Criminal Justice Resources: Criminal Justice Library Internships

Ken Strutin (JD, MLS) is an experienced law librarian, criminal defense attorney, and well-known writer and speaker. He is the author of The Insider’s Guide: Criminal Justice Resources on the Internet, and has lectured extensively about the benefits of using the Internet for legal research at national and local CLE training programs. Mr. Strutin also wrote ALI-ABA’s Practice Checklist Manual on Representing Criminal Defendants, and co-authored the award winning Legal Research Methodology computer tutorial, published by the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI). He has contributed chapters to several books and written many articles concerning knowledge management, legal research and criminal law. Mr. Strutin has taught courses in Advanced Legal Research and Law Office Management. He is also listed in Who’s Who in American Law. Currently, Mr. Strutin is the Director of Legal Information Services at the New York State Defenders Association and writes a column for the New York Law Journal. Other guides by Ken Strutin on


A library internship is one of the first opportunities for students to experience professional life and learn practical lessons in librarianship. This collection of resources will be useful to library students and aid their host libraries in answering questions, assembling training materials, and offering guidance in professional development. Many of these sources are applicable to law library settings in general, and others are specific to libraries with substantial criminal justice collections.

Internship and Fellowship Programs

Criminal Justice Resources
Law Library Practice Career Development


Professional Development
Research Guides Reading Room

I nternship and Fellowship Programs

Library students eager to gain practical experience or graduates seeking additional training and professional development can learn about available programs through these resources.

· Fellowships & Scholarships; Internship Host Sites; Intern Program Guidelines (COLLE)
The Conference of Law Library Educators has collected a list of resources concerning law library internship programs, fellowships and grant opportunities.

· Research Library Residency & Internship Programs (ARL)
The Association of Research Libraries has created a database of library and academic sponsors with information about the types of internship, fellowship or residency programs they offer.

Law Library Practice

Professional standards are invaluable guideposts for new librarians, and offer an idea of what will be expected of them in practice.

· Competencies of Law Librarianship (AALL)
The American Association of Law Libraries developed a set of standards for law librarians. They begin with Core Competencies for all librarians, and continue with a series of Specialized Competencies in such areas as library management, reference, information technology, collection management, and teaching. See also Core Competencies for Head Law Librarian

· Competencies for Special Librarians (SLA)
The Special Libraries Association has promulgated a set of professional and personal competencies for information professionals working in special libraries, including law and business settings.


Each library will have its orientation program and particular in-house training guides. But there are many types of educational materials suited to library students with different levels of experience and learning styles. Major legal institutions and publishers provide useful tutorials and certificate programs. The customer service representatives for various publishers and data providers also offer training for users.

· Berring’s Legal Research Podcasts
Robert C. Berring Jr., Walter Perry Johnson Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law – Boalt Hall, has created a series of podcasts on basic legal research topics, such as case law, legislative histories, local laws, federal statutes and research strategies. Additional resources can be found on his home site, Berring on Legal Research.

· Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI)
This is a non-profit consortium of more than 200 law schools dedicated to advancing and improving the use of computer-based learning. Over the years, they have expanded their membership to include law firms, legal aid organizations, state and county law libraries, and paralegal programs. Notably, this resource is open to library students in legal research or law librarianship programs. They offer high quality, self-paced tutorials in many areas of law, e.g., legal research and criminal law, written by law professors and law librarians, and many other educational resources such as podcasts.

· Internet Research
These articles and sites focus on the importance of properly evaluating web-based information, which constitutes a growing portion of research results.

o 10 Things to Know About Evaluating Medical Resources on the Web (NIH)

o Beyond Algorithms: A Librarian’s Guide to Finding Web Sites You Can Trust (Google Librarian Center)

o Evaluating & Authenticating Legal Web Resources , 52 Syracuse L. Rev. 1185 (2002)

o Getting It Right: Verifying Sources on the Net, by Sabrina I. Pacifici

o Librarians’ Internet Index

o Trials and Tribulations of Internet Research (Oklahoma Bar Journal)

· LexisNexis Librarian Certificate of Mastery Program
This is a free Lexis research training program aimed at the work of librarians. It covers primary law and analytical resources, and news and business or litigation research modules. In addition, certificates can also be earned in specific areas of law, such as federal legislation, securities law, global resources, taxation, patents, labor law, insurance and bankruptcy.

