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Finding the Answers to Legal Questions: A How-To-Do-It Manual
Virginia Tucker and Marc Lampson
Item Number: 978-1-55570-718-7
Publisher: ALA Neal-Schuman
Price: $82.00
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274 pages
8.5" x 11"
ISBN-13: 978-1-55570-718-7
Year Published: 2010

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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-for-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.

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"Recommended to public libraries as a training tool for reference librarians, a collection and web site development guide, and an entry-level research tool for patrons."
--Law Library Journal

"This comprehensive manual is a valuable, must-have print resource for all public libraries." 
--Public Libraries

"I would be sure to keep it at my desk for future reference, and I believe it would be one of those books that would always provide some guidance, even as some legal resources change over time. That's why I recommend this book to anyone working at a public library, as well as anyone interested in learning legal research without going to paralegal or law classes."
--American Association of Law Libraries

"Librarians will love this—it reflects how legal information is organized as well as how it will be used. It will also appeal to lay researchers who need to understand the legal system."
--Library Journal (starred review)

"Tucker and Lampson offer a well-organized and easy-to-use guide … ideally suited for a public library, for use by the librarians employed there. It would also be helpful in an academic library where library and information sciences students would find it of use in preparation for a future position in a public or law library." 
--ARBA Online

"The book is notably comprehensive and includes numerous specific references to websites and other additional sources of information. It includes helpful guidance on such things as how to evaluate the trustworthiness of websites and self-help books." 
--Washington State Bar News

"Tucker and Lampson have written an impressive guide … The volume is also a bibliography unto itself, with citations to print resources and both free and fee-based websites and databases provided throughout. Libraries of all types …. are often called up to provide assistance and direction to those seeking legal information. This book will help libraries serve that need."

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Legal Reference for Librarians: How and Where to Find the Answers
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Library staff can provide valuable and ethical legal reference guidance with the practical guidance in this book.
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