Recommended Secondary Resources
Clicklaw website is BC’s primary resource for legal information. It links to a large collection of legal information resources for the public. See the handout How to Use Clicklaw.
Clicklaw also includes Clicklaw wikibooks, which are a series of over 20 legal guides that are fully searchable, and can be downloaded in print or ePub formats. A good place to start is with the wikibook, Legal Help for British Columbians, which provides first steps for over 40 common legal problems.
Legal Dictionaries and Glossaries
- Multilingual Legal Glossary. Lists 5000 Canadian legal and court-related terms in English plain language, and their equivalents in eight other languages (Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Farsi, Korean, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese).
- BC Supreme Court Terms. Provides brief definitions of commonly used legal terms to assist self-represented litigants with civil, non-family claims in the Supreme Court of BC.
- JP Boyd on Family law - Terminology. Offers JP Boyd’s plain-language definitions of common legal words and phrases in family law.
- BC Laws Glossary. Found in the Statutes and Regulations on bclaws.ca, this glossary offers further explanation of terms used in the legislation.
- Irwin Law’s Canadian Online Legal Dictionary. A dictionary of terms defined in the glossaries of Canadian law books published by Irwin Law.
- Black's Law Dictionary Free Online Legal Dictionary 2nd Ed. An American resource, but can be helpful for universal legal terms.
- Public libraries and Courthouse Libraries BC have legal dictionaries available in print.
Research Resources at Courthouse Libraries BC
- Courthouse Libraries BC: How We Can Help. Describes how our information services and staff can help you do your legal research.
- A Brief Guide to Finding Court Documents. Contains a series of questions and answers written for public librarians to help their patrons look for court documents.
- Video tutorials. Includes Legal Research Essentials: Finding Cases on Point, which demonstrates how to effectively conduct case law research.
- Guides. These include BC legislation and federal legislation, and recent changes to the law.
- Subscription databases and databases created & maintained by CLBC. These are available on computers at branches of Courthouse Libraries BC.
- Legal Knowledge Base. A collection of handy references and hard to find answers to a diverse assortment of legal research questions.
Recommended books & resources, in print only
The online catalogue of Courthouse Libraries BC will show you which of our libraries contain any of the titles listed below:
- Written Advocacy. Includes sample precedents of pleadings (statements of claim, defences and counter-claims) and how to write an effective legal argument.
- Bullen & Leake & Jacob's Precedents and Pleadings. Discusses how to draft pleadings and includes sample pleadings in areas such as defamation, employment law, judicial review, personal injury and privacy.
- McLachlin & Taylor or British Columbia Court Forms. Comprehensive textbook that discusses drafting pleadings and provides precedents.
- Civil Trial Handbook. Offers information about trial preparation and strategy. It combines legal and procedural material and gives practical information that includes objectives, pointers, and strategy.
- Sanagan’s Encyclopedia of words and phrases, legal maxims, Canada. Can help you find the meaning of legal words as defined by Canadian courts, and provide references to statutes or cases where words or phrases are defined.
- Canadian Encyclopedic Digest. Comprehensive encyclopedia of Canadian law, which includes references to relevant statutes and case law.
- Halsbury’s Laws of Canada. Describes over 100 legal topics, with references to relevant statutes and case law.
Online Guides to Legal Research
These are written for law students and lawyers to help them prepare for a case.
- Legal Research Essentials: Finding Cases on Point from the Law Society of BC. This online course of videos and quizzes was developed by Courthouse Libraries BC.
- The Canadian Legal Research and Writing Guide (formerly the Best Guide to Legal Research) by CanLII. Includes a link to Suggested Textbooks.
- Legal Research Process from the Bora Laskin Law Library (Ontario).
|This information applies to British Columbia, Canada. Last reviewed for legal accuracy by Courthouse Libraries BC staff, October 2015.|
|Beginner's Guide to Finding Legal Information © Courthouse Libraries BC 2015 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada Licence.|