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About the Collectionfdlp-emblem-color

We house an estimated 125,000 print volumes at two locations and provide access to many electronic resources.  An extensive collection of primary resources is available for California and the United States including statutes, codes, and regulations. We also have secondary resources, such as practice guides in various subject areas and form books.


We are a selective Federal Depository Library and California State Document Depository Library. We  maintain a collection of United States and California government documents and make them accessible in print and electronic formats.


Use our online catalog to find information about titles available.


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California Collection

Our California collection includes a large selection of legal materials in print and electronic format including both Deering’s and West’s annotated codes, administrative regulations and case reporters. The Downtown San Diego location keeps the older editions of these annotated codes and the administrative codes for historical research purposes. The California collection also includes detailed practice guides on specific law subjects. These guides include checklists, forms and instructions on various legal transactions and court filings. In addition to practice guides, we also carry popular self-help titles to assist the self-represented.


Our Library is a California Appellate Brief Depository. Although we no longer house print briefs, we have access to an extensive California Brief collection through our electronic databases and microfiche collection.


Municipal ordinances and codes are collected for cities within San Diego County and the southern California region. Local court rules and bar association materials can also be found here.


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Federal Collection

United States legal materials are available in print and electronic format including the United States Codes, Code of Federal Regulations, Federal Register, U.S. Reports, Federal Reporter, Federal Supplement, Federal Rules Decisions, Bankruptcy Reporters, and subject-specific Federal Government agency rulings and decisions. The Federal collection also includes numerous attorney practice guides on specific federal law topics with sample language to use for various legal transactions and court filings. In addition to attorney practice guides, we also carry popular self-help titles to assist the self-represented.


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MCLE Materials

We carry Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) materials in CD and DVD formats. Library members may check out MCLE materials. All users can listen to or view MCLE materials within the library. A listing of all MCLE materials is available under Lists in our online catalog. Check out our participatory MCLE classes and events on our Calendar.


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Self-Help Law Materials

Our popular “Do it Yourself” (DIY) collection includes an extensive selection of law books written for non-attorneys. These materials guide you through the legal process by providing explanations and instructions on how to handle a case, from initial court filings to enforcing judgments.


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Electronic Resources

We provide an extensive electronic collection including Legal Databases such as: Lexis and OnLaw. These databases help you find statutes, case law, legal and transactional forms and legal treatises covering both federal and state laws.

Some of our most popular books can be found in electronic format via the databases including:


  • Matthew Bender California Collection
  • CEB titles
  • HeinOnline –  Legal Classics collection
  • Nolo books –  can be accessed from home!


Most of our electronic books are available only from computers in our Computer Center. Members can view CEB titles in the Library from their personal computer. Nolo books are available remotely to San Diego County residents.


In addition to the electronic legal databases mentioned, other useful and frequently used websites are searchable via our online catalog system, as is our extensive collection of California State and Federal electronic government documents. Use Free Legal Websites to find links to reliable legal information.


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Archives and Special Collection

We maintain numerous archive materials. Specifically, we house California and Federal codes, court rules and jury instructions for historical research purposes. We also maintain an archive of materials relating to the history of California and the history of the San Diego Legal Community. If you are looking for a rare book or for historical legal information, please contact us for assistance.


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