LPAB Student Resources


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Student ID/Library cards



Distance students


Supplementary Materials

Legal research help
Study group
Off-campus access
    to Library resources

Other useful sites

Law Extension Committee

Get a Unikey
Legal Profession Admission Board

Student ID/Library cards

A combined Student ID / Library Card will be sent to you soon after you first enrol and should be kept for the duration of your Diploma in Law. It will be revalidated at the beginning of each session in which you are enrolled.

Your card gives you full access to Library services and borrowing privileges at all University of Sydney Libraries. You should always have your Student ID / Library Card with you when you are using the Library. Your card is non-transferable, and must be presented when borrowing.

Student ID / Library Cards are processed by Campus Cards. You should contact them if you have any enquiries relating to card processing, revalidation or lost cards.


When does my card expire?

Your card expires at the end of each session and should be automatically revalidated by Campus Cards at the beginning of each session in which you enroll. At the start of a session it is helpful to bring proof of enrolment to the Library.

What if I lose my card?

No cards can be made at the Library. To organise a replacement card please contact Campus Cards.

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University of Sydney Libraries

LPAB students may borrow from any of the University of Sydney Libraries. The Law and Fisher Libraries are the most useful for legal studies. See LPAB card details for more information about your privileges.

Other Australian university libraries - University Libraries Australia and New Zealand (ULANZ) National Borrowing Scheme

The National Borrowing Scheme allows LPAB students to borrow from other University Libraries. See the Library's Borrowing at Another Australian or New Zealand University page for more information.

Distance Students

Borrowing for distance students?


LPAB students who are living in Australia but beyond the below train stations are considered to be distance students and are eligible for distance services:
  • Lisarow
  • Richmond
  • Faulconbridge
  • Picton
  • Wollongong


Register now


Once registered, click here to request books / copies from the Library collection

Further information about what services are available to distance clients can be found on the Distance Clients page.


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Supplementary Materials

Administrative Law Legal Institutions Local Government and Planning
Australian Constitutional Law Equity Practice and Procedure
Contracts Family Law Public International Law
Conveyancing Insolvency Law Torts
Criminal Law Jurisprudence Understanding Legal Language and Legislation
Legal Ethics Real Property

PDF Troubleshooting

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Legal Research Help

Library Tours

Includes a tour of the collections held at the Law Library and an overview of the facilities available.

Hands-on classes

Designed to give:
  • an introduction (or refresher) on searching legal databases and other useful websites
  • lots of hands-on practice and exercises
Finding cases - covers finding Australian and English cases in full text in a variety of online databases and how to find additional information about cases.
Finding legislation - looks at finding and researching legislation online.
Finding books and journal articles - looks at finding books and journal articles for assignments and study by searching the Library Catalogue and journal databases.
'All in one' research classes
- these 3 hour classes are a condensed version of the individual classes to make attendance easier for students who are unable to get to individual sessions.

Legal Research Classes Summer 2015-16

Tours: 30 minute tours of the Law Library are available on request. Contact Patrick O'Mara, LPAB Librarian, to arrange a tour (Email: patrick.omara@sydney.edu.au or phone 02 9351 0293).
Held in Computer Training Rooms, University of Sydney Herbert Smith Freehills Law Library, Sydney Law School Building, Eastern Avenue, University of Sydney (Camperdown Campus). Meet at Law Library Information Desk.
Bookings are required for all classes . To make a booking please contact Patrick O'Mara, LPAB Librarian (Email: patrick.omara@sydney.edu.au or phone 02 9351 0293).

* Priority will be given to distance students at the 'All in One' class scheduled for 1pm to 4pm on Friday 27th November prior to Weekend School 1. However, Sydney-based students are welcome to make an expression of interest in attending this class and can do so if there are places available. More 'All in One' classes may be scheduled on another Saturday if there is sufficient demand.

Monday 9th November Finding Legislation 12.30pm - 1.30pm
Monday 9th November Finding Cases 6pm - 7pm
Tuesday 10th November Finding Cases 12.30pm-1.30pm
Wednesday 11th November Finding Books & Journal Articles 12.30pm - 1.30pm
Thursday 12th November Finding Legislation

6pm - 7pm

Saturday 14th November 'All in One' Legal Research Morning session: 9.30am-12.30pm
Repeated in the afternoon: 1.30pm-4.30pm
Monday 16th November Finding Journal Articles 6pm - 7pm
Saturday 21st November 'All in One' Legal Research Morning session: 9.30am-12.30pm
Repeated in the afternoon: 1.30pm-4.30pm
Friday 27th November 'All in One' Legal Research* 1pm - 4pm

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Legal Research Tutorials


Starting Legal Research

Before beginning any legal research, it is important to know what sort of materials you need.

Material type Useful for
Cases Primary source: authoritative record of the law: decisions of the courts
Legislation Primary source: authoritative record of the law: law made by Parliament. Eg. Acts & Regulations
Bills, Second Reading speeches & Hansard Secondary sources. Bills are draft Acts yet to be passed by Parliament. Second Reading speeches and Hansard document the intention of proposed legislation
Books, Reports Secondary sources. Can provide background as well as introductory or comprehensive overviews of an area of the law
Legal dictionaries & Encyclopaedias Secondary sources. Provide legal definitions and an overview of an area of the law
Journal articles, conference papers Secondary sources. Discussion of issues about or background to the law.

