Law Librarianship Graduate Certificate

Law librarians work in a variety of settings: 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 M.A. in LIS.

Student Learning Outcomes

The law librarianship certificate program will provide students with the necessary skills to hit the ground running in an academic, law firm or government law library.  It combines theory, practicums and intense collaboration with the law librarians of the College of Law.

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, Cataloging, etc.

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

Admission Requirements

There are two requirements for admission into the Law Librarianship Graduate Certificate program.

  • Completion of or concurrent enrollment in a Juris Doctor (J.D.) from an ABA accredited school
  • Concurrent enrollment in the M.A. LIS degree program.
    (An exception is granted for students that have already completed an ALA accredited Master's degree, then concurrent enrollment in the M.A. LIS program not required.)
    Acceptance by the Graduate College into the M.A. LIS program. School of Information will apply the same admissions criteria as it currently does for the M.A. and our other certificate programs. School of Information does not require any standardized tests for admission.  Otherwise, all students will have to meet the same Graduate College requirements as for other programs.

Transfer Credits

Transfer credits can be applied to the certificate if:

  • Approved by the Certificate Advisor, Shaun Esposito, Interium Director, Head of Public Services, Law Library(College of Law) 
  • Only a total of 6 credits

Additional admission and completion requirements

The requirements prior to admission in the Law Librarianship Graduate Certificate program are the following:

  • 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 in M.A. in Library and Information Science from an ALA accredited school.
  • All students will be required to complete all coursework within 3 years.


This certificate program is currently under revision to change, effective in Fall 2015.  The new requirements for this program will posted, once the revisions are approved.

All required coursework is listed and is a total of 15 credits to complete.

Required Courses [15 credits]

LIS/LAW 681E: Law Library Practice and Administration (3 credits)
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. (law certificate students only may apply this to the MA-LIS MGMT/EVAL Distributed Elective Requirement)

LAW 689: Advanced Legal Research (3 credits)
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. 

LIS/LAW 689A: Teaching Legal Research (3 credits)
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. Practice classes will be videotaped to critique and to allow students to monitor their own teaching styles. Students will also develop web pages for the course.

LIS 693: Internship (6 credits)
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 MA-LIS in the School of Information should enroll in LIS698 Capstone Internship for the second 3 credit internship to satisfy the MA Capstone Internship requirement. See the MA Internship page for additional information and requirements. 


"Double dips" between Law Librarianship Certificate and other School of Information programs!

Students who are officially enrolled in more than one School of Information graduate program may double dip credits as follows:

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

Related Topic(s): 

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences