The Law Library offers a wide range of services for students, alumni, faculty, and the larger legal community.
The Law Library provides a quiet study space, comprehensive research resources, and expert research assistance.
During fall 2021 semester, the Library will be open:
Monday to Friday: 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
For the most up-to-date hours, please see our full calendar.
During final exams and summer bar preparation, the Law Library holds study hall hours and restricts access to Law School affiliates and those seeking specific materials in the Law Library.
General reference services are available at the Reference Desk on the third floor or by emailing the Reference Desk. During the academic year, the Reference Desk is staffed seven days a week. See our full calendar.
The reference librarians can help with a variety of tasks, including:
- research planning
- preemption checking
- source gathering
- web searching
- navigating online sources, including Bloomberg Law, Lexis, and Westlaw
- requesting items through Interlibrary Loan (requests must be made in person at the Reference Desk)
Borrowing and Renewing for Students
Students may borrow materials from the Law Library for one month. Some items, however, do not circulate, including:
- items placed on reserve for a course
- items located in the Core Collection Reading Room or Reference Office
- primary law sources
- damaged items
- special collections materials
All borrowed materials must be returned to the Law Library. If you return a Law Library item to any other library, you will be responsible for any fines or replacement costs for the item.
Your Law Library books do not appear on your CLIO account; we do not use the same circulation system as the other Columbia University Libraries.
Study and Media Rooms
The Law Library has 5 study rooms that can be reserved for individual or group study use.
For more information and to reserve a study room, please see the the Guide to Columbia Law Library Services and Policies.
Interlibrary Loan for Students
If the Law Library does not have a resource, we can likely acquire it via a loan.
Law students may use and borrow books from any of the other Columbia University Libraries through their online catalog CLIO. Law students can also consult with a Reference Librarian in the Reference Office to borrow materials through Interlibrary Loan from other libraries worldwide. The Law Library participates in OCLC’s sharing service, which makes searching library holdings worldwide available through WorldCat.
Non-law students can contact the Interlibrary Loan office in Butler Library.
Past Exams for Students
Exams given in past years by faculty members currently teaching a course are available in electronic format on the law student network G drive. You can also access this G drive folder through your web browser at http://remote.law.columbia.edu.
Consult the IT Help Desk for further assistance.
Services for Non-Law Students
All Columbia University students are welcome to use the Law Library and its materials, including borrowing and renewing items. The Law Library provides access to the internet and electronic resources through terminals in the Reference Office. Reference services are available on a drop-in basis and over the phone at 212-854-3743.
Access to individual Westlaw, Lexis (aka LexisNexis), and Bloomberg Law accounts is restricted to current law students, faculty, and staff. The Reference Office hosts Westlaw and Bloomberg Law desktop terminals for onsite access. These terminals are available on a first come, first served basis and research should be limited to 30 minute sessions.
The computer lab is available to Law School affiliates only. See the Law School’s IT page for more information.
During final exams and summer bar preparation, the Law Library holds study hall hours and restricts access to Law School affiliates and those seeking specific materials from the collection.
Computer Lab and Printing
Columbia Law School’s computer lab is located on the second floor. Open to Law School affiliates only, it has eight Macs and 24 Windows desktop computers.
Printing in the Law Library is limited to law students. For the fall 2021 semester, Columbia Law students do not have a printing quota. Troubleshooting and more information is available from the Law School IT department.
Manuscript Submission Services for Students and Faculty
The Law Library offers access to Scholastica to current Columbia Law School faculty and students. Scholastica helps users submit a manuscript to multiple law reviews electronically. Scholastica does not offer institutional pricing for subscriptions, so the Law Library subscribes to packages of submissions on behalf of faculty and students.
Because we are charged by each submission, we ask that you only use Scholastica to submit to those journals that do not accept submissions through other means. View the list of the journals and which services should be used for submission purposes.
If you are a first-time user, or have not been added to the Law Library’s approved user list, contact the Reference Office, and we will register you.
Read Scholastica's author guide for more information.
The Law Library provides two types of fee-based services for institutions, businesses, private libraries, and individuals who need access to its collections. (Collections include superseded statutes, current and historical treatises, hard-to-find international and foreign materials, and sought-after titles such as the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directories from 1868 to the present.)
The Subscription Service provides law firms and other organizations with quick and easy access to the Law Library, as well as access to materials from other on-campus libraries. With an annual fee, members receive expedited service, reduced charges, and numerous privileges.
