Legal Information & Scholarly Communication Certificate

The Legal Information and Scholarly Communication Certificate provides students with a background necessary to serve in a wide variety of libraries (public, academic, school, etc.), special libraries, archives, government agencies and businesses where legal information is important to the mission of the endeavor.  As law firms grow in size and become more specialized, there is a growing need for researchers able to investigate legal issues and the underlying factual issues of litigation and transactional law.  It is hard to imagine a discipline where legal issues don’t regularly arise.

The certificate will require 18 credit hours.  Nine (9) credits will consist of required core courses plus a required internship of 3 credits.  The remaining 6 credits will be chosen from electives approved by School of Information.

Required Courses [9 credits]:

  • LIS 589: Scholarly Communication (3 credits)
    Structure and workings of scholarly communication and products in the U.S. Examines the content and technology of scholarly communication in various disciplines.
  • 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 693: Internship (minimum of 3 credits; maximum of 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 or only 3 credit internship to satisfy the MA Capstone Internship requirement. See the MA Internship page for additional information and requirements. 

Choose One [3 credits]:

  • LIS 572: Government Information: Policy and Resources (3 credits) 
    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 opportcredities for deeper exploration of government information policies and resources.
  • LIS 584: Introduction to Copyright (3 credits)
    Introduces the basics of copyright law and fair use, also discusses the theoretical foundations and history of copyright and the public domain. These issues are placed within a broader multicultural and international context. By the end of the course students will: (a) know the basics of copyright law and fair use as they apply to libraries and related information services, and (b) understand the importance of balancing the rights of intellectual property owners with the societal need for a robust public domain.

Electives [3-6 credits]:

  • LIS 518: Information Quality (3 credits)
  • LIS 532: Online Searching (3 credits)
  • LIS 575: User Interface and Website Design (3 credits)
  • LIS 651: Information Policy and Cultural Perspectives
  • LIS 671: Introduction to Digital Collections (3 credits)
  • LIS 672: Introduction to Applied Technology (3 credits)
  • LIS 673: Managing the Digital Environment (3 credits)
  • LIS 681E: Law Library Practice & Admin (3 credits) (law certificate students only may apply this to the MA-LIS MGMT/EVAL Distributed Elective Requirement)

Please note: Other elective courses may be approved by the Certificate Advisor, Dr. Michael Chiorazzi

Up to 12 credits may be shared between the certificate and Master's degree. Up to 6 credits may be shared with another certificate.


College of Social and Behavioral Sciences