· LexisNexis Paralegal Certificate Programs
Lexis offers free training in basic legal research that can lead to either a Paralegal Certificate of Mastery or Advanced Cite Checking. The Paralegal Certificate is comprised of five one-hour training sessions that cover case analysis, cite checking, people finding, and business research. The Cite Checking program is in two parts and focuses on Shepard’s and Checkcite, and other related Lexis tools.

· LexisNexis Training and Tutorials
Lexis’ training options include eLearning Modules, web classes, personalized telephone training, on-site training and classes offered in training centers.

· Shepard’s Tutorial
Lexis has created this online tutorial to explain the Shepard’s citator tool and built-in options.

· Westlaw Certification Series
Online training is available through Advanced Westlaw Certification in case law, statutory and secondary source research. Topical seminars are also offered in bankruptcy, employment law, environmental law, international law, litigation, intellectual property/patent law, tax and trademark.

· Westlaw Training Options
Online or phone training, classroom or onsite classes, along with user guides and manuals can be found on this Westlaw resource page.

Research Guides

Often students will need to learn new subject areas or educate themselves about a particular legal system. These resources, national in scope, provide links to guides and manuals concerning various topics and jurisdictions.

· Citation Manuals: Legal

o ALWD Citation Manual (Association of Legal Writing Directors)

o Association of Reporters of Judicial Decisions (see style manuals on individual reporting bureau sites)

o Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (Harvard Law Review)

o Introduction to Basic Legal Citation (Legal Information Institute)

o Universal Citation (ABA)

o University of Chicago Manual of Legal Citation [Maroon book]

· Citation Manuals: General

o APA Style

o Chicago Manual of Style

o MLA Style

· Law Scout (University of Akron School of Law)
This is a compilation of legal research guides, pathfinders, bibliographies and tutorials published by US law schools. They cover a broad range of topics and highlight state specific research tools. Brief descriptions of each school’s collection are included.

· State Court Structure Charts (NCSC)
This is a convenient collection of court diagrams for each state. It is maintained by the Court Statistics Project of the National Center for State Courts.

Criminal Justice Resources

This is a short list of databases, directories, and government and academic websites for anyone working in a criminal justice library.

Current Awareness

· Corrections & Sentencing Law & Policy (SSRN)

· Crime & Courts (

· Criminal Justice Journalists’ News Center

· Criminal Law & Procedure (SSRN)

· Criminal Justice Blogs, LLRX, Dec. 17, 2006

Criminal Justice

· Bureau of Justice Assistance

· Criminal Justice Links (Prof. Cecil Greek)

· Forensic Science Resources

· National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS)

· National Institute of Justice (NIJ)

· Vera Institute of Justice (VIJ)


· Directory of Criminal Law Professors (CrimProf Blog)

· Prosecutor Web Sites (Eaton County Prosecuting Attorney)

· Public Defender Web Sites (Washington College of Law)

· Public Defense Systems, LLRX, June 18, 2006

· Graduate Education in Criminal Justice: A State-By-State Guide (Prof. Tom O’Connor)


· Bureau of Prisons (BOP)

· Department of Justice (DOJ)

· Legislative Information (Thomas)

· US Sentencing Commission (USSC)


· Courts (AOUSC)

· Findlaw

· Legal Information Institute

· LexisONE

· Library of Congress (LOC)

· Pacer (AOUSC)

· US Supreme Court Center


· Acronym Finder


· Keyboard Assistance and Shortcuts (Microsoft)

· Library of Congress Catalog

· Wayback Machine

· WorldCat

Research Guides

· Criminal Justice: A Guide to Information Sources (SUNY Albany)

· Internet Resources in Criminal Justice (SUNY Albany)


· Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)

· Federal Justice Statistics Resource Center

· Justice Research and Statistics Association

· National Archive of Criminal Justice Data

· Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics

· Statistical Abstract of the United States

· Uniform Crime Reports (FBI)

Career Development

Online there are job listings and resources for new librarians in academic, government, and private settings.

· American Association of Law Libraries Hotline (AALL)
This national association provides regular postings of new law library related jobs. Individual chapter organizations post their own job listings. See AALL Chapters. And take note of the AALL listservs.

· Bibliography of Employment Resources for Law Librarians, LLRX, May 15, 2005
This is an extensive collection of national jobs sites covering law librarian positions. It was prepared by Gloria Miccioli, International Librarian for the Jones Day DC office.

· Clusty Jobs
This is an aggregate search engine, powered by, which searches and clusters over 500 websites and job boards, the top 200 newspapers, hundreds of associations, and company career pages. It also allows job searches by state.