Subscription Service members enjoy free borrowing of Law Library monographs and reduced rates for emailing of articles. We can also scan material found in other Columbia libraries on the Morningside campus. As an optional add-on, subscribers may also borrow books from non-law libraries on the Columbia Morningside campus. Orders and research requests placed by subscribers are given the highest priority by an experienced staff dedicated to their needs. In addition, we provide on-site access to firm members who want to conduct in-depth searches of our collections. We send an invoice, accompanied by an itemized order report, at the end of each month.
For assistance, contact [email protected] or 212-854-5445.
Services and Charges (January - December 2020)
The Law Library is registered with the Copyright Clearance Center, which acts as a clearinghouse for publishers and authors. Fees noted below do not include royalty fees paid by the Law Library to the Center. These charges are passed on to the requester.
- Full day: $5,800 (9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday)
- Half day: $4,000 (9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.)
*Subscriber Referral Program: Existing subscribers can reduce their annual fees by 10 percent per subscriber.
- Circulation policy:
- Subscribers may borrow one- or two-volume works. Excluded are non-circulating items, e.g. all looseleafs, reference books, primary materials, serials, or individual volumes from sets of three volumes or more.
- Borrowing period:
- Two weeks (no charge)
- Two renewals of two weeks in length (no charge) if the book is not needed by another patron
- Fines for late return:
- $2 per day for the first three weeks overdue
- $4 per day after three weeks, with $200 maximum fine
- $2 (extra) per day for Core Collection titles (Core Collection items with multiple copies are available only during the summer; one-week loan, no renewals)
- $2 extra per day for an item which has been recalled
- Charge for a lost book:
- Late return fine, plus replacement and processing costs
Enhanced Interlibrary Loan
As an optional $800 add-on to the annual fee, subscribers may also borrow books from non-law libraries on the Columbia Morningside campus (additional retrieval fees apply). These items are subject to the same loan policy as described above.
Book/fiche/PDF scans: $1 per page (PDF downloads of up to 50 pages capped at $20).
Rush service: $20. We guarantee complete scans sent within one hour of receiving cost approval to proceed.
For same-day service, rush fees are applicable to all requests approved less than one hour before the end of your firm’s subscription period.
$20 per 15 minutes. We can do limited amounts of research, but we cannot provide legal advice or guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the material.
$20 service fee for borrowing and copy requests from other libraries on the Morningside campus. Same-day service is not always available for this type of request.
Access to the Law Library
With an appointment, any member of the firm may visit the Law Library during regular hours to conduct their research. Visitors are allowed to make unlimited scans for free and are welcome to access IP-based databases at the public terminals.
Delivery of Books and Documents
PDFs are sent via email.
Pick up by courier: 435 West 116th Street, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10027.
Books may be sent by FedEx; your account number must be provided.
Subscriber Referral Program
Current subscribers can reduce their annual fee through referrals.
We have not increased our prices since 2008, and we would like to continue this for as long as possible. To achieve this, we are seeking to increase our enrollment.
If any firm or organization that does not currently subscribe signs up for a 2021 yearly subscription by November 1 when we send out the 2021 invoices, that firm will be asked who recommended/referred them.
Any new subscribers recommended after November 1, 2020, will also be asked who referred them to the Subscription Service, and those referral rewards will be reflected in the 2022 annual invoices.
Referrers get 10 percent off their 2021 annual fee. There is no cap. For example:
- If there are 10 new subscribers and they each name the same current subscriber, that current subscriber would have their 2021 annual subscription fee reduced to $0.
Our service is not limited to law firms. If you know of a nonprofit that would benefit from our service, send them our way.
Referrers will receive notification of their award after their referred firm or organization is officially added as a member.
Thank you for your loyalty and continued business. For more details about the program or to send us feedback about your experience, contact our office at [email protected].
For more details about the Subscription Service, see Frequently Asked Questions.
Document Delivery Service
The Document Delivery Service is a pay-as-you-go program for firms, nonprofits, and individuals not affiliated with Columbia University. Most Law Library materials can be scanned or copied (within limits of United States copyright law) and sent as PDF attachments via email.
Non-affiliates can receive copies of documents found in Law Library collections through our Document Delivery Service. Orders may be placed via email or phone. Services include scanning and copying materials from the Law Library’s print collection and delivering copies from the HeinOnline database.
