Legal Research

HeadStart Ottawa 2020: Legal Research for Articling & LPP Students

Welcome to all new articling and LPP students!

The CCLA Library is excited to announce a virtual series legal research programs for our incoming students this fall. (If you’re coordinating your students at your firm or organization, please take note!) You can register for all or just some of these programs, but we strongly suggest attending our first session on September 24.

All of our library research sessions are completely free, and will also be recorded so they’re available later. Click on the program title to register, or send us an email if you’re registering multiple students.

HeadStart Ottawa: Legal Research for Articling & LPP Students 
Thursday, September 24 @ 2:00 – 3:00 PM
This is our flagship student session, and we are so excited to see you there – over Zoom! Join us virtually this year to get right down to the most critical pieces of information you need to know for doing research over the next year (and beyond). You are guaranteed to leave the session with a clear idea of how you’ll approach your research assignments, and which research platforms, materials, and supports are in place to help you succeed.

Lexis Advance Quicklaw 
Monday, September 28 @ 2:00 – 3:00 PM
This session is fantastic for anyone who is working with Quicklaw in their offices, or who prefer to use this platform at the CCLA Library. It’s also great if you’re generally unfamiliar with what is included in a Quicklaw subscription (spoiler: A LOT). For this session, we’ll turn it over to local Quicklaw trainer Ron Jones, who will show you the ins and outs of this platform and how you can make the most out of your time on Quicklaw.

WestlawNext Canada 
Tuesday, October 6 @ 2:00 – 3:00 PM
If you’re planning on using WestlawNext Canada in your research, whether at your office or at the CCLA, this session is definitely one to attend. Our local WestlawNext trainer Josee Provost will show you how to best use this platform in your research, including the various practice-area specific sources that the CCLA subscribes to.

Thursday, October 15 @ 2:00 – 3:00 PM
CanLII is wildly popular with everyone working in the justice system. If you haven’t had much cause to use it before but will be relying on it more frequently as you enter a legal practice, this session is a great overview of CanLII’s functionalities. There will certainly be some neat tips and tools that you didn’t know about!

Legislative Research 
Tuesday, October 27 @ 2:00 – 3:00 PM
Lawyers love to assign legislative research tasks to their students! If that thought scares you, be sure to sign up for this session. CCLA’s Reference Librarian and legislative research aficionado Brenda Lauritzen will take you through some of the most common types of legislative research tasks and leave you feeling ready to take on an assignment.

Library Tours 

Group tours of the Gordon F. Henderson Library will not be available this fall due to space constraints, but we are happy to provide individual tours. Please email us if you’d like a tour of the space.

O’Brien’s Encyclopedia of Forms: Now on WestlawNext Canada!

If the CCLA Library staff team had one legal research wish, it was for the wildly-popular O’Brien’s Encyclopedia of Forms collection to move off of the existing O’Brien’s platform and into Westlaw.  Well, wishes do come true: O’Brien’s is now available in WestlawNext Canada!

As we are subscribers to the complete O’Brien’s service, we have access to all of the divisions that are available electronically. Sadly, “Mortgages and Conveyancing” is a discontinued division (Division 3), and was not available on the old online platform either.

When we re-open the Library next month (details on that forthcoming), we hope you’ll come check it out for yourself and see how wonderfully easy it is to access the forms. In the meantime, if there’s anything we can do to help, let us know!

New on CanLII: Additional Reports of Family Law Decisions

Family law practitioners, this is for you!

CanLII has announced that approximately 4,800 judicial decisions from the Reports of Family Law (from 1968 to the present!) have been added to their database. This was made possible from a grant from the Law Foundation of Ontario, and fills in some significant gaps in the jurisprudence that was available – for free – on their site.

For more details, check out CanLII’s blog post.

Update on the CCLA Conference Papers Collection on CanLII

Back in March, we were thrilled to announce that CCLA conference papers were now being stored on CanLII. The team at CanLII and Lexum has been hard at work, and the great news is that all of the papers that are scheduled to be hosted are now up! You can find papers from the Family, Solicitors, Criminal, and Civil Litigation conferences from 2014 up to 2019 in CanLII’s Commentary section. Once we start hosting conferences again, new papers will be deposited with CanLII within just a few months of the event.

If you’re interested in how to find and link to your papers, check out this post we did in March.

Thanks, as always, to CanLII for hosting our papers!

Upcoming Legal Research Webinars

As both Thomson Reuters (the publisher of WestlawNext Canada and ProView) and Lexis Nexis (of Lexis Advance Quicklaw) have both extended offers to Ontario legal practitioners for at-home access during the COVID-19 emergency, we at the CCLA have set up some online training on all of these products for you to brush up on your skills!

Lexis Advance Quicklaw Webinar – Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Brush up on your research skills! Join us on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at noon for an hour-long virtual training session on Lexis Advance Quicklaw. If you use this database but could use some fresh instruction on how to use it more effectively, this is the session for you.

This program has been LSO accredited for 1.0 CPD hour toward the annual Professionalism Requirement.

There is no cost for this program. Please click here for more information and to register!


WestlawNext Canada Webinar – Tuesday, May 19, 2020 & Thomson Reuters ProView Webinar – Tuesday, May 25, 2020

Brush up on your research skills! Join us online for our free upcoming training on WestlawNext and ProView (e-books and e-looseleafs). Please register at the links below:

These programs has been LSO accredited for 1.0 CPD hour each toward the annual Professionalism Requirement.


