The legal information environment is deep, wide, and dynamic with many participants, including courts, parliaments, legislatures, and administrative bodies. None exemplifies the agile, knowledge-engaging legal player better than the law firm. Current, authoritative information is essential for the successful representation of clients. The firm's most dependable resource for retrieving information is its library staff. Law Firm Librarianship introduces the reader to the challenges, qualifications, and work conditions of this distinct type of research librarian. The book begins by asking what law firm librarianship is, whilst the second chapter focuses on the law firm and its culture. The third chapter covers the law firm library itself, including the practical aspects of the firm librarian's interaction with his or her professional environments. The next chapter considers the effects of legal publishing practices, and the penultimate section surveys the various research tools the firm librarian relies on for sound knowledge. The book concludes by looking at the dynamic qualities of law firm librarianship.

Key Features

  • Offers an up-to-date overview from an experienced practitioner
  • Adds to the library literature by addressing a type of librarianship that usually receives little attention
  • Applies field knowledge about legal information trends that will inform related areas of inquiry


Practitioners and students of Library and Information Science; All those interested in the legal information world

Table of Contents

  • Dedication
  • About the author
  • Chapter 1: Introduction
    • Abstract:
  • Chapter 2: Tasks, skills, and attributes
    • Abstract:
    • Law firm librarianship distinguished from other types of librarianship
    • Skills and traits
    • Education and qualifications
    • Job market and compensation
    • New roles
    • Labels and name variations
    • Associations
  • Chapter 3: The law firm
    • Abstract:
    • The law firm as a professional service firm
    • The global firm
    • Legal and regulatory issues
    • Professional support lawyers
    • Outsourcing
    • Knowledge management
  • Chapter 4: The law firm library
    • Abstract:
    • The library as a business unit
    • The library as an information unit
    • Notes
  • Chapter 5: The legal publishing world
    • Abstract:
    • Legal information: the distinct value of aggregation
    • Legal publishing market: consolidation and competition
    • Pricing issues
    • Vendor relationships: dedicated representatives, training, and demonstrations
  • Chapter 6: Research sources and systems
    • Abstract:
    • Content properties
    • Systems, databases, providers, and facilitators: the conduits of content
  • Chapter 7: Conclusion: Law firm librarianship: a dynamic profession
    • Abstract:
    • The law firm world
    • User expectations in a high-tech world
    • The simplification of search
    • Predictions for possible directions
    • Dynamic and resilient
    • References
  • Index


No. of pages:
© 2013
Chandos Publishing
Print ISBN:
Electronic ISBN:

About the editor

John Azzolini

John Azzolini is a reference librarian at a leading global law firm, USA. He is part of a professional research staff that supports the high-level, time-sensitive information needs of the firm's corporate finance, securities, insurance, litigation, and mergers & acquisitions practice groups. Prior to this he was a technical services librarian at another global firm, Weil, Gotshal & Manges, based in New York, where he had extensive experience with cataloguing and collection development.


"This book presents a comprehensive discussion on law firm librarianship...This book is a very well written and easy-to-understand guide to law librarianship and is recommended for anyone interested in knowing more about this specialist area."--The Australian Library Journal, Vol. 63, No. 1, 2014