Need to be a Law Librarian?
Around 1 in 3 law librarians have a J.D. Almost all (97%) of law librarians have a master’s degree. They are also expected to have a strong background in the law, as well as proficiency in using legal databases and resources. Nearly 84% have a Master of Library Science (MLS) degree. In total, 95% of all law librarians have both a JD and MLS.
What is the Job Outlook for Law Librarians?
Law librarians are expected to experience faster than average job growth. The job growth is due to the increasing demand. In addition, as more legal information is put online, law librarians will be needed to help attorneys, law students and others find the information they need. Job growth for law librarians is expected to be about 5% from 2018 to 2028 according to the BLS.
How Can I Become a Law Librarian?
You can become a law librarian with a graduate degree in law librarianship. Most master‘s degree programs take 1–2 years to complete. Some of the top schools to get a master’s degree in law librarianship include the University of Washington, the University of Texas in Austin and the University of North Carolina.
How Much do Law Librarians Make?
According to the BLS, the average salary for a law librarian is around $60,000 a year. Depending on experience, salary ranges are between $42,000 and $88,000.