William and Mary Law School

Research & Instructional Services

The Reference department is staffed by five librarians, all of whom have J.D. and M.L.S. degrees. Reference Librarians teach patrons how to use the library and assist them with their research needs.

Research Services

The Reference Librarians are experts in research methodology. They:

  • Provide individual instruction on developing research strategies and on locating and using library resources;
  • Obtain information from sources outside the library;
  • Answer your questions on how to access print and electronic resources;
  • Consult on research sources to use for writing projects such as law review notes or seminar papers;
  • Publish general and subject-specific research guides; and
  • Provide reference services for students and alumni working for public or private-sector organizations.

Instructional Services

The Reference Librarians are part of the Law School's instructional team and participate in the School's Legal Skills Program. They also teach two Advanced Research Techniques courses.

Other instructional services the Reference Librarians provide include:

  • Subject-specific in-class research instruction at the request of faculty;
  • Advanced research training for new law journal members;
  • Training for faculty research assistants; and
  • Individual research instruction as requested by students.


Westlaw and Lexis Training 

Training in Westlaw and Lexis, the two major legal databases, is available throughout the school year to faculty and students. Representatives from Westlaw and Lexis teach beginner, intermediate, and advanced classes. Student signup sheets for Westlaw and Lexis training are at the reference desk in the Law Library. The reference librarians also provide training to students in their Advanced Research courses and as part of the Law School's Legal Skills Program.

Faculty members can obtain individual or group instruction from the Westlaw and Lexis representatives as well as the reference librarians. For more information about Westlaw and Lexis training please contact Chris Byrne (757-221-1736), email [[cdbyrn]].