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Lawyering Toolkit: Starter Skills Pack

Working towards a national framework for law literacy


Starter skills Pack

box   Everything you need to know to prepare yourself to find legal information if you are new to law.


Learning Inspiration


“A lawyer without books would be like a workman without tools.”

Thomas Jefferson

Orientation Tools

Structure of the Irish Courts

structure of Irish courts chart

Structure of The Irish Courts

An infographic displaying the structure of the Court system and appeals in Ireland.

The Legal System in Ireland

What is?

image of five legal icons in a powerpoint slide

Use our quick What is guide below to find out what these legal elements are;

  • Bill
  • Act
  • Statutory Instrument
  • Judgment
  • Precedent


image of icon with graphic of books at the centre


Approaching your Reading list

Find an eBook

Cite an eBook

Study Skills

Reading Suggestions

Citing your References

OSCOLA Ireland

OSCOLA Ireland is a citation style used for legal citation.  OSCOLA Ireland is a variant of the UK version known as OSCOLA  adapted for the Irish Jurisdiction needs. The site provides helpful information on how to cite your sources correctly using this citation style. 



Citing a book

image of icon with magnifying glass graphic at the centre


Starter Quick Tip

image of a card with the word tip written on it

Read the assignment you are given carefully and make sure you answer the question you are given rather than the question you hoped for.

Useful Resources


The British and Irish Legal Information Institute is a really useful site that provides access to freely available British and Irish public legal information where you can find British and Irish case law & legislation, European Union case law, Law Commission reports, and other law-related British and Irish material.

Searching Tools - Case Law


Find a case -

  • Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Co [1893] 1 QB 256
  • Case Name/[Year]/Volume/Report Series/Page Number

This citation enables you to find the case in your library's print collection or via a legal database such as Vlex Justis.

Legal Triage - what are stuck on?


image of slide of triage steps - what are you stuck on

Use our quick Legal Triage guide  at the points when you need tips on where to go next for legal information. 

Citing Case Law

image of black box with icon of blue writing pen

Case citation examples;

  • Riordan v Ireland [2009] IESC 44, [2009] 3 IR 745. 

  • Doran v Delaney [1998] 2 IR 61 (SC). 

  • Friends of the Curragh Environment Ltd v An Bord Pleanála (No 2) [2006] IEHC 390, [2007] 1 ILRM 386.

Bibliography of Resources on legal Citation

Searching Tools - Legal Databases


What is a database?

A database is an organised collection of data stored on a computer.  Information on particular topics are gathered together so that you can search for what you need easily and rapidly e.g. cases.  Information is dynamic and updated frequently. 



Vlex Justis Legislation Tutorial - Susan

VLex Justis Starter Guide

Westlaw IE tutorial





Learning Check

Learning Check tools

image of slide with title starter skills pack check your learning

Careers - How to become....

Grad Ireland Law

Use this site to look at comprehensive careers advice and jobs for legal sector.



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.