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Law Librarians

The Job

Law librarians are the professionals upon whom countless lawyers, judges, law students, and faculty depend on to quickly fulfill research requests and guide them through the seemingly endless and ever-growing maze of legal books, periodicals, documents, digital databases, and other resources. The responsibilities of law librarians vary across different work environments, but ultimately, service and organization are essential to most duties performed by law librarians.

In general, law firms and law departments of corporations hire law librarians to maintain their libraries. The duties of a law librarian in a law firm or corporate law department include deciding what materials to add and what materials to weed out as necessary and cataloging the contents of the firm’s collections. They may be responsible for creating budgets and supervising other support staff. They also help their patrons navigate the large amount of specialized information available, either by helping someone find the resource that they need, or researching a specific topic as requested.

In addition to the tasks already mentioned, academic law librarians who work in college or university law libraries may have a stronger focus on instruction than other law librarians. They may work closely with law school professors and teach law school students where to look for specific information and how to use research tools efficiently.

Government law librarians work in government law offices, courts, prisons, and government agencies. They manage law-related materials for lawyers, judges, and other government officials.

Some law librarians work for outside vendor companies, usually in sales or training. They use their experience and knowledge of how a law library functions to sell and/or train law library staff about products and services that meet the information needs of law library staff and patrons.