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Washington and Lee University School of Law

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Law Library User's Guide


The Law Library is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year.
Library services are available at the following times:

Circulation Desk:

Monday - Thursday 8 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sunday 1 p.m. - 9 p.m.



Monday to Thursday 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sunday 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.


Hours vary during examination periods, holidays and summer months.



  • The Law Library is primarily for the use of the Law School students and faculty. Other members of the University community, the legal profession, and the general public are also permitted access to the collection.
  • Access to electronic databases is governed by the associated license agreement. Contractual provisions may restrict access to law students and law faculty. Most law databases are IP authenticated for access.  This means that students and faculty must be physically present in the Law Library or access resources from the Law Library website.   Westlaw, Lexis and Bloomberg Law are accessed using individual passwords.  Passwords are issued at matriculation and are valid for three years subject to limitations.  
  • Entry doors to the building require card access from the late evening through early morning hours.
  • No smoking is permitted in the building.
  • No alcohol is permitted in the library.
  • Computing resources are supplied for the use of University students, faculty, and staff. Others must yield the equipment when it is needed by such users. Scanners may be used subject to the same copyright warnings posted at the copy machines.


Guide to the Levels

Main Floor (3)
Law Library Administrative Office
Reserve Collection
Current Periodicals
Media Services
Technology Services

Reading Room (3A)
Federal Statutes and Regulations
Federal Reporters
Tax Materials
Selected Legal Forms
Select Restatements
American Law Reports
4th Circuit and Delaware Codes
South Eastern Reporter
South Eastern Digest
Virginia Materials

History Room (2)
Bound Periodicals
Federal Appendix
Federal Supplement
U.S. Court of Claims
Regional Reporters (Except South Eastern)
State Materials (Except 4th Circuit States and Delaware)
Supreme Court Landmark Briefs

Upper Stacks (1)
Classified Treatises A-KF3945
Powell Archives

Lower Stacks (1A)
Classified Treatises KF3946-Z
Federal Documents

 Law Library Study Rooms

Law Library study rooms are available for group study only.  Rooms 305, 306, 307, 308, and 309 may be used for groups up to two people.  Room 304 may be used for groups between four and eight people.  Reservations are permitted in increments of four hours. A single group may not create successive reservations. Any reservations that exceed the four hour limit will be removed by an administrator. During exam periods use of the Law Library study rooms is limited to law students. Students may not take exams in a study room.

Circulation Regulations

Stacking and Circulation of Materials   

“Stacking” refers to the practice of leaving library and other study materials in common library spaces (other than an assigned carrel or reserved study rooms) for ongoing use by a patron.   Stacking is a privilege and is permitted on a limited basis.  The Law Library reserves the right to revoke the stacking privilege. 

Personal items are to be stored in a carrel or locker. Computers, printers, clothing, bedding, food and beverages, and similar items are not protected by a stacking permit and should be kept in a carrel, locker, or at home.

Patrons who wish to stack materials should place their stacking permit - initialed with the current date - on top of the materials in use.  The Law Library will honor stacking permits for a period of two days.  Stacking permits with a date older than two days are subject to removal by the Law Library.  Once the permit date slots are filled, please see Macy Coffey for a new permit. Failure to use a stacking permit initialed with a current date will result in materials being collected by the library staff.  Any item not readily identifiable by owner's name will be treated as lost or abandoned property.

Please be respectful of your fellow students. Library space is limited and demand is high. The stacking privilege is not permission to “homestead” or monopolize space in the Law Library.  

Stacking permits are not required for materials in a student’s carrel.  

Circulation of Materials

Certain materials in the Law Library may not be removed from the building. Items in this category include: archive materials, microforms, loose-leaf services, session laws, codes, digests, and materials in the reference collection. Faculty, staff, and students should use their University Card to check out materials.

Circulation periods are:

General Collection (stacks):   

Faculty and Staff – 180 days w/ 2 renewals;  

Students and Local Patrons – 3 weeks w/ 2 renewals;  

Federal Documents: 

3 weeks w/ 2 renewals 

History Room (compact shelving): 

Faculty and Staff – 180 days w/ 2 renewals;  

Students and Local Patrons – 3 weeks w/ 2 renewals.   

Main Reading Room:    

Faculty, Staff and Students – 7 days w/ 2 renewals;  

Southeastern & VA/WV Digests– 4 hours w/ 2 renewals 

Reserve Collection:  

 Faculty, Staff and Students – 48 hours w/ 2 renewals 

Biographies, Escape Hatch, New faculty publications and New Titles:  

Faculty, Staff, Students, and Local Patrons – 3 weeks w/ 2 renewals 

Fun & Function Collection 

Faculty, Staff and Students – 24 hours w/ 2 renewals;  

Puzzles – 7 days w/ 2 renewals  

Electronics & Peripherals: 

Faculty, Staff and Students – 7 days w/ 2 renewals

Exception: Headphones - 4 hours w/ 1 renewal


Faculty and Staff - 7 days w/ 2 renewals

Students - 24 hours w/ 2 renewals 

Items must be returned when recalled and must be returned or renewed by the expiration of the loan period. Generally, items may be renewed twice. Once the maximum number of renewals is exceeded, the item must be returned before it can be checked out again.  All items checked out for longer than 4 hours are subject to recall by the Library staff.  Adjustments to some circulation periods will occur during exam periods, holidays and academic breaks.

If a law student has overdue items checked out then no additional library materials may be circulated to that law student.

The Law Library respects each library user's rights to privacy and confidentiality regarding information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted, or services provided.


Library Fees

Overdue Reserve Collection materials

Fees are waived if material is returned within 24 hours of the original due date ("the Grace Period").

Upon the expiration of the Grace Period, accrued fees ($1.00 per hour) retroactive to the original due date will be owed.  A Final Notice will be issued after the expiration of the Grace Period plus 24 hours at which point accrued fees plus the actual replacement cost of the material will be due.  

Please contact Bonnie Gates at gatesb@wlu.edu to make arrangements if circumstances prevent the timely return of materials.