© 2020 The Author(s). Liquid argon time projection chambers (LArTPCs) are now a standard detector technology for making accelerator neutrino measurements, due to their high material density, precise tracking, and calorimetric capabilities. An electric field (E-field) is required in such detectors to drift ionization electrons to the anode where they are collected. The E-field of a TPC is often approximated to be uniform between the anode and the cathode planes. However, significant distortions can appear from effects such as mechanical deformations, electrode failures, or the accumulation of space charge generated by cosmic rays. The latter effect is particularly relevant for detectors placed near the Earth's surface and with large drift distances and long drift time. To determine the E-field in situ, an ultraviolet (UV) laser system is installed in the MicroBooNE experiment at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. The purpose of this system is to provide precise measurements of the E-field, and to make it possible to correct for 3D spatial distortions due to E-field non-uniformities. Here we describe the methodology developed for deriving spatial distortions, the drift velocity and the E-field from UV-laser measurements.