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Friday, April 20 • 11:50am - 12:30pm
Introduction to Legal Research and Reference in Oregon: How Any Librarian Can Master the Question “Is It Legal?” (Part 2)

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“Is this legal?” is a regular question at reference desks across Oregon. At once the question summons a host of concerns for the librarian. “Where can I look for reliable legal information?” “How do I read this statute or case opinion?” “Am I giving the patron legal advice?” Forearmed with the right knowledge any librarian can confidently approach such questions with effective research tools and techniques.

Focusing on free and low cost resources, participants will learn how to find and search sources of law and legal reference materials. Next, participants will learn how identify reliable secondary sources. They will also practice using the structure of case law and statutes to read them quickly and effectively. Finally the class will address the unauthorized practice of law. Participants will learn how to avoid giving legal advice while still giving valuable help with confidence.

Divided into two 40-minute sections, Part 1 of the presentation will introduce attendees to the basics of Oregon legal research and the structure of the laws and legal literature. In Part 2, attendees will role play and discuss practical strategies for answering legal reference questions. Upon conclusion, participants can expect to have a basic grasp of Oregon’s legal structure and be prepared to confidently advise patrons on researching their legal questions.


Lewis Zimmerman

Reference Librarian, State of Oregon Law Library
After graduating from University of Illinois' College of Law Lewis practiced law as a prosecutor in Illinois for five years. He then went back to U of I and obtained a Masters degree in Library Science. In 2014 he joined the State of Oregon Law Library as a reference librarian.


Friday April 20, 2018 11:50am - 12:30pm PDT
Director's Room Hilton Eugene Conference Center, 66 East 6th Avenue, Eugene, OR 97401-2667 USA