The San Francisco Law Library is open to all. The Reference Staff may be consulted on all legal research issues, for suggestions on framing a research project, recommendations of sources, and proposals of useful approaches and alternatives; the staff may not give legal advice.
Courtesy & Politeness Policy
Library staff works very hard to provide courteous, respectful, and gracious services to our patrons despite often challenging circumstances, and we ask the same of our patrons.
We ask that Library patrons observe the following:
• Treat staff & others with courtesy and respect
• Use “please” and “thank you” to staff
• Do not demand, interrupt, or point at staff when you want a computer pin or print.
• Do not interrupt staff when they are helping another person. Please wait your turn.
• Speak in a polite, courteous manner
• Do not argue, threaten or raise your voice to staff
• Follow the instructions of staff promptly
• Leave the library on time
Failure to observe this policy may result in the suspension of library privileges and/or restrict Saturday use of the library.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Patron Rules - To maintain the Law Library as a productive and respectful environment for all legal research, the Law Library has adopted a Patron Rules of Conduct.
Borrowing privileges are extended to members of the State Bar in good standing with offices or residences in the San Francisco; judges of courts situated within the City and County of San Francisco; and authorized representatives from municipal, state, and federal agencies in San Francisco. Members of the public are welcome to use and copy materials within the Library or available on our web page.
Computer use - Law Library public access computers are available at all our libraries for legal research and use of Law Library databases, only. Sessions are 60 minutes and patrons may request additional sessions if no other patrons are waiting for computer access. To use the computers, patrons sign in at the reference desk to schedule a session. Printing is available for 20 cents per page. Reference Staff will provide assistance about how to save, download, or print from Law Library databases.
Circulation Periods, Holds and Renewals
Most of the Law Library’s materials circulate to authorized borrowers for one or two weeks, with renewal periods possible.
To check the circulation status of any text, go to the online catalog and enter the title. If the search results show that the book is Available, that text is available for loan. If it is already checked out, you may ask a reference librarian to place a Hold on that material, so that you will be notified as soon as the book is returned. Borrowing periods for circulating materials are for either one or two weeks, and may also be renewed if no Holds have been placed on the record.
Renewals may be requested by phone, or online, through the Library's catalog. Reference staff can answer any questions about the circulating status of Library materials.
To renew online, start at the Law Library Catalog. When that page resolves, click again, directly under the picture, for My Library Account. To log-in, patrons will need to enter their last name and barcode as printed on their Law Library card. After logging in, patrons may also elect to keep a Reading History of materials checked out, for future reference. To do this, select Reading History [a very small icon to the right], and then click Opt IN [small icon to the left.]