Alternative Careers for Lawyers

Law Librarian

The wider head is 'Legal Information Professional', incorporating academic law librarians, information officers in a law firm, librarians in a court service or government department, knowledge managers and document and record managers.

Employers include academic institutions (colleges, universities and research institutions), law firms, the government (government departments and court services), libraries for legal professionals (e.g. The Law Society, Inns of Court), industry and commerce, or there is freelance work.

Work can encompass all aspects of information provision and retrieval, from research to library service management.

Required attributes are a thorough understanding of the information sources and how best to access them, the ability to work to deadlines, to work on your own as much as within a small team, an interest in current affairs, IT skills, and an ability to communicate effectively and project manage.

Although there is currently no formal qualification in legal information management, library and information management qualifications are offered by schools of librarianship and information studies at universities. The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) lists accredited postgraduate library and information courses in England, Wales and Scotland. The British & Irish Association of Law Librarians (BIALL) offers a number of courses for Legal Information Professionals, from a one day introductory course to a one-year evening course in law for librarians run in association with the University of Westminster.

BIALL lists job vacancies and specialist legal library recruitment consultants. The Library & Information Gazette (CILIP) and national broadsheets also advertise positions.

The British and Irish Association of Law Librarians


Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals

7 Ridgmount Street

Tel: 020 7255 0500
Fax: 020 7255 0501