Using the Library


Focusing on California legal resources, the law library’s collection of print material and access to relevant online legal databases and websites can provide you with the legal resources you need. Material can be found by using our electronic card catalog of the law library’s collection.

Over 10,000 volumes in print and many more in electronic formats
Appellate court opinions, California codes and statutes, legal newspapers and periodicals, reference material, self-help legal books, and a wide selection of material in areas of law including civil, criminal, family, probate, landlord & tenant, bankruptcy, insurance, employment, personal injury, workers compensation, real estate, and business transactions. Material held in print is in-library use only.  Copies of pages can be made for your personal use. Self-service photocopier machines are available at 20-25¢ per copy for letter or legal size paper.

Harnessing technology
The law library and its eBranch provide public computer workstations with internet access, legal online databases, and Office software applications to help you prepare your documents. Wireless internet access is available in the library and several databases can be accessed on the library's WiFi. Fastcase, ebooks from Nolo and LexisNexis Digital Library, the library's online catalog, and phone and email reference services are available to assist users outside the library.

But it’s all on the Internet, right?
The use of the Internet for obtaining legal information has increased dramatically. This trend, however, leads to the misconception that most legal information is freely available via common search engines. While many states have their current statutes and some appellate decisions on official websites, a vast amount of reliable legal information is only available in print or within subscription-based commercial databases - available at many public law libraries. In addition, the law library continues to be the best resource for older case law, legal practice materials, and annotated codes.

How law librarians are integral to your research
Law library staff plays a vital role in helping users find the information they’re looking for. Public law librarians are expert researchers, information managers, resource evaluators, and teachers and trainers, to name a few.  Staff has the knowledge and specialized skills necessary to efficiently find legal information in a changing environment saving you countless research hours.  We are happy to help patrons locate statutes, regulations, cases and treatises pertaining to any legal matter. However, library staff cannot give legal advice or interpret information found in books and other sources.