· Chronicle of Higher Education
This academic news publication routinely lists jobs in the area of library and information science at college and university libraries across the country, and occasionally from other parts of the world.

· Guide to Employment Sources in the Library and Information Profession (ALA)
This is a very thorough and comprehensive list of library job resources and placement services. It was compiled by Beatrice Calvin, Program Officer for the Placement & Recruitment Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment at the American Library Association.

· HOWTO: Apply for a Library Job
This is a guide for newly minted librarians starting their job search. It includes sources for locating job listings, tips on preparing resumes and cover letters, and pointers on interviews. It also includes a bibliography of library job search guides.

· Jobs Blog: Librarians Reference These Sites When Seeking Work, Wall Street Journal, April 11, 2005
This article describes some select and specialty library job sites across the board.

· Jobs in Library and Information Technology
The Library & Information Technology Association posts job listings from all types of libraries across the country.

· Law Librarian Blog
This web log provides news and summaries of developments of interest to law librarians. It occasionally posts new job advertisements, which are collected in the Employment category. It also provides a useful list of library periodical publications, law publishers and other resources. The site is maintained by Joe Hodnicki, Associate Director for Library Operations, and Ron Jones, Reference & Electronic Services Librarian, at the University of Cincinnati Law Library, along with several contributing editors from other law libraries.

· Law Publishers
Online and print vendors hire librarians as liaisons, researchers, editors, and in other capacities. Here are a few career sites:


o LexisNexis

o Thomson West

· Legal Recruiters for Law Librarians
The American Association of Law Libraries created this informational document about job search agents who work primarily in the legal field.

This site features practical articles in which information professionals share their experiences and insights about education, skills development, work experiences and career planning. Each subject area includes an archive of articles and relevant websites and lists of print resources.

Info Career Trends provides a rich collection of resources on job hunting for librarians. It includes links to library employment ads by state, nationally, internationally, and by practice area. Notable is the list of Sites with RSS Feeds.

· New and Alternative Careers for Librarians and Information Professionals
This is a unique distance learning seminar offered by the School of Library & Information Science at San Jose State University and taught by Amelia Kassel, President of MarketingBase.

Professional Development

An important aspect of student internships is an introduction to professional life. Here are sites about librarianship and resources for current awareness and growth.

Library associations provide abundant resources for students, and the chance to participate in the development of their profession throughout their careers. Note that the national associations have local chapters and affiliates, and special divisions or sections devoted to law librarianship.

· American Association of Law Libraries (AALL)

· American Library Association (ALA)

· Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE)

· Conference of Law Library Educators (COLLE)

· International Association of Law Libraries (IALL)

· Library & Information Technology Association (LITA)

· Special Libraries Association (SLA)

· World Criminal Justice Library Network (WCJLN)

Current Awareness

· BeSpacific

· Law Librarian Blog



· Google Librarian Center

· LexisNexis InfoPro

· Westlaw Law Librarian Resource Center


· Current Studies in Librarianship

· Get Published 101

· Library Student Journal

· Mortimore-Singh Guide to Publication in Library and Information Studies

· Publish, Not Perish: The Art & Craft of Publishing in Scholarly Journals

· So You Want to Be a Writer Writing: Prospects Broaden Among Law Library Publications

Reading Room

These are recent articles and resources about law library practice that will be of value to students and recent graduates beginning to explore their professional interests.

· American Lawyer Media’s (ALM) Annual Survey of Law Librarians

o Law Librarians Look Beyond Books, July 11, 2006

o Don’t Count Them Out, July 1, 2005

o Second Annual AmLaw Tech Library Survey, June 2003

AmLaw Tech’s Annual Survey of Law Firm Libraries – Links to charts and data are available at the end of this article.

· Ask a Simple Question: Advice That Lawyers Find Hard to Follow,, April 11, 2005

· Best Careers 2007: Librarian (US News & World Report)

· Commentary: The Many Hats of a Law Librarian,, Jan. 24, 2007

· Day in the Life of a Law Librarian, Law Library Lights, Winter 2007

· Day in the Life of a Law Librarian,, August 4, 2006

· Lessons in Librarianship, LLRX, Jan. 15, 2002

· Librarians in Occupational Outlook Handbook (BLS)

· Top 10 Things Law Librarians Want New Associates to Know, Legal Intelligencer, April 20, 2006

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Posted in: Criminal Law, Law Librarians, Legal Research Training, Librarian Resources