Law Library Tips from Kate Thomson

OMG, third year has begun. Suddenly you have 5 research and writing pieces looming over you for the next two years. You are not alone… you have the Law Library.

First, some general tips for successful legal research.

  1. Plan your research – think about keywords, cases and statutes, and jurisdiction
  2. Use the databases provided – they ensure the data you find is of a high quality and will save you time in the long run
  3. Evaluate your research (is it good law?), keep track of what you found, where and how.
  4. Use the NZ Law Style Guide for referencing
  5. If you get stuck, don’t delay, get help

Here’s how we can help:

  1. The Law Subject Guide

Bookmark it now.

This guide is a portal to all of your legal research needs. The Research Strategies tab contains links to the step-by-step guides used in the LAWS398 tutorials, the Faculty Research and Writing guide, flowcharts, a suite of self-help database tutorials, and much much more.

  1. Law Databases

WestlawNZ LexisNexisNZ, CCH, Heinonline, LegalTrac, ICLR, Westlaw and Lexis are the key resources you should use. The Law Subject Guide Database tab provides links to these resources as well as tips for their use.

  1. The Law Librarian, Kate Thompson

If you need additional help, or have a burning question, please contact me before the frustration kicks in! Legal research is sometimes like being a detective, so when a clue is eluding you, I can talk you through the problem. I can also help you with your research strategy, choosing the best databases, referencing questions, avoiding plagiarism, and other academic necessities.

  1. The Library

It‘s not all online. The physical library collection contains a lot of high quality and unique information that is not on the internet.

  • Use Library Search \ Ketu to discover what is on the shelves.
  • The latest editions of key texts recommended by the Faculty of Law staff are on Reserve: this is a closed collection, so Library Staff will mediate your requests.
  • If you want a tour, try the virtual one via the subject guide, or get your mates together and arrange a group tour with the Law Librarian.

  1. Library staff.

Front line library staff are there to help you, or direct you to someone who can. They have a wide understanding of general library functions and services. Just ask.


Written by Kate Thomson.

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