Library Access Policy

While law students, faculty and staff are Seattle University Law Library’s main constituents, please note that the Law Library is open to all Seattle University faculty, staff, students, and alumni who are engaged in research or studies that require the use of legal material.  Circulation privileges are limited to Seattle University faculty, staff, currently enrolled students, or alumni who purchase library memberships.

Members of the general public can purchase a $5 day pass for access to the Library with no circulation privileges.  Additionally, members of the general public have full access to the United States government documents acquired by the Library through its membership in the Federal Depository Library Program.  All non-law school patrons must show identification at the Circulation Desk and complete the “Visitors’ Registration Form.”

During reading and examination periods, access to the Law Library is limited to law students, alumni, faculty, and researchers with specific collection needs.  The Seattle University Law Library access policy is posted on our website at:

If you have questions about access or unauthorized patrons, please contact the Law Library Circulation staff on the 2nd floor of the library.  Campus public safety can also be contacted: x5990 (non-emergency) or x5911 (emergency).

Have a Question? Ask a Reference Librarian

reference librarianThe reference desk is staffed in person Monday through Wednesday from 8:30am-8pm, Thursday and Friday from 8:30am-4:30pm and via eReference Sundays from noon to 4pm.  You can stop by the reference desk, call 398-4225, or e-mail

Read a Good Book Lately?

rec reading

Need a break from reading legal textbooks?  On the main floor of the law library (near the stairs) is the law library’s recreational reading collection. The collection has an eclectic assortment of fiction and non-fiction and includes recent best sellers, mysteries and cookbooks.

Featured Book from the Recreational Reading Collection

Dave Eggers, The Circle (Alfred A. Knopf, 2013) LAW-McNaughton Collection (2nd Floor)   PS3605.G48C57 2013

“Most of us imagine totalitarianism as something imposed upon us—but what if we’re complicit in our own oppression? That’s the scenario in Eggers’ ambitious, terrifying, and eerily plausible new novel. When Mae gets a job at the Circle, a Bay Area tech company that’s cornered the world market on social media and e-commerce, she’s elated, and not just because of the platinum health-care package. The gleaming campus is a wonder, and it seems as though there isn’t anything the company can’t do (and won’t try). But she soon learns that participation in social media is mandatory, not voluntary, and that could soon apply to the general population as well. For a monopoly, it’s a short step from sharing to surveillance, to a world without privacy. This isn’t a perfect book—the good guys lecture true-believer Mae, and a key metaphor is laboriously explained—but it’s brave and important and will draw comparisons to Brave New World and 1984. Eggers brilliantly depicts the Internet binges, torrents of information, and endless loops of feedback that increasingly characterize modern life. But perhaps most chilling of all is his notion that our ultimate undoing could be something so petty as our desperate desire for affirmation.” Starred Review (Review by Keir Graff from Booklist via Amazon)



Network and Lexis printouts can be picked up in the Document Delivery Center (DDC) on the second floor of the library.  If you forget to pick up a print request the day that you print it, don’t reprint it until you check the DDC. Print requests are held for a week before being recycled.

If you need to print a case, statute or law review article, remember that you can print for free from your Lexis account.

Featured Database: The Making of Modern Law

The Making of Modern Law database contains scanned images of over 22,000 legal treatises on British and American law published between 1800 and 1922.  Check out this great historical resource on the library database page.

1L Information

We met many of the new students during the recent library 1L orientation, but if you were unable to attend, here is a summary of some of the most important things we covered:

Library Survival Guide
If you need information about law school in general, briefing a case, or outlining, consult our new student guide at

Study Aids

The library has a variety of study aids located in our reserve section including: Nutshells, Hornbooks, Examples and Explanations, Emanuel Law Outlines and Gilbert Law Summaries.  For specific titles see our Finding Study Aids Guide at:

The library maintains one copy of each required first year casebook in the Reserve area for two-hour check-out (no overnight checkouts).  The first year casebook collection is to be used for quick reference or limited photocopying and is not intended to be a substitute for purchasing casebooks.  The library does not purchase copies of required supplementary materials/handouts or upper division course materials.  

Study Rooms

Study rooms can be reserved for your study group.  It’s a two hour maximum per day per group.  For more information, visit: and click on the links under Study Rooms and Equipment Requests.

Reference Help

reference help

Reference librarians can help with any aspect of legal research—finding sources, searching databases, and understanding search results.  If you have a reference question, please stop by the reference desk, call us at 206-398-4225 or email us at   We welcome your questions.

Our reference team consists of:

If you have a reference question, you can contact any of the above librarians directly.  Our reference desk hours are as follows:  Evening reference is offered Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 8:30 am until 8:00 pm and Thursdays and Fridays from 8:30 am until 4:30 pm. On Sunday afternoons from noon to 4:00 pm, we will provide reference services via email ( ).  We look forward to working with you throughout the year.

Catalog Help

Need to know the ins and outs of searching the library catalog?  This research guide covers the basics of what is in the library catalog, basic searching, advanced searching, and where items are located.

Journal Staff Legal Research Guide

Conducting a Source and Cite Check for a Journal?  Check out the library’s guide for journal staff.  It answers general questions about choosing a topic, preemption checks, locating and borrowing materials, and cite and source checking.

Featured Database: Subject Compilation of State Laws – Fifty State Surveys

Have you ever wondered where to find a comparison of state laws governing the proceeds from the sales of all those lottery tickets you buy hoping to pay off your student loans?  Or how various states’ laws on the use of cell phones while driving compare?  If so, Cheryl Nyberg’s Subject Compilations of State Laws (LAW-Reserve KF1.N93) is the place to start.

Subject Compilations is an annual bibliography that is divided into legal topics as diverse as lotteries, traffic, taxation and hundreds more. This resource provides citations to legal publications (including law review articles, books, court briefs and opinions, federal and state government publications, loose-leaf services and websites) where multi-state information can be found.

In addition to the bound volumes of this set, the law library has a comprehensive searchable database of the entire set available through Hein Online. This database contains references to 50-state surveys and allows you to link directly to journals found within Hein Online or the Web.  The Subject Compilations database is searchable across a number of fields, including subject, journal title, title, creator/author, added authors, court, or entry number (entry numbers are used in cross references and in the author and publisher indexes).  It can be accessed on the library’s subscription database listings, under Hein Online.

Still looking? Westlaw and LexisNexis also offer fifty state survey products.  Additionally, the book, National Survey of State Laws. (LAW-Reserve KF386.N38) provides detailed charts of state legislation on popular topics.  The charts make it easy to compare state approaches.  For assistance, please contact the reference desk at x4225 or