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How Do I Become a Law Librarian?

M.C. Huguelet
By
Updated May 17, 2024
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If you find the idea of working as a librarian who specializes in the area of legal research appealing, you may want to become a law librarian. Entering the field of law librarianship generally requires two or more academic qualifications. Specifically, in order to become a law librarian you will likely need an undergraduate degree, a master’s degree in library and information science, and at least some training in legal research and terminology. To give yourself an added competitive edge once you begin the job search, you may also wish to complete an internship while working on your studies.

The first step on your journey to become a law librarian should be to earn an undergraduate degree. In general, there is no specific undergraduate major required for a career in law librarianship. However, many students opt for a liberal arts or humanities major that provides plenty of experience doing research, writing, and thinking critically. Common majors for students who intend to go on to become law librarians include English, history, and philosophy. No matter the major you choose, keep in mind that admission to library and information science master’s programs can be highly competitive, and consequently you should strive for good grades during your undergraduate years.

In order to become a law librarian, you will almost certainly need a master’s degree in library and information science. This degree will prepare you for the many different facets of working as a librarian, such as cataloguing, acquisitions, using various forms of research technology, and so forth. Most library and information science degrees can be completed in one to two years, and some programs even offer options for online study, a feature which allows many students to work part or full time while completing their degree. Note that it can be extremely useful to select a library and information science program that allows you to specialize in law librarianship.

Along with a master’s degree, you will likely also need at least some training in various aspects of law, such as legal research and terminology, in order to become a law librarian. This training may be acquired as part of your master’s program itself or may require some additional classes. It is important to note that law librarians who are employed by law schools are often expected to have a full law degree in addition to a library and information science degree.

Finally, during the years that you are working on your undergraduate and graduate degrees, you may be able to take steps that will make you stand out once you are ready to start the job search. Consider completing a summer internship at a law library or law firm. Such a position will not only give you hands-on experience, but may also provide you with valuable contacts who may be able to assist you as you search for a job.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
M.C. Huguelet
By M.C. Huguelet
Cate Huguelet, a Chicago-based freelance writer with a passion for storytelling, crafts engaging content for a wide range of publications, including WiseGEEK. With degrees in Writing and English, she brings a unique perspective and a commitment to clean, precise copy that resonates with readers. Her ability to understand and connect with audiences makes her a valuable asset to any content creation team.

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M.C. Huguelet

M.C. Huguelet

Cate Huguelet, a Chicago-based freelance writer with a passion for storytelling, crafts engaging content for a wide range of publications, including WiseGEEK. With degrees in Writing and English, she brings a unique perspective and a commitment to clean, precise copy that resonates with readers. Her ability to understand and connect with audiences makes her a valuable asset to any content creation team.
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