LIA405 - Law Libraries and Legal Research

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-07-20 13:48:19.394
Last review date 2018-07-20 13:48:29.658

Subject Title
Law Libraries and Legal Research

Subject Description
Explore the Canadian and Ontario legal systems. You will study legal materials, legal research, and the basics of running a law library. You will use primary and secondary legal materials and learn how to find information on specific topics using both paper and electronic resources. Explore acquisitions, cataloguing and collection development in a law library setting. Access to a law library is required.

Credit Status
This is a credit subject offered online through the Faculty of Continuing Education and Training.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1. The Canadian and Ontario judicial systems.

2. The legal issues faced by legal researchers.

3. The types of legal documents and the process of law research.

4. The basics of acquisitions for law libraries.

5. The basics of collection development for law libraries.

6. The fundamentals of cataloguing.

7. The various classification schemes available to law libraries.

8. The use of MARC records and shared catalogue records.

9. The essentials of library promotion.

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.

OSSD general or advanced level, with a pass standing in Grade 12 english at the general level OR successful completion of Mature Student Test. Library related experience is strongly recommended 

Topic Outline

  • Law libraries, the justice system, and legal research
  • Primary and secondary materials
  • Case law in paper and online
  • Statutes in paper and online
  • Bills, regulations, orders-in-council and other legislative documentation
  • Acquisitions and legal publishers
  • Collection development and maintenance
  • Cataloguing: law classification systems and resources
  • User services and library promotion

Mode of Instruction
This is an online course with access to website and course resources.

Required Supplies

  • Internet access and computer
  • Latest version of first class (Embanet) software

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online ( or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation
Since this is a professional credit subject, marking standards reinforce professional practice by demanding legible, neat, documents. Keyed material should be correctly formatted and grammatically correct as a result of accurate proof reading, proper spelling and punctuation. 

In recognition of the significance of proper language skills in the workforce, marks are deducted for language errors on all tests, assignments and exams and a student can be failed on the basis of language errors alone (i.e. spelling, grammar, word usage, sentence and paragraph structure, etc.) 

Marks will be deducted at the rate of 2% per day for all late assignments except where extenuating circumstances exist, or where prior arrangements have been made with the instructor. Students must attend and participate in three chats unless alternate arrangements have been made in advance.

Grading is based on the following marking scheme:

6 Assignments: 90%
Participation: 10%

Students must attain a grade of at least 50% to pass the course. 

All Academic policies of the College at which you registered apply. This includes, but is not limited to, policies related to grading, supplemental exams, deferred exams and accommodations.

Approved by: Sandra Noble