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Lawyering Toolkit: Smarter Skills Pack

Working towards a national framework for law literacy

Smarter Skills Pack


Smarter Skills Pack

 image of purple open box    Everything you need to know to become more proficient at finding legal information.

Step 1 Books & Journals

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Books & Journals 


Useful Books

Journal Suggestions

The Bar Review

Step 2 Databases

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About Databases

What is a legal database?

A legal database is a collection of independent works data or other materials that relate to law which are arranged in a methodical and systematic way and can be accessed and searched electronically. Some databases are free and others require a subscription. Check with your institution to find out what legal databases are available to you.

Finding Older Case Law

How to find older cases 

e.g. Citation refers to Frewen

Judgments of the Court of Criminal Appeal



How to find older legislation 

e.g. where a year is mentioned in terms of a monarch's reign

Table of Regnal Years 

Table of Regnal years

Step 3 Assignment

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Approaching your assignment

Smarter Quick Tip

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Knowledge and skills you learn in one course or even another subject can be applied and even help you in other disciplines and research. Use your skill set holistically.

Law Formation in Ireland

How Laws are made in Ireland 

The main function of the Houses of the Oireachtas, the Irish parliament, is to make laws for Ireland. The legislative organ established by the Constitution is the Oireachtas, which consists of two Houses and the President. Legislation is passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas, Dáil Éireann and is signed into law by the President. Click here for more information on the legislative process.


England & Wales Legal Systems

Other useful links to UK Legal Sources

Stay up to date with newly enacted legislation for the UK, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The Big Project

Law Society UK

Step 4 Learning Checkpoint

Learning Check 



Let us know if there was something else you needed in the smarter skills pack



This guide has been created by Susan Boyle, Virginia Conrick, Ann O'Sullivan and Pattie Punch as a collaborative initiative through the British and Irish Association of Law Librarians (BIALL) Irish Group.