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Legal Research Training

What legal research training does the Library offer?

The Library runs regular free legal research training sessions which all Inns of Court members can attend. All sessions qualify for CPD.

The training year begins in October with a number of ‘Essentials of Practical Legal Research’ sessions, suitable for students but all members at any stage of their careers are welcome to attend.

Other sessions in winter include ‘Advanced Electronic Searching’ and ‘Navigating the Free Legal Web’.

In February and March we offer separate sessions on researching within Middle Temple Library’s jurisdictional specialisms – European and American legal research.

In spring and summer, refresher sessions are held.

We also offer legal research training as Qualifying Sessions which can be delivered in and outside of London.

More information on dates for upcoming sessions can be found on this page, the Inn’s calendar, notices on social media, on posters and flyers around the Library and the Inn and in the Inn’s monthly eNews.

All sessions qualify under the new CPD rules’ learning objectives as Legal Knowledge and Skills.

Essentials of Practical Legal Research

This session covers the essentials of practical legal research, highlights Middle Temple Library’s resources, and compares print with electronic sources.

Topics covered include searching for reported and unreported judgments; using print and online citators; searching for legislation; sourcing commentary sources and navigating practitioner texts; general internet searching; general legal research skills.

These sessions are suitable for students, but also offer an excellent way for new as well as experienced practitioners to review key skills.

“Excellent session – very informative"

"It's brilliant! The librarians are clearly passionate about the training and eager to share."

In 2019, we split this session in two, one session focusing on cases and the other on legislation.

1. Cases

This session covers how to research case law using online and print resources. We will look at subscription databases and free websites that focus on UK material alongside hardcopy digests, citators and encyclopaedias. We will also cover foreign and international case law, including cases from the EU.

2. Legislation

This session covers how to research legislation using online and print resources. We will focus on how to navigate both subscription and free websites for UK material, alongside key hardcopy resources, as well as pointing out where to find authoritative foreign and international material.


In a new series, we will be focusing on particular legal topics. The first is on human rights law, with more to follow.

Human Rights Law

This session focuses on key resources for researching human rights law. We will cover both online and print research tools and look at human rights research from a domestic and global perspective, including looking at resources from the European Court of Human Rights.

Advanced Electronic Searching

Master the art of searching subscription legal databases, familiarise yourself with Boolean logic and learn how to narrow and broaden your search results using connectors, fields and language.

Along with offering research tips, different databases and search engines are introduced and demonstrated throughout with the chance to engage in practical exercises.

“I think it will speed up and streamline research considerably. Could even have used it at work today!”

“Simply brilliant.”

Navigating the Free Legal Web

This session highlights some of the best and most useful free legal resources on the internet. The free web is a rich source of legal materials but knowing where to look and how to search is not always straightforward.

This session focuses on how to evaluate the signs of an authoritative website and suggests the most efficient ways to find what you are looking for on the free web.

Different practice areas are highlighted along with foreign and international resources and different legal materials, from legislation to case reports. There are opportunities to discuss the practice areas most relevant to you and to share your own experiences tracking down relevant law using free websites.

"Absolutely brilliant – very informative, excellent, experienced and engaged speaker. Thank you so much!"

“Very comprehensive and engaging.”

European Legal Research

As the Inn library which specialises in European legal research resources, this training session draws on the strengths of our collection and the expertise of our staff.

Delegates find out how to locate European Union legislation and case law; how to find European Court of Human Rights case law and what to consider when looking for national legislation and case law.

We also have available an online tutorial that focuses on finding and accessing case law related to EU legislation, which you can view freely here.

American Legal Research

As the Inn library which specialises in American legal research resources, this training session  draws on the strengths of our collection and the expertise of our staff.

Delegates find out how to locate American legislation and case law at both the federal and state levels and how to use legal research resources which are unique to the USA.

"The seminar gave an excellent overview of looking for all primary and secondary sources. I really enjoyed it. I thought it was absolutely fantastic!"

"Really worthwhile session. Very useful indeed."

Remote training and training within Chambers

Some of these sessions can be livestreamed so that they can be attended remotely - please see details on advertisements.

These sessions can also be held within Chambers - please email if you would be interested in this service.

Individual training sessions

We also offer individual training sessions if you need advice on:

  • locating books, journal articles, case reports and other materials
  • which databases to use, and how best to use them
  • which hardcopy resources are most appropriate
  • constructing effective online searches
  • identifying words and phrases to use in a search
  • narrowing or broadening your search results


If you are interested in booking a session, please contact the Assistant Librarian by phoning 020 7427 4830 or emailing

You can also contact us if you would like a general introduction to the Library.

Who can attend these training sessions?

All Inns of Court members can attend these sessions, whether a student or barrister, practising or non-practising. All sessions are free-of-charge.