Use Library resources to improve your employability skills!

Your Careers Adviser and I recommend that you should make full use of Library resources to improve your employability skills. The Library provides a wide range of publications and databases which will improve your current awareness and may give you the competitive edge when you are researching a potential employer. Some of these sources may be familiar, others are not immediately apparent. Don’t miss out!

Has a law firm been in the news lately? You can find some good information on newspaper websites, but why not look through several good quality newspapers all at once, using Nexis Uni? It’s a huge database, but you can select good newspapers to search through – perhaps the UK broadsheets. Alternatively, try the advanced search and filter your results by Date and/or by Geography. Two points to remember – the latest month’s issues of the Financial Times are not available in Nexis Uni, and in the advanced search, the UK is shown as part of Northern rather than Western Europe… I recommend using the company’s guides to make sense of the database, but the contents are very good.

The Economist may be accessed online via the Library catalogue – it’s in a database called ABI/Inform Global.

You can look for cases involving a particular barrister or solicitor – use the Cases Search in Westlaw or Lexis Library. (You will see this option immediately in a Lexis cases search – select “More options” when you open the Cases search form in Westlaw.) If you do follow up the career of a particular barrister, it is advisable at interview to mention only a case which they won…

Lexis and Westlaw are both great sources for current awareness – you can search the contents or set up alerts. Lexis PSL is used by practitioners for finding the latest updates on any area of Law. When you log on to PSL, you will see the practice area used by the last person to use it – click the chevron to the right of the practice area displayed to find the full menu. You will find relevant news, recent key cases, practice notes and more – this could be very useful when you are preparing for a job interview or a placement.

If you want to find out what a company does, or how successful it is, there are several good company databases accessible from the Library databases page. Orbis gives information from the annual reports and accounts of large companies worldwide, and FAME provides similar information for a wider range of UK companies. You will find information on companies and industries globally in Statista, and academic and trade press articles on Business topics in Business Source Complete and ABI/Inform Global.

There is more information on the Library’s subject support page for law – see Research Skills for the Legal Workplace. If you would like any help with using unfamiliar databases, please contact Helen Riley any time! Other subject librarians will be happy to help also – the best contact e-mail is Good luck with your interviews!

Helen Riley – Law Librarian

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