Richard A. Leiter

Director of the Schmid Law Library and Professor of Law

153 LAW UNL 68583-0902
(402)472-5737 | Email


Podcast "Law Librarian Conversations," sponsored by CALI. Website hosted at
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Areas of Expertise
  • Advanced Legal Research
  • M.L.I.S., 1986, University of Texas, Austin
  • J.D., 1981, Southwestern University School of Law
  • B.A., with Honors, 1976, University of California, Santa Cruz


  • Director and Professor of Law at the Schmid Law Library, 2000


Richard Leiter is the Director and Professor of Law at the Schmid Law Library. Although he assumed his current position in 2000, he had worked on the UNL law library staff years ago (1986-1988) as Public Services Librarian. He earned his undergraduate degree (with honors) in 1976 from the University of California, Santa Cruz, his J.D. in 1981 from Southwestern University School of Law, where he was an editor of the law review, and his MLIS in 1986 from the University of Texas at Austin.

He has been a law librarian over twenty years. Before coming to the College of Law, he was Associate Dean of Information Technology & Services and Professor of Law at Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C. and Library Director and Associate Professor at Regent University School of Law in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Prior to that he held various positions in both law firm and academic libraries on both coasts.

Professor Leiter has written widely on law library, legal research, and legal information technology issues. His most recent book, National Survey of State Laws, now in its fifth edition, is widely held by library reference collections and was named An Outstanding Resource by the New York Public Library. In 2003 it won the prestigious Andrews Bibliographical Award from the American Association of Law Libraries. He is a regular columnist for Legal Information Alert and has contributed to the Law Library Journal and numerous other law library publications. Prof. Leiter also edits a web-log ("blog") on computing and online technology and their influence on libraries called, The Life of Books (as opposed to the Death of Books).

Advanced Legal Research

Law 733/G (3 cr) Advanced exposure to the tools of legal research: the nature of and philosophies surrounding organization and production of the materials themselves.


  • "A Close Encounter: People to People International's Legal Research and Library Science Delegation Visits China," 13:6 AALL Spectrum 10 (April 2009)
  • "Who Gets to be the Expert? Legal Research Skills Certification in Legal Education," 28 Legal Reference Services Quarterly 271 (2009)
  • "The Missing Lawyer Skill," 12:9 AALL Spectrum 22 (July 2008)
  • "Reflections on Ranganathan's Five Laws of Library Science," 95:3 Law Library Journal 411 (Summer 2003)
  • Reorganize AALL's Membership Structures for More Effective Representation of Members, 6:5 Spectrum 4 (February 2002)
  • Planning for the Inevitable (with Paul Morrison), 20:9 Legal Information Alert 6 (October 2001)
  • AALL Exhibits 2001: An Annual Reveiw, 20:7 Legal Information Alert 5 (July/August 2001)
  • Twenty Years Ago…A Reminiscence, Not a Database Report, 20:6 Legal Information Alert 9 (June 2001)
  • "The Use of Law Reviews in Modern Legal Research: The Computer Didn't Make Me Do It!" 90:1 Law Library Journal 59 (Winter 1998)


  • Landmark Supreme Court Cases, Second Edition. (New York: Facts on File, 2011)
  • Chapters 9 & 10, Fundamentals of Legal Research, Ninth Edition. Barkan, Mersky & Dunn (New York: Foundation Press 2009)
  • National Survey of State Laws, Sixth Edition, Editor (Detroit: The Gale Group, 2008)
  • *Winner 2003 Joseph L Andrews Bibliographical Award (AALL)
  • The Spirit of Law Librarianship, Second Edition. Co-Editor with Prof. Roy Mersky (Chicago: Alert Publications, Inc., 2004)
  • National Survey of State Laws, 1st Ed. (1993), 2nd Ed. (1997), 3rd Ed. (1999), 4th Ed. (2003)
  • Spirit of Law Librarianship (with Roy Mersky), 1991
  • Use of Law Reviews in Modern Legal Research: The Computer Didn't Make Me Do It!, 90:1 LLJ 59 (Winter 1998)