IALS Library has a leading role in the training of law librarians and legal information professionals in the United Kingdom and provides opportunities for training to visiting law librarians from around the world.


Graduate Trainee Library Assistants

Participation in the one year graduate trainee scheme at IALS provides a unique opportunity to develop professional skills in handling legal materials from around the world. The work offers a useful balance of frontline duty sessions at busy enquiry points and sectional duties behind-the-scenes in the Library's Academic Services and Information Resources sections.

These one-year posts provide graduates with varied practical experience in a national research library suitable for those intending to apply for a postgraduate course in librarianship and information science. It is not necessary to have a law degree or legal background in order to apply, but knowledge of a European language other than English would be useful. Each person normally spends six months in the following sections: Continuations and Academic Services / Document Supply Services. There is an extensive in-house training programme of workshops on basic legal information resources (paper, CD-ROM and web-based) and a number of afternoon visits to other libraries for comparative purposes. In addition to sectional duties, graduate trainees will spend a minimum of two half-days per week as one of a team of two staff at the IALS Global Law Library's busy Issue & Enquiry Desk, and other shared duties as required. All three posts are also encouraged to participate in the SAS Libraries' in-house training programme for Graduate Trainees.

Recruitment normally takes place annually in January and February for appointments commencing in September of that year.

Information about the subsequent career path of many former IALS Library Graduate Trainees, who kindly keep in touch, reads like a who's who of the legal information profession in the UK.

Visiting Fellowship in Law Librarianship

The Institute considers applications for the Fellowship in Law Librarianship in respect of any area of law librarianship. The duration of the fellowship is flexible, but is normally between 2 and 6 months. Fellowships can consist of or include a period working with Institute library staff, or be a period of research based in a research carrel.

Law Library Placements

Additional placements at IALS Library can be arranged on an individual basis, normally for senior law librarians and legal information specialists. Visitors in recent years have included:

  • Mr Joseph Semugabi, Chief Librarian, Law Development Centre, Kampala, Uganda - Commonwealth Professional Fellowship 2013
  • Mrs Ufuoma Lamikanra, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies - Commonwealth Professional Fellowship 2011
  • Akua Aforo, Ghana Institute of Advanced Legal Studies
  • Tania Schriver, University of Washington in Seattle

For many years successive members of IALS Library staff have produced the Current Awareness column in BIALL's journal, Legal Information Management, providing a classified list of newly published books and journal articles of specific interest to law library and legal information professionals. Full bibliographic details are given for all items listed. Information from the Current Awareness columns is also available in an IALS online database, caLIM. The caLIM database can be searched by author, title or by a free text search of all fields. This service is freely available to all users.

See more information on Socio-Legal Training Days.