FOR THE PUBLIC
The Law Society strongly recommends using the services of a lawyer for all legal processes. Lawyers have the training and experience to help you navigate through the legal system.
For further information on how to hire a lawyer, or for specific legal advice, please contact the Public Legal Information Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (PLIAN).
Disclaimer: The Law Library’s public services help locate legal information only; it’s not legal advice or a substitute for legal advice. Any member of the public using the Law Library’s services must ensure the information is applicable to their specific situation and acceptable in the Newfoundland and Labrador courts.
Law Library staff can provide assistance in locating legal information either in person (appointments are encouraged, over the phone (709-753-7770), or via email. We can teach you how to conduct basic legal research, suggest resources for further learning, and when necessary, make referrals to the appropriate organizations that provide legal advice.
What We CAN DO for You:
- Assist you in locating statutes, regulations or cases in print or online and other Crown-copyright materials in our collection;
- Help you learn to use the most useful freely-accessible online resources;
- Suggest resources for further research; and
- Make referrals to other legal service organizations in Newfoundland and Labrador.
What We CANNOT DO for You:
- Give legal advice;
- Interpret the meaning of statutes, cases or regulations;
- Identify or select statutes, cases or regulations for a specific situation;
- Scan commercial legal publications;
- Tell you which forms you require or what language to use to complete them;
- Advise on how to file a document;
- Describe which document(s) to file;
- Comment on how to proceed with court actions;
- Review completed documents prior to submission to court;
- State opinions on legal matters.
Members of the public can ask a library or legal information related question.
We specialize in information about local Law Library resources, collections, facilities, and LSNL services. We also answer questions and comments about library-supported technologies, including our website and online resources.
We work to answer all questions to the best of our ability and within legal restrictions, however, some questions are best handled by outside organizations. If we can’t answer your question, we’ll refer you to someone who can.
Basic Research Assistance – by Phone or by Email
Library staff can help you:
- Brainstorm search terms;
- Develop research strategies;
- Obtain free access to present and historical Canadian and Newfoundland & Labrador legislation and case law, as well as the Gazettes; and
- Provide referrals to organizations able to provide legal advice.
We’re available from Monday to Friday, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. (except statutory holidays) and can be reached at 709-753-7770 or email@example.com
Physical Access to the Law Library
Members of the public may access the Law Library to obtain assistance in locating legal information under the following guidelines:
- Access to the Law Library will be during staffed hours (generally 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday (excluding holidays).
- Appointments are encouraged and will be available from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Research assistance at a specific time cannot be guaranteed in the absence of an appointment*.
*We know that your time is valuable and that access to downtown can be challenging so we encourage appointments to ensure you get the most out of your visit. An appointment allows you and the Law Librarian to thoroughly discuss your research needs in advance to determine whether staff can be of assistance or whether your needs are better addressed by another service provider. If so, the Law Librarian will refer you to other service providers who can assist you. You can make an appointment by calling 709-753-7770.
Please note: Members of the public can only make use of the Law Library computers for:
These resources are also available anywhere you have access to a computer.
- Due to licensing restrictions, there is no public access to the Law Library commercial databases, including “DivorceMate.”
- For accessing the print materials:
- If you wish to view texts and you know the titles you want to view, you can provide the details to Law Library staff; and
- If you would like to look at texts on a given area, but don’t know the title(s), staff will pull some suggestions based on your query.
- If you choose to make an appointment, staff will pull these resources in advance and your requested materials will be waiting for you at an assigned station when you arrive.
- When you arrive, please ring the doorbell and wait in the porch area until a staff person lets you in.
- Members of the public may make notes or photocopies of content from the texts, including commercially published content up to 10% under the Fair Dealing Guidelines of the Copyright Act.
- There is a $0.50 cents per page charge for photocopying or printing. This service is provided on a not-for profit basis. The fee charged for this service is intended to cover the costs of the Law Society.
- The Law Library accepts cash, debit or credit card.
Scanning services are available to support public access for anyone unable to attend the Law Library in person with the following limitations* required to respect the copyright of the publishers of such materials, in accordance with the Fair Dealing Guidelines of the Canadian Copyright Act.
*Only single copies of library materials from primary open-access (not commercial) print or online legal resources, which are required for research, review, private study, criticism or for court/tribunal/government proceedings may be provided to members of the public. The specific purpose(s) of the scanning must be communicated to the library staff in advance to ensure it meets these requirements.
Please note: Memorial University of Newfoundland’s (MUN) Queen Elizabeth II Library offers a free community borrowers’ card to Newfoundland and Labrador residents and has a collection of legal texts that you can find through their catalogue. If you don’t have a borrowers’ card, you can request one via email or via telephone at (709) 864-7423. They also have an online Ask a Librarian service.
Court Forms Assistance
- If you know which court form you need, the Law Library will download one copy of a court form upon request; however, the Law Librarian cannot tell you which forms you require or whether the forms have been correctly completed.
- The Law Library will generally provide the forms in PDF format via email at no cost. The Law Library cannot print or copy forms or any other documents or submissions required for court purposes except that, if you don’t have access to email or a printer, the Law Library will make one print copy at a cost of $0.50 cents per page. You will need to arrange pickup for the document as forms will not be mailed.
Ask the Librarian via Zoom
You can access CanLII for legislation and case law anywhere you have access to the Internet. If you are unsure how to use CanLII or need guidance on starting or organizing your research, you can book a one-on-one half hour session with the law librarian via Zoom for help.
This service is available Monday to Friday (excluding statutory holidays) from 9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m./1 p.m. – 3 p.m. Please contact the Law Librarian and discuss your needs before booking a Zoom session. The Law Librarian may need to refer you to an organization better suited to assist you with your question. The library can be reached at 709-753-7770 or via email.
Disclaimer: Please note the Law Librarian cannot provide legal advice, interpret legislation, identify which court forms you require or answer specific questions about the viability of your issue.
You can also refer to the National Self-Represented Litigants Resources page which provides detailed guidance on being a self-represented litigant, how to read legal materials including cases, and developing court submissions. They also have a guide on how to use the CanLII database.
We also have a page of key websites for self-represented litigants that can assist you with legal questions. These sites have been reviewed by Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador lawyers to ensure the content is relevant and applicable in Newfoundland and Labrador.