Graduate Certificate

Legal Information 

 

UA College of Law building

Legal Information Certificate

The Legal Information Certificate is a collaboration between the School of Information and the Cracchiolo Law Library at the University of Arizona College of Law. The certificate is designed to provide librarians and legal information professionals the skills and experience needed to hit the ground running in a variety of libraries and other legal information settings.

Legal Information Professionals & Law Librarians

It is hard to imagine a discipline where legal issues do not regularly arise. There is a growing need for law librarians and legal information professions in a variety of settings, including law school and university libraries, law firm and corporate libraries, state and federal agency and court libraries, and special collections libraries. 

Law librarians and legal information professionals engage in diverse areas of work and may specialize in foreign and international law, government documents, patents, scholarly communications, empirical services, administration, and special collections, including archives and antiquarian books. 

Many academic law librarians maintain an active research and teaching agenda and are members of law school and university faculty. Other legal information professionals focus more on collection development, access to resources, and administration. Still others support law firm and business growth through competitive intelligence research, data analytics, and cyber security. 

While approximately one-third of law librarians have law degrees, many positions do not require a law degree. 

American Association of Law Librarians (AALL)

The American Association of Law Libraries promotes and enhances the value of law libraries and legal information professionals to legal and public communities, fosters the profession of law librarianship, and provides leadership in the field of legal information. 

When you enter this certificate program, you will be encouraged to seek student membership in this professional association, which will provide opportunities for professional development, networking, continuing education, and employment.

Law Library Fellows Program

The Daniel F. Cracchiolo Law Library, in the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona, offers a Fellows Program for students enrolled in the Legal Information Certificate program. To find out if you qualify for the program and/or to apply, visit the Fellows Program web page on the Law Library website.

Required Courses

You must complete a total of 15 units to complete the certificate. This requires taking 9 units - LAW 689, LIS 572 or LIS 681E, and LIS 693, plus 6 elective units. All coursework must be completed within 3 years. Tucson-based students are encouraged to do their internship at the UA College of Law Library when possible. 

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. 

The U.S. government collects, generates, publishes and distributes a vast amount and variety of information. All information professionals-even those who do not intend to specialize as government document librarians-should understand the organization of and promote access to this body of work. In this course, lectures, discussions, and readings will acquaint students with theoretical and practical knowledge. The assignments will provide opportunities for deeper exploration of government information policies and resources. Graduate-level requirements include a policy paper worth 35% of their final grade.

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.

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:
  • 12 units may be double dipped between the M.A. and Legal Information Certificate.
  • 6 units may be double dipped between Legal Information 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 certificate may need to take additional courses to complete all program requirements.