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Law Library

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The Cornell Law Library serves the education and research needs of its students, faculty, and staff. Visitors with research needs are allowed to use the library’s collections, providing use does not conflict with its primary responsibility to members of the Cornell community. As a federal depository library, the Law Library is open to the public to use federal documents and online information.

Librarian consultations are available to the general public during our regular reference desk Full Hours. This assistance includes help with creating a research strategy to find potentially useful materials in the Law Library’s collection. However, librarians are unable to provide any type of legal advice to library users. Providing such advice violates the rules and laws governing the practice of law.

General Use:

Smoking and vaping are not allowed in the Law Library.  Food is permitted only in the designated eating area on the third floor of the library. Drinks are allowed in covered containers.

The Reading Room is a quiet study area, as are the carrel areas throughout the library. Please keep noise to a minimum. Teaching tours and legal research classes are periodically held in the Reading Room. At those times, students who need quiet should study in carrel areas.

Reading Room materials should be re-shelved when you are finished with them. If you are uncertain of where to reshelve the items you may bring them to the Circulation Desk.  Reserve materials must always be returned to the Circulation Desk.

Access for Persons with Disabilities:

The Cornell Law Library is committed to providing all members of the law school community with the best possible access to library materials and services and will make every effort, within the limits of available resources, to meet the library needs of those who have disabilities. Questions regarding disability services for library users can be directed to Sabrina Sondhi, (e-mail:; phone: 607/255-5441). Additional information is available from Cornell University Library Disability Services.

Access to the Library:

The Law Library is open seven days a week when classes are in session. For more information about the Law Library’s hours and scheduled holiday closures, please visit Full Hours. Access to the Law Library is restricted throughout final exam periods.  During this time we continue to remain sensitive to the needs of the extended community, members of the public, and non-law students conducting legal research, who are welcome from 8 am to 5 pm to retrieve books or obtain research assistance.

All of the services are provided by library staff from the third floor of the library. The Gould Reading Room on the third floor has the Circulation Desk, the Reference Desk, the Reserve Collection, and the Rare Book Room. Administrative offices and Technical Services are also on the third floor.

There are two doors open to enter the building on weekends and in the evenings: one from the west side parking lot area by the Hughes Hall breezeway, and the other on the east side from the College Avenue entrance nearest Cascadilla Creek. The west entrance is handicapped accessible.

Access to Online Resources:

Many resources of the Cornell University Library are available to individuals not affiliated with Cornell. Anyone visiting the Law Library may utilize most networked electronic resources available through the Law Library’s Online Legal Resources page and the Cornell University Library Home Page at kiosk workstations. Because of licensing restrictions, access to selected databases may be limited. Remote users still have access to many features of the Library Web sites.

After Hours Access:

The law library is open to all Cornell University students and the public. Access to the law library after hours however is restricted to the law student community. Law library staff circulates at closing to ensure only faculty and members of the law student community remain.

The library also has restricted access during study and exam period. During this time, non-law students may only come into the law library to check out an item or ask a reference question between 8am and 5pm Monday thru Friday. Non-law students may not remain in the law library to study and will be asked to leave by staff. Non-law students will not have access to the building over the weekend.

In order to identify members of the law student community, stickers are placed on the back of the student’s CU ID card by the registrar. Students whose stickers wear off, or who do not receive a sticker from the registrar’s office, should inquire at the Circulation Desk during business hours.

Students are advised to leave their CU ID out with the sticker showing while studying so that staff will not disturb their studies to ask to see their stickers.

If a student loses their sticker, they will receive one grace sticker replacement, after which the student will be charged $10 for each replacement sticker.

Photography and Videography: 

Personal photos are permitted, provided that they do not disturb other patrons or violate their privacy rights.  Professional photography and videography are not permitted within the Law Library without the express permission of the Law Library. To request permission to photograph or film in the Law Library, please contact Sabrina Sondhi, Director for Administrative Services for a copy of the Law Library Filming/Photography Permission Form. Ensuring minimum interruption to patron use of the Law Library is our primary concern. Therefore, we may not be able to accommodate requests that run counter to this primary goal.

Photos and videos intended for internal Cornell purposes shall be approved directly by the Law Library. Photos and videos intended for external purposes shall additionally be approved by Cornell Law School Communications. Use of photographic or film equipment within the Law Library:

  • shall occur during regular operating hours;
  • shall be restricted to public areas of the library;
  • shall not interfere with the study, research, privacy, or safety of library patrons;
  • shall not interfere with the duties of library staff;
  • shall not hinder access to exits, stairways, corridors, doorways, and other library facilities;
  • may be restricted during exam periods; and
  • shall not violate Cornell University policies, rules, or regulations.

The photographer, filmmaker, and/or crew shall be responsible for returning library facilities to their original condition at project completion and will be charged for the repair of any damage incurred.

Library staff shall not be responsible for moving furniture or assisting with the photo or film project.

The photographer or filmmaker must obtain the consent of any individual, including any library patrons or library staff, who will appear in or be the subject of the photography or filming.

The Law Library reserves the right to terminate any photography or filming being conducted without permission, or that causes an undue disturbance, violates Law Library, Law School or University policies or regulations, or endangers the health and safety of participants, library users, or library staff. Individuals or groups who refuse to cease recording upon request by an authorized Law Library staff member will be considered in breach of the University Library policy on patron conduct in the Library system.