Law Libraries & Other Legal Research Options
Updated Nov. 19, 2007.
Due to a security threat, Wm. H. Gates Hall is open only to members of the UW School of Law community and other UW
students attending scheduled classes in the building. Consequently, the
Gallagher Law Library is also available only to those individuals. We apologize for the
inconvenience this limited access policy will cause our other users.
All users may still ask questions and get reference and research
assistance from the reference librarians. Call (206) 543-6794 or submit
questions via email.
Users may return Law Library books and other material by placing them in the book returns
located at the main (Memorial Way) and west building entrances. Users may
also renew books checked out from the Gallagher Law Library by phone
(543-4086) or online via the
My Library Account
link on the Library's website.
In question-and-answer format, we describe alternatives for
satisfying your legal research needs.
Borrowing Books from the Gallagher Law Library
- How can a UW student or professor borrow books from the Law Library
during this time?
- Search Summit to
identify books held by the Law Library and use the Request This Item
feature to place your request. The book will be delivered to another UW
library of your choosing
- How can I obtain a brief or a microfiche item?
- Contact a reference librarian by
email or phone
(206/543-6794) and we will make arrangements so that you can check out the
item via Summit.
- How can members of the public borrow books from the Law Library?
- Contact your local library and ask for an Interlibrary Loan. Your
local library may be a public library or a library that is associated with
your educational institution, business, or law firm. Many books in the Law
Library can be borrowed through this approach.
Law Libraries in Seattle & Washington State
- Are any other law libraries in Seattle open to the public?
- Yes. The King County Law Library is open to the public and the Seattle
University Law Library provides limited public access (see below).
- How do I contact these law libraries?
- The King County Law Library phone
number is (206) 296-0940. The
University Law Library phone number is (206) 398-4221.
- Where are these law libraries located?
- The King County Law Library has two locations: The Main Library is in
King County Courthouse, 516 3rd Avenue. The
Regional Justice Center is in Kent at 401 Fourth Avenue. The Seattle
University Law Library is on the
Seattle University on First Hill, 900 Broadway.
- When are these law libraries open?
- The King County Law Library in Seattle is open Monday-Friday, 8am -
6pm and Saturday, 11am - 5pm.
The Regional Justice Center in Kent is open Monday-Friday, 8:30am - 5pm;
closed Saturday and Sunday.
Visit the Seattle University Law Library
- Do these libraries restrict public access in any way?
- The King County Law Library places no restrictions on public access to
The Seattle University Law Library is a private law school library.
Members of the public who want to use the library must sign in at the
Circulation Desk. Users interested in seeing U.S. government publications
(received through the federal depository library program) may use those
materials for free. Users interested in working with other parts of the
library collection must pay a $5/day fee.
- How can I find out if one of the law libraries has the material I
want to use?
- Contact the libraries directly or use their online catalogs via the
King County Law Library in Seattle: (206) 296-0940 and Kent: (206)
live chat reference service.
Seattle University Law Library: (206) 398-4220 and
- Do these law libraries offer any online legal research services?
- Yes. The King County Law Library offers access to limited databases on
both LexisNexis and Westlaw, including Shepard's and KeyCite.
- Are any law libraries outside of Seattle open to the public?
- Yes. See the Gallagher guide on list of
Law Libraries in Washington State and
the U.S. and the directory
of the Washington Association of County Law Libraries.
- Do any of these law libraries accept reference questions by email?
- Yes. In addition to the
County Law Library, the
Washington State Law Library answers questions by email.
Other Libraries with Legal & Government Materials
- Do any other libraries in Seattle have legal research materials?
- Yes. The Seattle Public Library and the University of Washington
Government Publications Department own many of the primary legal sources
for research in U.S. and Washington State law. These libraries also
participate in the federal depository library program, which provides a
wide range of federal government documents for public use.
- How can I find out more about these libraries?
- Visit the Seattle Public Library
website for information about locations, hours, collections, and services.
Contact a reference librarian by phone (206) 386-4636 or use the
email or live
Visit the UW Libraries
Government Publications website for information about location, hours,
collections, and services. Contact a reference librarian by phone (206)
543-1937 or use the
email or live
- What is the Federal Depository Library Program?
- The program is a service of the U.S. Government Printing Office
through which libraries around the country receive federal government
publications in exchange for providing free public access to those
materials. All types of libraries participate, including college and
university libraries, law school libraries, public libraries, and
government libraries. For more information, see
About the FDLP.
- Where can I find a list of other federal depository libraries?
- The Government Printing Office maintains a
federal depository libraries in Washington State. The list is arranged
in alphabetical order by city. Note that not all federal depository
libraries receive all of the same government publications. Each library
chooses publications that will best serve its users.
- Are there other lists of libraries in Washington State?
- Yes. The Washington State Library provides a
searchable directory of
Obtaining Photocopies of Legal Material
- How can I obtain a copy of a case, law review article, or other
- The Gallagher Law Library's Copy
& Send service is a fee-based service that provides copies of legal
materials to which the requester has a citation. To place a request, call
the Reference Office (206) 543-6794 or complete the
form on the
Copy & Send website.
Legal Research on the Internet
- Can I use the Internet to conduct legal research?
- Yes! You can find many primary legal research materials (including
laws, regulations, and cases) on the Internet. See the Gallagher guide on
Internet Legal Resources for links
to primary legal sources for Washington State and the U.S. federal
government. LegalWA is a great place to
find Washington laws, cases, and regulations.
- How can I learn how to do research in specific subjects?
- The Gallagher Law Library website contains
dozens of legal research guides on a wide
variety of topics. Most of these guides identify print and online sources,
including free sources on the Internet. Other law libraries also prepare
subject-oriented legal research guides, including the
County Law Library, the
Seattle University Law Library, and the
Washington State Law Library
Findlaw is another good place to find
information about subject-based legal research materials on the Internet.
- May a UW School of Law alumnus enter Wm. H. Gates Hall?
- Unfortunately, the answer is no. The UW Police Department,
in conjunction with Interim Dean Greg Hicks, are making the decisions
about who has access to the building during this time of heightened
- How can alumni get books from the Gallagher Law Library?
- This summer the Library began a program called Law Books on Demand
exclusively for UW School of Law alumni. The Library will mail books to
alumni at no cost. Read more about the program on the
Library Services for Law School Alumni