James Madison Building

Research Assistance

A staff of experienced American trained lawyers and law librarians are available to help you during your visit to the Law Library Reading Room.  Some of our services include:

  • identifying/recommending relevant print and Web resources
  • advice on legal and legislative research strategies
  • help using the Library of Congress Online Catalog and appropriate legal databases
  • referrals to legal assistance organizations or local libraries in your area.

The Law Library reference staff are not permitted to:

  • give legal advice
  • interpret or analyze the meaning of any law or legal document
  • recommend a lawyer
  • read a section of a law, case, definition or book over the phone or to patrons in the Reading Room
  • help you fill out forms
  • compile bibliographies or legislative histories
  • complete student or work assignments.

Copying and Photoduplication Services

Photocopiers and photoduplication card vending machines are available in the Law Library Reading Room. Copies are 20 cents per page, or 25 cents per page for microtext material.  The copy card vending machines take one, five, ten and twenty dollar bills and do not return change.  The Library of Congress Photoduplication Service provides copies from the Law Library collection for a fee.  Patrons must supply specific citations (title, author, number of pages) in order for material to be copied.  For more information, visit the Photoduplication Service page.

Interlibrary Loan

The Law Library of Congress will lend certain materials to participating libraries but not directly to individuals.  Researchers should consult with their public or institution’s library to arrange for loans.  For more information on the Library’s interlibrary loan practices please refer to the Interlibrary Loan page.

Book Retrieval Services

Items from the closed stacks, rare books and materials in microtext format can be retrieved for patrons in Reading Room.

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Computer Access

The Law Library Reading Room has public access computers with attached printers.  These terminals provide access to the Library of Congress Online Catalog, various legal databases and the Internet.

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Last Updated: 02/28/2014