Law library

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A law library is a special library used by law students, lawyers, judges and their law clerks, historians and other scholars of legal history in order to research the law. Law libraries are also used by people who draft or advocate for new laws, e.g. legislators and others who work in state government, local government, and legislative counsel offices or the U.S. Office of Law Revision Counsel and lobbying professionals. Self-represented, or pro se, litigants (parties to a civil lawsuit or criminal defendants who do not have a licensed attorney representing them) also use law libraries.

Leo T. Kissam Memorial Library, the law library of the Fordham University School of Law, also a federal depository library

A law library may contain print, computer assisted legal research, and microform collections of laws in force, session laws, superseded laws, foreign and international law, and other research resources, e.g. continuing legal education resources and legal encyclopedias (e.g. Corpus Juris Secundum among others), legal treatises, and legal history. A law library may also have law librarians who help legal researchers navigate law library collections and who teach legal research. Some law libraries serve scholars from around the world, e.g. Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in London and the New York City Bar Association Law Library.

Law libraries in the United States are usually classified as a type of special library because of their focus on providing specialized resources, as well as their specialized and limited user base.

Most law schools around the world have a law library, or in some universities, at least a section of the university library devoted to law. In the United States, law school libraries may be subject to accreditation review by the American Bar Association Standards of Legal Education.

Law libraries may be found in courts (e.g. judge's chambers), legislatures (e.g. the Law Library of Congress), prison libraries, government departments, private law firms, and barristers' chambers.