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A Brief History

  • Established in March 17, 1979.
  • Largest Law Library in Nigeria; Collection ‐ 51,297 volumes.
  • Idea of establishing the Institute first discussed at 1963 annual meeting of the Association of Law Teachers.
    • Difficulties in organizing postgraduate studies, inadequate library facilities and specialized supervision.
    • Nigerian law graduates sent abroad for research work.
  • To avoid duplication of efforts and resources, a centre for legal research and supervision for postgraduate research work " jointly owned" by four universities set up at the University of jointly owned by four universities set up at the University of Lagos.
  • Centre of Advanced Legal Study and Research in five specialized departments:
    • African Customary Law;
    • Constitutional and Administrative Law;
    • Conflict of Laws
    • Comparative Law; and
    • Criminology.
  • Assistance: donations of books and personnel: Muriel Anderson, IALS and Mr. Stephen Goddard, London School of Economics, spent six months and one year respectively to set up the library.

The Institute's Departments

  • Today, NIALS has a library in Lagos and an office in Abuja.
  • Twenty One (21) Directorates/Departments and Nineteen (19) Specialised Research Centres:
  • Directorate of Research:
  • The Library:
  • Directorate of Postgraduate Studies – PGD LD, LL M and Ph D Legislative Drafting.
  • Continuing Legal Education and Consultancy – Courses in Practice and Procedure, Legal Writing Skills, Drafting Commercial Agreements and Banking Documentation etc Agreements and Banking Documentation, etc.
  • Lectures, Seminars, Courses.
  • Directorate of Administration:
  • Directorate of Bursary:


The library is the heart of any research/academic Institution. The quality of teaching, learning and research is subsumed on the robustness of the availability and utilization of Library and Information Resources.

The Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Library is a research library officially commissioned on March 17, 1979 by Justice Taslim Olawale Elias, whose name the library bears.

The objective and purpose of the Institute Library could not be far fetched from the yearnings of her founder whose broad outline is to serve as a centre of Advanced Legal Studies and Research in the following specialized departments, (i) African Customary Law (ii) Constitutional and Administrative Law (iii) Conflict of Laws (iv) Comparative Law and (v) Criminology.

The Library is housed inside the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies building at the back of Faculty of Law, University of Lagos. It occupies two floors – ground and first floors.

The library has the largest collection of legal materials South of African Sahara with 31,250 titles amounting to 51,297 volumes.

Library Services

1 .Reference Services; Answers are provided for enquiries by consulting appropriate reference sources of information. Readers are free to consult any reference material for information they require

2. Selective Dissemination of Information (SDI) this service involves searching for information and making the information available to the readers. It may be in the form of providing list of current publications, abstracts of research and current contents.

3.  Current Awareness Services (CAS): This entails provision of current information materials on any topic/subject of interest in law to the reader

4.  Reprographic Services: Photocopying services are available to all users at a reasonable rate.

5.  Internet Services: Internet access is provided in the library. Readers are allowed to bring  in their personal laptop and users ID are provided.

6. Wireless Access Points: (WPS) The wireless has spots that exist in the library which enables users to use their laptops, android, IPs and other devices to  connect to the Internet.

7. Electronic Databases and Online Journals: the NIALS library provides access to electronic databases such as LexisNexis, JSTOR, Law pavilion, Online Theses, Databases that permit access to legal materials thus enhance learning, research and law practice. Operating Hours: The NIALS library opens from 8.00am - 6.00pm (Monday – Friday) and 9.00am – 2.00pm Saturday.