Doing Legal Research in Canada – Canadian Legal Organizations

Guide: Table of Contents / Introduction / Canadian Primary Resources / Canadian Secondary Resources
Canadian Legal Organizations / Canadian Legal Publishers / Research by Topic

This section of Doing Legal Research in Canada provides information on the following law-related organizations:

  1. Canadian law libraries and library catalogs
  2. Canadian law library organizations
  3. Canadian law schools
  4. Canadian law societies and bar associations
  5. Canadian law firms
  6. Canadian law-related organizations (miscellaneous)

1. Canadian Law Libraries and Library Catalogs

Set out below is a list in geographic order from west to east of Canadian academic and courthouse libraries that have websites. Included in the list are links to each library’s online catalog (or to the campus-wide catalog where the particular law library does not have its own separate catalog and instead shares the campus catalog). For additional Canadian library catalogs, see the Canadian Library Gateway from Library and Archives Canada. The University of Calgary Law Library has an extensive page of links to law libraries and their catalogs.

Canadian Law Library Websites Law Library or Campus Online Catalog
Diana M. Priestly Law Library (UVic) Diana M. Priestly Law Library online catalog
UBC Law Library UBC online catalog
British Columbia Courthouse Library Society British Columbia Courthouse Library Society Catalog
U of Calgary Law Library U of Calgary online catalog
John A Weir Memorial Law Library (U of Alberta) U of Alberta online catalog
U of Saskatchewan Law Library U of Saskatchewan online catalog
E.K. Williams Law Library (U of Manitoba) U of Manitoba online catalog
U of Western Ontario Law Library U of Western online catalog
U of Windsor Law Library U of Windsor online catalog
Osgoode Hall Law School Law Library (York U) York U online catalog
Law Society of Upper Canada Great Library Law Society of Upper Canada Great Library Catalog
Supreme Court of Canada Law Library Supreme Court of Canada Law Library Catalog
Bora Laskin Law Library (U of Toronto) U of T online catalog
William R.Lederman Law Library (Queens U) Queens U online catalog
U of Ottawa Law Library U of Ottawa online catalog
Nahum Gelber Law Library (McGill) McGill U online catalog
U of Montreal Law Library U of Montreal online catalog
U of Sherbrooke Law Library U of Sherbrooke online catalog
U of Laval Law Library U of Laval online catalog
Gerard V. La Forest Law Library (UNB) UNB online catalog
U of Moncton Law Library U of Moncton online catalog
Sir James Dunn Law Library (Dalhousie) Novanet online catalog

2. Canadian Law Library Organizations

The national law library organization in Canada is the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL). Its website has extensive information on membership and activities of the organization, including its always popular annual meeting.

Several major cities in Canada have local law library organizations, such as the Vancouver Association of Law Libraries, Toronto Association of Law Libraries (TALL), the Montreal Association of Law Libraries, and the Edmonton Law Libraries Association (ELLA).

Both CALL and TALL have relatively active discussion groups or listservs. Information on how to subscribe to either of these listservs can be found below. In addition, messages posted to the CALL-L listserv are archived and can be searched by members only by linking to the CALL-L Archives.

To subscribe to CALL-L: send the following e-mail message to [email protected]

subscribe CALL-L Your Name

To subscribe to TALL-L: send the following message to [email protected]

subscribe t-lawlib-l firstname lastname

3. Canadian Law Schools

Set out below is a list of Canadian law schools. In Canada, law school is a three-year program usually entered after completion of an undergraduate degree and a strong test result on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Upon graduation, the student will receive an LL.B. law degree (although the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law has recently changed the name of its law degree to “J.D.” or Juris Doctor, similar to the American practice). However, this degree by itself is not sufficient to practice law. To practice law, the law school graduate must then article in the province in which he or she wishes to work. Although articling requirements vary slightly from province to province, it is generally a one-year form of apprenticeship, combined with the need to successfully pass the applicable provincial bar exam. Articling requirements will be explained in more detail on the home pages of the Canadian law societies, discussed below. The Council of Canadian Law Deans website also has a list of Canadian law schools.

Canadian Law Schools (from West to East)

4. Canadian Law Societies and Bar Associations

Lawyers in Canada are regulated by the provincial law society of which they are a member. Thus, for a lawyer in Canada to practice law, he or she must be admitted to a provincial law society as a barrister and solicitor (although Canada does not have a divided bar – lawyers in Canada are both barrister and solicitors and may practice as both a court lawyer and a solicitor or may specialize in one or the other).

Set out below are links to those Canadian law societies or bar associations that have websites:

5. Canadian Law Firms

Many Canadian law firms have websites. Some of these sites are a valuable source of information where lawyers at the firm have published law-related articles on their websites. Unfortunately, Canadian law firm websites are not well indexed on the Internet, so it is difficult to find one comprehensive list. Set out below, therefore, are two ways of finding Canadian law firms: (i) using existing “meta” lists of law firms, or (ii) browsing through a select list of some of the larger Canadian law firms (the head office of the firm is indicated in parentheses after the firm name; some of the larger firms have offices or affiliations across Canada):

6. Canadian law-related organizations (miscellaneous)

Set out below is a list of a variety of Canadian law-related organizations:

© 2000-2004 Ted Tjaden. Users may browse, download, print and link to this “Doing Legal Research in Canada Guide” for any non-commercial use or for educational use.

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