Research Skills


A strong foundation in legal research skills is important for all law students.

To make this possible, the library provides both face-to-face workshops and online legal research video series for students to upskill their legal research capabilities.

Legal Research Video Series

Look at our legal video series on topics such as secondary resources, cases, legislation, international law and AGLC - watch  the Legal Research Video Series (login required). 

Legal Research Workshops

Semester 2 lunch time workshops for JD, Masters and PhD Students

The Legal Academic Skills Centre (LASC) and the Law Library are offering a series of workshops that will support you to build the important skills you need for effectively researching your essays. These workshops are designed for everyone tackling a legal research project.

Note: You must join the Legal Academic Skills Centre Canvas Community ahead of time to get access to these classes.

Developing a research topic and approaches to legal research

Monday 15 August

1:00 -2.00pm

In this workshop we will look at where to find ideas for research topics and how to keep in touch with areas of research interest.

We will also work through four different approaches to legal research:

  • problem based
  • law reform
  • foreign and comparative
  • legal theory

Finding secondary sources for your research paper

Tuesday 16 August

12:00 noon - 1.00pm

In this workshop we will investigate how to use secondary sources effectively. We will be looking at

  • legal encyclopedias & dictionaries
  • how to effectively search for books and e-books in the catalogue
  • effective journal article searches in key databases
  • other secondary sources that may also be useful

Researching Australian Legislation

Thursday 18 August

1:00 - 2.00 pm

In this workshop we will be looking at

  • The Australian legislative process and the materials the resources that this process produces
  • How to find the resources that build up to a piece of legislation and are linked to a piece of legislation
  • How to find point in time legislation
  • How to find cases and secondary sources that are linked to a piece of legislation in key databases

Researching Australian Case Law

Monday 22 August

1:00 -2.00 pm

In this workshop we will look at:

  • What is an authorised report?
  • Australian case law and citator databases.
  • Know the differences in how the databases report cases.
  • How the different databases link into secondary sources, that are related to cases.

Managing your research with Zotero

Tuesday 23 August

To get the most out of this workshop please download Zotero and the Zotero connector.

In this workshop we will look at:

  • how to add the latest version of the AGLC into Zotero, as the preferred referencing system
  • how to load resources into your Zotero library
  • how to edit resources in the library
  • how to add bibliographic information into a document via the Zotero connector.

Researching international public law

Thursday 25 August

In this workshop we will look at:

  • sources of public international law
  • how to search treaty databases
  • how to find international cases
  • how to find UN documents
  • useful international sources that the library subscribes to

Researching foreign law

Monday 29 August

In this workshop we will look at:

  • how to find out about the legal system of different countries
  • key secondary sources that will help build research on a foreign law system
  • key primary sources that will help build research on a foreign law system
  • where to go for comparative legal research.

Digital technologies and the law

Tuesday 30 August

1:00 -2.00 pm

Tips on where to search and how to search when you are looking for information on how the new ways of connecting and doing business are impacting on the law.

Specialist Zoom lunch time research workshops

Digital technologies and the law

Tuesday 30 August

1:00 -2.00 pm

Tips on where to search and how to search when you are looking for information on how the new ways of connecting and doing business are impacting on the law.

To access the Zoom links register with the LASC community.

Clerkship research workshop where to find free resources

Monday 3 October

1:00 -2.00 pm

Assistance for when you are working in a legal position, that doesn’t have all of the resources available that are you generally use at the Melbourne Law School.

To access the Zoom links register with the LASC community.

Please note: further information, including the Zoom link can be found in the LASC Canvas page. You must join the Legal Academic Skills Community canvas page ahead of time.

Legal research drop ins - Online/Zoom

Bring along any research questions you have. To access the Zoom links register with the LASC community.

  • Tuesday 30 August, 5:00-6:00 pm
  • Thursday 15 September, 1:00-2:00 pm

JD legal research drop ins - Online/Zoom

Specialist research drop ins/ research trouble shooting for Juris Doctors. To access the Zoom links register with the LASC community.

  • Monday 5 September, 4:00-5:00 pm
  • Thursday 8 September, 10:00-11:00 am
  • Tuesday 13 September, 4:00-5:00 pm
  • Thursday 22 September, 1:00-2:00 pm

Additional workshops can be seen at  Library News & Events  and the Researcher@Library workshops page.