Choosing Databases

Once you know what sort of material you need, the suggestions below will help pick the best databases to use for each material type.

Jurisdiction Cases Legislation Bills, Parliamentary Papers etc. Journal articles
Australian - AustLII
- Law Reports A-Z
- Casebase (citator)
- AustLII (All)
- ComLaw (Cth)
- Bills - Parliament of Australia
- LawLex (All)
- Legaltrac
- Casebase
English - Westlaw
- Lexis.com
- Justis

- BaiLII
- UK Statute law database
- UK Parliament
- Legaltrac
- Westlaw
- Lexis.com

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Finding a book in the Library Catalogue

You have the exact title/author You have some details about the book
  • Choose a Title or Author search and type in the start of the title or author. eg: Twain, M
  • Don't use an article as the first word of your search, e.g. a, an, the.
  • Choose a Keyword search
  • Type a few of the most unique words you know will appear somewhere in the details about the book

Narrow down your search using the Limit/Sort button if you get too many results.

Searching by topic
  1. Brainstorm any words that could be used to describe the topic
  2. Combine the words using Boolean operators such as 'OR' eg. law OR legal

More tips on Boolean operators
Boolean operators allow more powerful searching. For example:

Operator Effect on the search Example Tip
AND narrows Solicitor AND negligence

(both words must be present in each record)
Some databases use AND as the default if you type in more than one word
OR broadens Company OR corporation

(either word can be present in each record)
Useful for when there are alternative terms
NOT restricts Mercury NOT planet

(the first word must be in the record, but will then discard it if it has the second word)
Useful for ambiguous terms

Other useful search characters

Some databases use other characters for more flexible searching. Always check the Help section of a database to see which ones work in the database you want to use. Eg:



For example, in the Library Catalogue negligen* will find:
negligence, negligent and negligently.

For example, in the Library Catalogue, defen?e will find:
defence or defense.

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Finding a Statute on AustLII

AustLII is a leading free website for accessing Australian law.

The more details that you have, the easier it will be to find - for example, if you know the title of legislation, the jurisdiction, search using a specific collection/jurisdiction.

To find the Fair Work Act on AustLII using a specific collection/jurisdiction:

  1. Go to Law Library > Law Databases > Legislation > AustLII
  2. On the left side of the window click on the jurisdiction: Commonwealth
  3. Select the appropriate database: Commonwealth Consolidated Legislation
  4. Click on alphabetical list if the exact title of the legislation is known. If not, click on name search to search legislation in that collection.

Other free legislation sites accessed via Free Web Law - Legislation

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Finding a case on AustLII

The more details you have of the case ie party names, court or jurisdiction, the easier it will be to find the case. To find the 1996 High Court case Wik Peoples v The State of Queensland via AustLII:
  1. Go to Law Library > Law Databases >Cases > AustLII
  2. On the left side of the window click on the jurisdiction "Commonwealth".
  3. Select the appropriate database "High Court of Australia Decisions 1903-".
  4. Type the most unique part of the party names into the Case name search field, combining them with 'AND' eg. Wik AND Queensland
  5. Click on Search

  6. Choose Wik Peoples v Queensland ("Pastoral Leases case") [1996] HCA 40


Try also:

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Finding an English case in Westlaw


Find the following English case in Westlaw: Adler v George [1964] 2 QB 7

  1. Open Westlaw from the Law Databases page
  2. Click on Find by Title from the lefthand Shortcuts menu
  3. Under the Global Case Law heading in the main window, enter at least one of the party names eg. Adler George (no need to put 'and' between them)
  4. From the Jurisdiction drop-down menu choose United Kingdom
  5. Click on Go
  6. When the results appear, click on the link to the case citation
  7. The full text will appear

Try also:

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Finding journal articles in AGIS


Finding some articles in AGIS on issues dealing with judicial independence in NSW

  1. Go to the Law Library Homepage - Legal databases link
  2. Click on Journal Indexes
  3. Select AGIS from the list of periodicals/journal indexes
  4. In the first text entry box: Enter (judic* or judg*) . Choose the any field search type (to perform a key word search).
    • Tip: search options include any field (the key word function), title, author, journal title, cases, jurisdiction and legislation
  5. Connect the search terms with 'AND'
  6. In the second text entry box: enter indep*. Choose the any field
  7. Click on the Search more fields link (to add a search box)
  8. Connect the search terms with 'AND'
  9. In the third text entry box: enter new south wales. Choose the jurisdiction
  10. Click on Search
  • In many cases the article will be available in full text via a pdf file.
  • If not, click on the Check Library link to the right of the article to check if the library has the journal.

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Accessing Library Resources from off-campus

When accessing Library resources off campus, you will be prompted for your Unikey before entering.
For more details see: Off-Campus access information.

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Study Group room bookings

10 rooms for study groups are available in the Law Library.


  • 2 hour limit per group per day
  • Bookings can be made only 48 hours in advance

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Patrick O'Mara
Law Extension Liaison Librarian
  • General enquiries
  • Loan enquiries
  • Research consultations
Phone:(02) 9351 0293
Email: patrick.omara@sydney.edu.au

Updating your personal details

Any changes to your personal details, including address, contact details and email address should be given directly and separately to each of the following:


Tell us what you thought of the Library legal research classes