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Cite as: (2003) 77(9) LIJ, p.10

Legal research training program

Law Institute library training sessions garner positive responses.

“Very helpful. I feel as though I now know what I’m doing”
“Highly relevant”
“Straightforward and easy to follow”
“Great refresher”
“Excellent muffins”

These are just some of the positive comments received by Law Institute library as a result of its training sessions.

The “Legal research training program” was set up in 2000 in response to an identified need. Regular classes covering Internet, case law and legislation are conducted in the Members’ IT lab at the Institute. More than 80 sessions have been run to date, with positive and constructive feedback being received.

Key to the library’s focus is an awareness of the need to be accessible to all members, regardless of their proximity to the Institute. To this end, the library has taken its training sessions to the following regional districts – Ballarat, Bendigo, Goulburn Valley, Wangaratta and Warrnambool. Legal Internet classes have been conducted in regional academic institutions and community legal centres. All training sessions were well attended and have allowed an invaluable exchange of ideas between Institute staff and members.

In the coming months the library will expand the program, moving into other areas in the state as well as returning to those previously visited. Training will also be offered to members in the CBD and suburban Melbourne.

Catherine Vardy has recently started at the Institute in the role of training librarian. She spent several years as a librarian at Phillips Fox before travelling and working on various projects for Financial Times Business in London.

Catherine is responsible for the continued development of and provision of the legal research, Internet and legal online services training. Training will be provided on site at practitioners’ offices on a one-to-one, firm or law association basis. Specific subject based sessions can also be planned.

Institute information services manager Sue Woodman encouraged members to take up the opportunity to gain experience and confidence in using the Internet effectively. “The aim of extending the training program is to increase our members awareness of the range of legal and practical information that is available to them, and their ability to use these online services,” she said.

Two of the classes currently on offer are:

Introduction to the Internet
Who’s afraid of the Internet? This class is for members who know the Internet will probably be useful to them, but just need a push to get started. The session is designed to get you clicking and performing simple searches using legal and non-legal websites.

Advanced Internet
So you’ve visited a few legal websites and you’ve done some successful searching, but are you finding what you need? Are there things you’re forgetting? This class uses freely available websites and focuses on legislation, case law and subject searching.

If you are interested in arranging a session in either of the above classes or have specific requirements, Catherine Vardy can be contacted at the Institute on tel: 9607 9364 or email


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