E-LiRN: A Gamechanger

Courthouse libraries and librarians play a crucial role in ensuring equity of access to legal research resources in Ontario – which in turn is crucial to competent practice and access to justice.

Lawyers and paralegals must be able to thoroughly research issues to properly serve their clients and adequately inform the Courts of common law developments when arguing their clients’ cases.

But sole practitioners and smaller firms in Ontario are often priced out of research databases that have become standard in lager firms and other jurisdictions. That affects approximately 80% of Ontario lawyers.

And that’s a problem.

Without equity of access to standard resources, providing competent advice is – to paraphrase Jimmy Cliff – a harder road to travel and a rougher way to go. An external factor such as the cost of standard resources should not stand in the way of providing competent practice to clients. Clearing that roadblock promotes access to justice by making it easier for lawyers to serve their clients well.

But there’s a solution.

The Legal Information and Resource Network (LiRN) has introduced E-LiRN: a game-changing suite of electronic resources.

Visit your nearest courthouse library to access to LexisNexis Quicklaw, LexisNexis Practical Guidance, Westlaw Canada’s CriminalSource, FamilySource, EstatesandTrustsSouce as well as vLex’s collection of Irwin Law e-books, and vLex’s AI tool called Vincent. 

LN Practical Guidance provides lawyers with authoritative content, precedents, checklists, toolkits, practice guides, and drafting tools by leading practitioners that will save them time and make their practice more efficient.

Criminal Source, FamilySource, EstatesandTrustsSource all offer texts by noted experts in their field, cases, legislation as well as customized resources for their practitioners including Precedents, Criminal Codes or Agreements and templates.

vLex includes the popular Irwin Law Essentials texts plus over 400,000 Canadian cases.  Their Vincent AI tool lets you upload your documents to see if the law cited within is still good.

Of course, providing access to these resources is just one part of picture. Courthouse librarians are there to provide their usual excellent service and to help patrons get the most out of the new electronic suite. As Linton Weeks once said, “In the nonstop tsunami of global information, librarians provide us with floaties and teach us to swim.”

Resources + librarians = a huge step forward in creating a more level playing field. 

Check out our E-LiRN page for more information.

Leave a Comment