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FAQs, Frequently Asked Questions About the Gallagher Law Library

Update in progress, May 2004.

When is the Law Library open?

The Library is open approximately 90 hours a week when classes are in session. Regular, interim, and holiday hours are posted on the Library website and are available as a recorded message at (206) 543-4088. Note that the Law Library operates on an abbreviated schedule when classes are not in session and during holidays.

The Law School and University of Washington academic calendars are included as links on the Hours page.

What is the Law Library's address?

The Law Library's mailing address is William H. Gates Hall, Box 353025, Seattle, WA, 98195-3025.

The Law Library is located in William H. Gates Hall, on the northwest corner of the University of Washington campus. Gates Hall does not have a street address, but it is located at the intersection of 15th Avenue, NE, and NE 43d Street. On the campus map, William H. Gates Hall is located at coordinates J-5.

How do I get to the Law Library?

Directions to William H. Gates Hall are found on the Hours page.

From the main entrance to Gates Hall facing Memorial Way, take the stairs or the elevator down to L1, where you will find the entrance to the Law Library. From the west entrance near 15th Avenue NE, take the stairs or the elevator up to the first floor of the Law School and walk the length of the Galleria to the main entrance. Then take the stairs or the elevator down to L1.

Is parking available near the Law Library?

Public parking near William H. Gates is limited. Some parking spots (including disabled parking spots) are available in Lot N1, between William H. Gates Hall and the Burke Museum. On the campus map, public parking lots are shown in grey.

To reach lot N1, enter the University of Washington campus on Memorial Way off of 45th Street NE. Stop at the Gate House for a parking permit. The current cost of a single day parking permit is $8. For more information about parking on campus, see

Parking in N1 is free weekdays after 9pm, Saturday after 12 noon, and all day Sunday UNLESS a special event is scheduled. Contact Parking Services for more information: 206/685-1543.


Which Metro bus routes stop near the Law Library?

Many Metro bus routes stop on 15th Avenue NE, NE 15th Street, and Memorial Way. Check the University District route information on the Metro website.


Who is Marian Gould Gallagher?

The Law Library is named for Marian Gould Gallagher, who served as its director for 37 years, from 1944 to 1981. A portrait of Mrs. Gallagher hangs at the bottom of the stairway leading to the Law Library entrance on L1. Click here to see a photograph of and read a tribute to Mrs. Gallagher.

Who can use the Law Library?

The Law Library is open to everyone; you need not be affiliated with the University of Washington to visit the Law Library.

Visitors may use all of the print and most of the online resources that the Law Library offers. Some online services are restricted to University of Washington Law School students, faculty, and staff by terms of our contracts with the database vendors. Some resources are restricted to currently enrolled University of Washington students and University of Washington faculty and staff. On this website, such resources are noted as being UW Restricted.

Who can check out books?

Visitors may register at the Circulation Desk by showing a photo ID and proof of Washington residency. You will be issued an adhesive bar code to affix to another form of identification (such as a Washington State Bar Association bar card or public library card). Registration permits you to check out books from the Classified and Compact Stacks for 2 weeks. You can read more information at the Circulation page.

Who can use the computers in the Law Library?

The Library's computers are available to all users for legal research purposes. There is a 30-minute time limit when others are waiting.

These computers provide access to the Law Library's online catalog; legal periodical indexes; and other free and commercial catalogs, databases, indexes, and websites. Access to some online resources is limited to University of Washington faculty, students, and staff performing course-related research; these limitations apply to some commercial services with contract restrictions.

Library computers do not have word processing software. Visitors may wish to go to a branch of the Seattle Public Library, most of which have computers with word processing software.

Visitors with laptops can use the wireless network found throughout William H. Gates Hall. UW visitors will use their UW Net IDs to logon. Other visitors should go to the Circulation Desk to get a logon password, good for one day.

None of the Library carrels or study spaces have ethernet connections. Neither the Law Library nor the Law School provide technical computer support for non-Law School users. See the Law School's information page on the wireless network for technical specifications for compatible wireless cards.

Who can I ask for legal research assistance in the Law Library?

The librarians in the Reference Office on L1 are available to answer questions approximately 60 hours a week. The Hours page includes the schedule for the Reference Office. You may also call the Reference Office at 206/543-6794 during the hours of scheduled service.

The reference librarians can help you identify and locate print and online sources and assist you in using these sources. The reference librarians cannot conduct research for you, give you legal advice, or interpret laws or cases for you. See the Reference Services page for more information.


Who can I ask for legal advice in the Law Library?

The Law Library staff does not offer legal advice, nor do we refer visitors to law professors. Law students are not qualified to provide legal advice.

See the list of local organizations on the Free or Low-Cost Legal Advocacy, Information, and Referral for King County Residents page for potential sources of legal advice. UW students may use Student Legal Services.

Where are the copy machines in the Law Library?

Two self-service, coin-operated copy machines are located on L1 and two more are on L2. See the Library maps page for specific locations.

The machines accept dollar bills, change, and the Quick Copy cards. A Quick Copy card dispenser is located in the copy alcove on L1, adjacent to the Law Student Lounge. There is no change machine in the building.

The staffed Copy Center is located on L2. They accept checks, credit cards, and currency. The Copy Center staff are also responsible for maintaining the self-copiers on L1 and L2. Please report paper jams, bad quality copies, and other problems to them.

Is there a public phone in the Law Library?

Yes. A public pay phone is located on L2 near the library elevator. Another public phone is on L1, outside the Library and near the central elevators.

What is the policy for copying or adapting on the Legal Research Guides on the Gallagher Law Library website?

We are happy to have our guides used by other libraries, librarians, and legal researchers.

Before copying or adapting one of our guides, please contact Cheryl Nyberg (cnyberg at to obtain permission. Then give appropriate attribution, such as: "Adapted from a guide by Mary Whisner at the Gallagher Law Library website." 

Who can I ask if I have a different question about the Gallagher Law Library?

Contact the Reference Office (206/543-6794). If we don't know the answer, we will refer you to someone who might.