Finding the Answers to Legal Questions
Virginia Tucker and Marc Lampson
274 pages • 2010
More people than ever are choosing to represent themselves in court and use the library as their primary, if not only, source for obtaining accurate, up-to-date legal information and legal research advice. Finding the Answers to Legal Questions: A How-To-Do-It Manual is a comprehensive guide to help public librarians confidently assist users in finding the legal information they need whether for self-representation, to be an informed consumer of legal service, or to learn the U.S. legal system, the workings of the courts, and common questions likely to arise.
Authors Virginia Tucker and Marc Lampson provide a clearly organized, easy-to-use resource packed with guidance to help librarians answer questions that span the gamut of the law. There is an overview of fundamental legal information, including the basic structure of the U.S. legal system and primary law, and how-to instructions for finding primary law in print sources, free websites, and pay-view databases. The authors share tips for conducting a legal reference interview and describe common legal questions across a number of different areas, including lawsuits, family law, landlord-tenant disputes, wills and estate planning, debt, bankruptcy, employment, and criminal law. The authors also explain how to build a basic legal reference collection, including a how-to guide for creating a basic website of legal links and for building a small, low-cost collection of print resources.
Finding the Answers to Legal Questions: A How-To-Do-It Manual is an ideal book for practicing librarians looking to better serve users legal needs, as well as for LIS faculty and students preparing for careers as public librarians.