Personalized Virtual Training Sessions for WestlawNext and ProView – Anytime!

These times don’t work for you? Want something a little different? We’re also pleased to share that you can now schedule your own personalized virtual training session on WestlawNext or ProView with our wonderful trainer, Josée Provost. To schedule a session, please click here!


Remote Access to Westlaw and ProView during COVID-19 5

Some more happy news during this strange time!

Thomson Reuters has agreed to help support Ontario lawyers with their remote work during the COVID-19 crisis. Thomson Reuters alongside the LIRN network of courthouse law libraries is providing all Ontario licensees of the Law Society complete remote access to Westlaw and an online ProView Library of legal texts and looseleaf equivalents covering the practice areas most important to you.

Please click here to see a full list of what is available. Initial access to these programs will be for 30 days.

If you are interested and would like to get started, please request access here:

For any questions on where to get started with WestLaw or ProView, feel free to visit the Customer Learning Centre, where you can find training materials, how-to videos and other resources to help you navigate and maximize your usage of WestLaw and the ProView Library.

Thanks, Thomson Reuters!

Remote Access to Lexis Advance Quicklaw during COVID-19

Lexis Advance Quicklaw Access

We’ve just heard some excellent news that we are pleased to pass along to all of our Ontario lawyers! During the COVID-19 crisis, LexisNexis Canada is offering Courthouse Library staff the opportunity to provide a link for a free 30-day trial of the Lexis Advance Quicklaw service to lawyers upon request. This means you can get remote access to our library subscription of Lexis Advance for 30 days; a timeline which will be re-evaluated based on the status of the pandemic.

Our library subscription includes case law, legislation, and an excellent collection of texts and commentary.

To request your 30-day trial, please click here!

Additional Resources

LexisNexis Canada has also extended free access to the following useful resources during the crisis:

Thank you to our friends at Lexis!

Linking to Conference Materials on CanLII

With our announcement that the CCLA Conference Papers Database has moved to CanLII, we are sure some of you are wondering how you can link to your work (for example, if you wanted to link from your firm website to a paper you gave). This is very easy to do on CanLII, so here are the step by step instructions! 

1. Find Your Paper

You can find your paper by browsing through the contents for each conference, or you can use the search box on the Conference Proceedings page to look for your paper title or your name.

2. When you’ve found your paper, look at the boxed heading at the top of the page

3. Copy the permanent link, and use that link for your website (or wherever!)


If you’re curious, that same tidy permanent link is available on all documents on CanLII. If you’re using CanLII at all – and you probably are or should be! – check that out for a nice, stable link in your documents.

In decisions:



In legislation:

Available CCLA Library Services during COVID-19 Shutdown

The CCLA Library may have closed its physical doors for the time being, but we’re still able to assist you remotely with many of your legal research needs! Here’s what we can still help with :

  • Case & Looseleaf Searching: We still have access to Quicklaw Advance, WestlawNext, and Proview and are able to run keyword searches for you on a wide variety of topics.
  • Case & Document Retrieval: Missed the chance to grab a remote HeinOnline password while the Great Library is closed? Let us know if there are any journal articles you might need and we can forward them along to you!
  • Precedents: We might not have our print collection, but there are a ton of precedents available in O’Briens and Quicklaw that we can search for you to assist with your drafting.
  • Legislative Research: Historical legislation is confusing! (but we love doing it!) Let us help point you in the right direction with tracing or helping to find point-in-time legislation.

Unfortunately for the time being we are not able to assist with:

  • Scanning Print Materials
  • Interlibrary Loans
  • Eliminating pandemic-related anxiety (let’s all breathe and do some yoga)

So please don’t hesitate to send us an email if there’s anything we may be able to help with as you’re locked up at home! Wishing you and your families health and safety.

CCLA Conference Papers: Now on CanLII!

Back in August, we mentioned that software and hardware upgrades at the CCLA necessitated our taking down the CCLA Conference Papers Database on our website. For almost 10 years we provided free access to our excellent archive of conference materials, and whatever was going to replace the database had to be great. We believe we’ve found the perfect solution. 

As of today, select papers from the CCLA’s four major conferences will be available on CanLII! CanLII’s Commentary collection has been growing steadily in the past few years, bringing more and more free and highquality legal information to its platform. Freely accessible from anywhere, the collection has been a monumental step forward in access to justice. When CanLII said they would host our conference papers collection, we were thrilled!  

The collection on CanLII currently is just from 2018; it will eventually date back to 2014, and we will continue to add new materials to the collection after each conference. Which materials are included are decided by the editorial team at Lexum (the platform CanLII lives on), so if you want your paper or presentation to be included, be sure to make it awesome. If you have contributed in the past and you’d rather not have your work on CanLII, that’s okay too – just let us know. 

If you want to go check out the collection, here’s a direct link to the “Conference Proceedings” page  on CanLII. Materials will come up in search results too, under the “Commentary” tab. 

As for the materials from previous years and the materials that did not get posted to CanLII, you can always request those from us. On each of the conference pages on the CCLA website, you can find a Table of Contents for each conference. Call, email, or visit us and we’ll set you up with those materials. 

Thank you to CanLII for giving our conference papers collection a new home!