So you have a position at a legal office. The people are really nice. You like their vision and want to make a lasting impression. The office has an important matter coming up. You are asked to do some research on case law and commentary relating to the case. However, the office does not have all the databases you are used to using for research. What do you do?
Well, thanks to the MLS Library you have a very useful Research Guide that links you into free resources.
The MLS Library Free Resources Research Guide is split into tabs.
- The Welcome tab leads to professional produced resources and organisations where you can access AustLII, Victorian Legal Aid, Justice Connect and the Victoria Law Foundation. These resources link you directly into databases, networks and advisory services that will be helpful in your professional journey.
- The Legislation tab leads directly into official parliamentary sites, with links to Hansard, Gazettes, Explanatory Memoranda, Bills and Acts for the Commonwealth Government, State Governments and Territorial Governments.
This tab also has links to LawLex, which has free to use sections and Legify which will take you directly into official parliamentary sites.
There is also information in this page explaining what the minor legislative materials are.
- The Case Law tab leads to free databases where you can find cases, such as AustLII and its Noting Up case citator. There is also a diagram that explains how to use this feature. This tab also explains how cases in AustLII lead to LawCite. LawCite links to other cases, legislation, commentary and journal articles which will help give you background around a case and useful points of law.
There is also a link to Jade, Jade also has a handy case citation function that is also explained within the Case Law tab.
There are also direct links from here into court websites.
There are also links to free databases, that explain court report abbreviations.
Down the bottom of this tab there is useful information on authorised and unauthorised reports, parallel citations and unreported judgments.
- The Treaties tab has links to cites where you can look up information on Australian treaties, as well as treaties from other jurisdictions. Links include links to the United Nations Treaty Series and the Australian Treaty Series.
- The Australian Law Reform tab leads to Australian Law Reform Commission material, as well as reform commission material for all of Australia’s jurisdictions.
- The Secondary Sources tab has links to secondary source material produced by professionals and experts that work within the legal world. Links include links to the Australasian Legal Scholarship Library, The Law Handbook and The Wayback Machine.
- The Additional Australian Legal Research Guides tab links directly to other resources, such as the Parliamentary Library and A guide to online research for the Australian Federal legal system with some reference to the State level by Petal Kinder. These sites will lead to further resources, as well as give guidance on legal research.
- The Referencing and Citing tab links to the AGLC, which can be accessed online as well as linking to information and guidance on referencing, referencing software and a link to LASC, should you need help when you are out in practice, if you are still a student at the MLS.
So with the MLS Library’s Free Online Resources Research Guide our hypothetical student/graduate will be able to make an impression by finding resources that are useful for the new influential client. And hopefully you will find this resource useful too.
Thank you from the MLS Library Team