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Local Law Libraries

Use this guide to find a law library in your local community.

Introduction

About This Guide

Local libraries often have the best resources for their communities.   They typically focus on the laws in their geographic area and legal subjects. Often, they provide access to materials that are particularly relevant to their local communities.  Large national law libraries have vast, rich collections. But the focus of those collections are not the best fit for every library user.  This guide is designed as a resource to connect users to these valuable local resources.

What is a law library?

Law Libraries are special libraries focusing on the needs of people performing legal research. They are used by law students, lawyers, lobbyists, judges, legislators, law clerks, and more. Members of the general public, including self-represented or pro se litigants, also find law libraries a helpful resource when conducting legal research. One might expect to find a range of legal materials in law libraries including:

  • Current and Superseded Statutes
  • Proposed and Adopted Regulations
  • Case Opinions
  • Practitioner Handbooks and Guides
  • Books About the Law
  • Legislative History Materials
  • Legal Encyclopedias
  • Continuing Legal Educational Materials

A law library may contain traditional print materials like books and journals.  But increasingly, law libraries also contain digital resources to assist users with their research.

There are several types of law libraries that are addressed in this guide.  They include Academic Law Libraries, Court Libraries, State Libraries, Membership Libraries, and Legislative Libraries.  To learn more about the different types of libraries visit:

How can law librarians help?

Every library is different, so it is important to learn what services librarians can provide.  Many law library websites will provide this  information.  Typically, law librarians can help library users to:

  • Navigate law library collections
  • Find known items, with a citation
  • Find relevant forms
  • Develop a research strategy

Law librarians typically cannot interpret the law for library users, or provide legal advice.  To learn more about why librarians do not provide legal advice see the:

Contacting a Lawyer

Some users need more help than a law library can provide. The following resources may be useful in finding a lawyer.  Most of these services are provided by State Bar Associations. This may be a good place to start connecting with a legal professional locally. 

Federal Libraries

State Libraries

Select A State

Alaska

General Information

State Libraries

State Court Libraries

The Alaska State Court Law Library organizes and facilitates access to legal research resources and court system information. The main library is in Anchorage, but library services are available through sixteen branch libraries. The law libraries in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau are staffed. All other branches are unstaffed or limited to computer access only.  Learn more about the Alaska public law libraries on the Alaska Courts Website.

Staffed Court Libraries

Unstaffed Court Libraries

Alaska has a number of unstaffed local law libraries spread throughout the state. Not all of the county law libraries have their own web pages.  Locations, hours, and contact information are available through the following resource:

Arizona

General Information

State Library

County Law Libraries

Arizona has a number of county law libraries - over 15. Not all of the county law libraries have their own web pages.  Locations and contact information are available through the following resource:

California

General Information

State Law Library

County Law Libraries

California has a vast network of law libraries - over 80. The services and legal collections in each county law library differ to suit community needs.  However, all libraries within the network share the same goal of "making the law accessible to the public."  Not all of the local law libraries have their own web pages.  Locations and contact information are available through:

Connecticut

General Information

State Libraries

County Law Libraries

Connecticut has county court law libraries located in Bridgeport, Danbury, Hartford, Middlestown, New Britain, New Haven, New London, Putnam, Rockville, Stamford, Torrington, and Waterbury.  Not all of the county law libraries have their own web pages.  Locations, hours, and contact information are available through the:

District of Columbia

General Information

Court Law Library

The D.C. Bar Association provides a list of law libraries in the D.C. area:

Hawaii

General Information

State Law Library

Circuit Court Law Libraries

Circuit Court libraries are located in Wailuku, Kilauea, Kamakeha, and Lihue.  Some libraries may not have individual websites.  Location, hours, and contact information is available through the following resource: 

Maryland

General Information

State Law Library

County Law Libraries

Maryland has over 20 law libraries. Not all of the local law libraries have their own web pages.  Locations, hours, and contact information are available through:

Other Libraries

Massachusetts

General Information

State Library

Trial Court Libraries

There are 15 Trial Court Law Libraries located across Massachusetts.  These libraries serve the courts, attorneys and the public. Not all of the local law libraries have their own web pages. Locations, hours, and contact information are available through the following resource:

Other Law Libraries

Minnesota

General Information

State Law Library

County Law Libraries

Minnesota has a vast network of law libraries - over 80. Not all of the local law libraries have their own web pages.  Locations and contact information are available through:

New York

General Information

State Law Library

Appellate Court Library

Trial Court & County Libraries

The trial courts in New York State are called "Supreme Courts."  Despite the names these are actually lower court libraries. New York has a vast network of law libraries - over 60.  Not all of the county law libraries have their own web pages. Locations and contact information are available through the following resource:

Bar Association Library

Wisconsin

General Information

State Law Library

County Law Libraries

Wisconsin offers a County Legal Resources Guide to help users find legal resources by county. 

Washington

General Information

State Law Library

County Law Libraries

Washington has a vast network of law libraries - nearly 40. Not all of the local law libraries have their own web pages.  Locations and contact information are available through:

Virginia

General Information

State Law Library

County Law Libraries

Virginia has many law libraries - over 20.  Not all of the county law libraries have their own web pages.  Locations and contact information are available through the following resource:

Oregon

General Information

State Law Library

County Law Libraries

Oregon has a vast network of law libraries - over 30.  Not all of the county law libraries have their own web pages.  Locations, hours, and contact information are available through the following resource:

Ohio

General Information

State Law Library

County Law Libraries

Ohio has a vast network of law libraries - over 80. Not all of the county law libraries have their own web pages.  Locations and contact information are available through the following resource:

Territorial Libraries

Indigenous Peoples' Libraries

More Information

University Libraries

Some University Libraries are open to the public.  Please check with the individual institutions prior to visiting to learn more about their policies.  You can find academic law libraries near you using the:

Online Research

Local libraries are often the best resource.  However, there are options for researchers who cannot visit a law library in person.  For more information on conducting legal research for free online see:

CC License

CC License

Creative Commons License

This guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

You may reproduce any part of it for noncommercial purposes as long as credit is included and it is shared in the same manner. 

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