For Courts


In response to the perceived need for improvement in legal research training, the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) has developed Principles and Standards for Legal Research Competency. AALL members are information professionals engaged in performing and teaching legal research

The literature of the legal profession suggests that research competency directly impacts professional efficiency and effectiveness. The Standards and Competencies provide a concrete framework for the assessment of research competency that can be applied at any point on the continuum of a legal professional's career and in any specific field within the legal profession.

This section includes the Principles and Standards, the AALL report on the Principles and information on reports and studies that discuss the issue of legal research competency, and information on how law firms, law schools, courts, and bar examiners have contemplated using the Principles and Standards for Legal Research Competency.

We hope that the AALL Principles and Standards for Legal Research Competency will be useful to courts. Law clerks often arrive immediately following law school. Law clerks may be exposed to an area of the law which is new or unfamiliar. The Principles, Standards, and Competencies can guide researchers by providing a framework for selection of sources and performing research. The Principles and Standards can also be used as part of an orientation program for new law clerks or other researchers within the court.

As this section develops, we expect to gather examples of how the Principles and Standards may be used in various settings: courts, law firms, law schools, bar examiners. We encourage you to explore the section to see how the Principles and Standards might be used in your court to provide researchers the skills they need to perform their work.