Document Delivery requests are processed upon prepayment by credit card. Payment by check or money order is no longer available. Quotes are provided free of charge.
Please note that we cannot lend books or conduct research for you. These services are available only to members of our Subscription Service.
For assistance, contact [email protected] or 212-854-7851 / 800-332-4LAW.
Services and Charges (January - December 2020)
The Law Library is registered with the Copyright Clearance Center, which acts as a clearinghouse for publishers and authors. Fees noted below do not include royalty fees paid by the Law Library to the Center. These charges are passed on to you.
Per Request cost: $30 for law firms and business, and $20 for nonprofits/individuals
Per page charge for Book/fiche/PDF scan (in addition to service fee): $3 for law firms and business, and $2 for nonprofits/individuals
Martindale-Hubbell search (per five listings): $30 for law firms and business, and $20 for nonprofits/individuals
Maximum charge for PDF downloads: $75 for law firms and business, and $50 for nonprofits/individuals
Rush Service (additional charge when available)
$20 (we guarantee complete scans will be sent within 1 business day of receiving payment).
After we receive your request, we will provide a price quote. When approved, we will proceed with the request after payment has been received. All Document Delivery orders must be pre-paid via credit card.
For more details about the Document Delivery Service, see Frequently Asked Questions.
Please use the form below to let us know if there are any books, treatises, DVDs, or other materials you would like placed on course reserves for your Fall 2021 courses.
Due to COVID-19, our print Course Reserves collection policies and procedures have changed. The Law Library cannot guarantee the availability of course reserves in these uncertain times. Some vendors do not provide electronic versions of their materials, and some electronic material is not made available for library lending. Given this uncertainty, law faculty are advised to inform students to purchase course materials for this coming semester. Additionally, if you require scans of print materials for course packs, please contact the Law School Secretariat who will work with the Law Library on your behalf and ensure proper copyright clearance and scanning.
You or your faculty assistant will need to log in using your UNI and password to complete the request form. If you are signed in to any other non-Columbia Google product, you may have to sign out first. This form allows us to process your requests in a timely and efficient fashion, and we appreciate your use of it.
All material placed on course reserves will be removed at the end of the semester. You will be asked again towards the end of the Fall semester for materials needed for Course Reserves future semesters.
All Columbia University Alumni have lifetime access to the Law Library. Alumni can access materials while on campus, however, some print items must be requested from off-site storage before your visit. Many databases, excluding Westlaw, Lexis, and Bloomberg Law, are accessible on site via the Law School’s WiFi (see Access to Electronic Resources below for more details).
While alumni do not need an ID card for access, it may be helpful to get one, particularly if you are visiting the Law Library during off-hours. To obtain an Alumni ID, please visit the Library Information Office in Butler Library.
Alumni also have access to a number of Columbia University libraries on campus.
See the Law School’s alumni page for more information about the alumni community.
Access to Electronic Resources
Alumni are invited to visit the Law Library during normal service hours. In addition, alumni have access to the Law Library’s online catalog, Pegasus, at any time, from any location with internet access.
When you are off campus, you do not have access to any of the Law Library’s electronic resources. On site, you have access to most of the electronic resources listed under E-Resources on the main page of Pegasus, including ProQuest Congressional and HeinOnline, via the Law School’s WiFi and the three computer terminals located in the Reference Office. You will need to obtain login and password information from the Reference Librarian on duty for some of the electronic resources.
Access to individual Bloomberg Law, Lexis (aka LexisNexis), and Westlaw accounts is restricted to current law students, faculty, and staff. The Reference Office hosts Westlaw and Bloomberg Law desktop terminals for on-site access. These terminals are available on a first come, first served basis and research should be limited to 30-minute sessions.
Columbia University Libraries provides access to some electronic resources (including JSTOR and ProQuest) for alumni, which can be accessed via your Columbia UNI.
Columbia Law School’s Legal Scholarship Repository provides free, permanent, and direct access to the scholarly work of our faculty, including published articles, works-in-progress, and other research and writing. Encompassing research on a wide spectrum of legal and law-related subjects, the Repository represents the breadth and depth of the cutting-edge, impactful scholarship undertaken at Columbia.
Questions, comments, and inquiries about the Repository may be referred to [email protected]. Columbia Law School’s Scholarship Repository is a part of the Digital Commons Network, a major source of open access legal information.