Graduate Certificate

Law Librarianship


UA College of Law building

Gain the needed skills to hit the ground running in an academic library, law firm or government law library. 

About the Program

Law librarians work in a variety of settings including law school and university libraries, law firm and corporate libraries, state and federal agency and court libraries, and archives and rare book libraries. Law librarianship offers several niches and specializations including foreign and international law, government documents, patents, taxation, computer-related services, administration and special collections such as archives and antiquarian books. While approximately one-third of law librarians have law degrees, most positions do not require a law degree.

The University of Arizona School of Information and the Law Library of the James E. Rogers College of Law offer a two-year fellowship in law librarianship for lawyers seeking to become law librarians. Successful applicants will work 20 hours a week in the law library while pursuing the M.A. in Library and Information Science.

Learning Outcomes

Law librarians hold a variety of positions in both public and technical services. They answer legal reference questions, teach legal research, order and process materials, and may also manage electronic access to library materials. Traditional areas of work include legal reference, collection development and management, acquisitions and cataloging.

The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) promotes and enhances the value of law libraries to legal and public communities, fosters the profession of law librarianship, and provides leadership in the field of legal information. Upon completion of this certificate program, you will be able to seek membership into this professional association. This opportunity will foster professional development, networking opportunities, continuing education and advancement opportunities. Students who acquire the Law Librarianship Graduate Certificate in addition to the Master’s and other certificates may be expected to gain extensive knowledge complementary to the core law librarianship, legal and governmental knowledge provided by the certificate itself.

Admission Requirements

You must meet the following requirements to be admitted to the Law Librarianship Graduate Certificate program:

  • Must have or be concurrently enrolled in a Juris Doctor (J.D.) program from an ABA-accredited school.
  • Must be concurrently enrolled (or already completed) an M.A. in Library and Information Science from an ALA accredited school.

Required Courses

You must complete a total of 15 units to complete the certificate. This requires taking 6 units of LIS 693. All coursework must be completed within 3 years.

This course is designed to build on the knowledge and skills students have gained in previous course work and through working in the legal field. Basic research methods will be reviewed in the first part of the course. We will then examine more advanced research topics, such as administrative law research, advanced statutory research, legislative history and practice materials. The goal of this course is to assist students in making the transition from researching in the academic setting to researching in a practice environment. 

This course will focus on a wide range of issues dealing with law library practice and administration, including but not limited to digital law libraries, collection development, law library administration, teaching legal research, database management, professional ethics and intellectual property issues. Several classes will be taught by guest lecturers, primarily librarians from the law library.

This course is for students who seek to be law librarians. The course will meet once a week for two hours where the students will develop lesson plans and practice teaching legal research in specific areas such as the case, the statute and legislative history, secondary sources, non-legal research, CALR, administrative law and the internet. We will videotape their practice classes to critique and to allow students to monitor their own teaching styles. They will also develop web pages for the course. The course will culminate with the students actually teaching the Intermediate Legal Research (boot camp) class which takes place the week after the Spring semester ends.

Specialized work on an individual basis, consisting of training and practice in actual service in a technical, business, or governmental establishment. Students concurrently enrolled in the M.A. LIS in the School of Information should enroll in a LIS 698 Capstone Internship for a 3 credit internship to satisfy the MA Capstone Internship requirement. See the MA Internship page for additional information.

Transfer Units

Up to 6 transfer units can be applied to the certificate if approved by the certificate advisor.

If you are officially enrolled in another School of Information graduate program you may double dip units as follows:

  • 9 units may be double dipped between the M.A. and Law Librarianship Certificate.
  • 6 units may be double dipped between Law Librarianship and another Certificate program.

Please note: The Graduate College does not allow "triple dips" among three programs, so M.A. students who enroll in more than one certificates may need to take additional courses to complete all program requirements.