- Who can use the Library?
- What are your Locations and Hours?
- Can you help me complete legal forms?
- Can I get legal advice at the Library?
- Do you have access to San Diego Superior Court records?
- Do you have Conference Rooms?
- Do you have tax forms?
- Do you offer tours?
- How is the Library supported?
- Do you provide wireless access?
- How can I borrow Library materials?
- Why should I become a Law Library member?
- Do you really provide free public access to Lexis & CEB Onlaw?
- Do you have computers I can use?
- Where can I learn how to do my own legal research?
Who can use the Library?
Anyone can use our library for legal research purposes. We are open to the general public as well as the legal community. You do not need to be a member to use our facilities. However, if you would like to borrow resources, you will need to become a member.
As a small, specialized library we have limited resources that must be preserved for those needing to access the law. Those who are not here to access the law will find lots of space at the public library. We exist solely to provide legal information; if our work stations and study tables are taken up by those not needing legal resources then we are doing a disservice to those for whom we are here to serve. So, we must ask you to be actively performing legal research in our resources, preparing court paperwork, or attending legal clinics. If you are not doing legal research you may be asked to leave.
What are your Locations and Hours?
Please see Locations & Hours.
Can you help me complete legal forms?
If you know exactly what form you are looking for, we can help you find it. We cannot help you complete forms or tell you which form to use in your particular situation. However, we may be able to locate resources that provide samples that will assist you in determining how best to complete your paperwork. To get started on your research, visit Research a Legal Issue.
Can I get legal advice at the Library?
Although we offer many services, we are not able to give legal advice or perform in-depth research. We can help you find legal resources, and provide referrals to local legal aid organizations, clinics, and attorney referral services.
Do you have access to San Diego Superior Court records?
We do not have special access to the Superior Court’s database or records department. Access to all San Diego Superior Court records for individual cases, including Civil, Criminal, Family, Small Claims or Probate Court files, can be obtained directly from the San Diego Superior Court. You can locate Court files and access some documents directly from the Court’s website. Please review the Court website to determine what records are available electronically and what records are physically housed at the Court.
Do you have Conference Rooms?
Yes, we do! We have rooms available at all our locations. Technology, pricing, and room capacity varies. Please see Conference Room for details on each room and reservation information.
Do you have tax forms?
During tax season we have a limited amount of the most commonly used tax information booklets and forms. All other forms, including past years, can be located on the IRS and California Franchise Tax Board websites.
Do you offer tours?
Yes, library tours are given by appointment for groups of 5 or more. Please see Tours for more information.
How is the Library supported?
Our book and computer budget, personnel budget, and operating budget are supported by the Law Library Trust Fund, which derives income primarily from a portion of civil court filing fees and from funds that the library itself generates. Our Board of Trustees administers that fund. The building, building maintenance, custodial service, and telecommunications are provided by the County of San Diego from its General Fund, which is supported by tax dollars. We urge you to write local representatives and let them know the importance of the Law Library and our services. Locate your state and local representatives and tell them how much the Law Library means to you!
Do you provide wireless access?
We provide free wireless access only for patrons conducting legal research using our databases. A few of our legal research databases are available to members on your own electronic device while at the Library. See our Wireless FAQ for more information. Not a member? Join Us!
How can I borrow Library materials?
To borrow materials, you must be a member. Please see Circulation for more information.
Why should I become a Law Library member?
Any resident of San Diego County can become a member. In addition to borrowing materials, members receive remote access to several databases including Gale Legal Forms, National Consumer Law Center, and HeinOnline, as well as a set of electronic books in the San Diego Digital Law Library. Please visit Circulation for a full description of benefits and details on how to join.
Do you really provide free public access to Lexis & CEB Onlaw?
Yes, and more! We provide free access to several databases, including Lexis, CEB Onlaw, HeinOnline, Nolo Press, and much more. See Legal Databases for a full list and database descriptions.
Do you have computers I can use?
Yes, we provide free computer access for legal research, legal document creation, and access to government documents. Please see Computers for more information.
Where can I learn how to do my own legal research?
See Research a Legal Issue for information on legal research classes, free legal websites, court forms, motion guides, and the online self-help center. The American Association of Law Libraries also has useful information, as does the Southern California Association of Law Libraries.