Disruption to catalogue & other services from 2 to 3 July 2022. Read the full news item. 

From simple to complex: legal information for your community

Legal information is available in different formats and levels of complexity - from simple summaries to legislation and case law to community legal education talks.

Some legal questions can be answered with a simple online fact sheet or with a pamphlet from organisations such as Legal Aid NSW or Fair Trading NSW.

You can find fact sheets and pamphlets on the Find Legal Answers website.

It's also a great idea to provide free legal pamphlets as part of your legal collection, to allow clients easy access to plain language legal information which is free for them to take home. 

Pamphlets are free, authoritative, concise, easy to read, able be taken home by clients, easily browsed without staff assistance, and often available in community languages.

If you want to update your collection of pamphlets, check the Legal pamphlets page to find suggestions and recommended suppliers.

Law Books for Libraries collection

The Law Books for Libraries collections contain more complex resources, including legal textbooks that are used by law students and lawyers.

There are two Law Books for Libraries collections: the core collection and the recommended list.

These collections have been recently updated, and include a new edition of the Mortgage stress handbook - a practical guide for people having trouble with their mortgage.

Lawyers tools

These legal research resources:

  • provide detailed explanations and ways of identifying cases and legislation relevant to a legal subject area
  • include hard copy and online legal encyclopaedias, commentaries and annotations. 

If your client has a very complex legal enquiry, they may need to visit the State Library to use these more in-depth resources.  

Legislation and case law

All current legislation and many legal cases are freely available online. You will find links to key legislation listed under most topics on the Find Legal Answers website. You will also find sources of case law.

Going further - events and programs

Another way of providing legal information is by providing talks on legal topics. These events allow the participants to hear about the law from a legal expert and to ask questions.

Two community legal education talks are available for presentation, in partnership with Legal Aid NSW:

  • Avoiding scams
  • NDIS: how the law can help

The Piano Forte program is a community education program that deals with the issue of elder financial abuse. The program consists of a film screening and panel discussion with legal and community service representatives. 

These programs are available to be delivered at any time of year, and allow your community to find out about the law from legal experts.

And don't forget Law Week. Law Week is held in May every year and is a nationwide initiative to promote community awareness and understanding of the law, the legal system and the legal profession. Courts, legal agencies, solicitors, barristers, police and of course public libraries are all encouraged to get involved. It’s a wonderful opportunity for you to promote the Find Legal Answers resources and service to your community.

Legal education talk at Lithgow Library

Group of people in a library listening to a presentation