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About the Rinn Law Library

The primary purpose of the Vincent G. Rinn Law Library is to support the teaching and research functions of the DePaul College of Law and other DePaul University community researchers who need to use legal materials. The Vincent G. Rinn Law Library is located at DePaul University's downtown campus in Chicago. Housed within the Lewis Building on the 5th floor, you can enter the building from either Jackson Boulevard or South Wabash Avenue. The library occupies the 4th through 6th floors, with the entrance on the 5th floor. There is an internal staircase and elevators to get to the other floors. Although the library doors are normally closed, access is granted by swiping a current DePaul ID (issued to DePaul students, faculty, staff, alumni, and retirees) or by ringing the doorbell on the wall (for public patron / visitor access). Public patrons / visitors will be expected to show a valid government issued photo ID and sign-in upon entry to the law library. All public patrons will be expected to adhere to general library polices and procedures in addition to guidelines for public patron / visitor library usage.

Reference Librarians are available to assist patrons with finding and using materials in the law library. Please note that although the reference librarians will assist users who need information, a reference librarian will NOT research or interpret the law for any patron.

Due to space limitations, public access to the Law Library may be restricted during exam/study periods.

Circulation Policy - Borrowing Eligibility (In-person/walk-in borrowers):
All DePaul patrons and members of consortiums (i.e. I-share, CLAS) with reciprocal borrowing agreements with DePaul must have a valid institution ID in order to check out library materials (i.e. items eligible for circulation/loan based on their privileges). Members who need additional forms to complete the checkout process (i.e. CLAS) should obtain these materials from their institution library first before in-person/walk-in borrowing transactions. ID cards are non-transferrable. Public patrons / visitors are not eligible for borrowing priviledges. For more information on Public / Visitor access, please see the Public Patron / Visitor Access Guidelines entry on our About page.

Food and Beverage Policy:
The law library allows the consumption of beverages and food with restrictions. Beverages (non-alcoholic only) must be in covered, spill-proof containers. Please limit consumable food to pre-packaged snacks, or small pieces of fruit. Smelly or greasy foods--which can damage the books and furnishings and have more potential to invite vermin into library premises--is prohibited. Food deliveries (ex. pizza deliveries) are prohibited. Please remember to place all trash or garbage in the appropriate receptacles. The law library reserves the right to prohibit individuals from bringing in and consuming food in the library that may be deemed disruptive (ex. smelly) to other patrons utilizing the facilities.

Conference / Study Room Policy:
The law library has several study rooms on each floor for student use. Study rooms are restricted to DePaul Law student use only; on a first-come, first-served basis with priority going to groups over individual use. Study rooms are non-reservable with exception only for College of Law administrative purposes. DePaul Law Students can check out a study room through the Access Services Desk in the Law library.

Other prohibited items and activites in the Law library:

The following items/activities are prohibited:

  • Smoking tobacco products.
  • Carrying and/or consuming alcoholic beverages.
  • Use of cellphones. Cellphones, pagers and similar electronic devices should be set to silent or vibrate mode.
  • Sleeping or loitering.
  • Monopolizing any library space or obstructing the aisles. 
  • Entering an area or occupying study spaces that are limited to DePaul Students, Faculty and Staff only.
  • Bodily hygiene or condition of personal effects that is offensive so as to constitute a nuisance to patrons or staff.
  • Using library restroom facilities or other library space for inappropriate purposes (including bathing, washing clothes).
  • Pets (service animals are permitted).
  • Inadequate of inappropriate attire (shoes and shirts required).
  • The unauthorized removal, mutilation, or abuse of library equipment or materials is prohibited and subject to penalties under Illinois law.
  • All library patrons are expected to maintain quiet and be considerate of others.
  • Groups not affiliated with DePaul School of Law may not conduct classes, tour or business activities without the prior written permission of the Director of the Law Library.
  • Photography and filming of or in law library premises without the written permission of the Director of the Law Library and appropriate releases from the University. DePaul students filming or taking photos for coursework are expected to adhere to the policy and procedures for filming on campus and are NOT exempt from obtaining the written permission of the Director of the Law Library to use law library facilities.

The Vincent G. Rinn Law Library is located at DePaul University's downtown campus in Chicago. On the corner of Jackson Blvd. and Wabash Ave., the Rinn Law Library is housed with the Lewis Building on the 5th floor. Our exact address is:

25 East Jackson Blvd.
Lewis Center, 5th Floor
Chicago, IL 60604

General Line / Access Service Department: (312) 362-8121
Reference Department: (312) 362-6894

For a directory of Rinn Law Library Staff, please visit our Law Library Staff Directory Page.

The DePaul University Rinn Law Library was designated a Federal Depository in 1979. Previously, from 1975 to 1980, the library received depository documents via the DePaul University Lincoln Park Campus Library in the 5th Congressional District.

As a selective Federal Depository library (currently selecting 8 percent of available items) the Rinn Law Library supports the general collection activities of the law school and the university libraries (Lincoln Park campus, Loop campus and suburban locations), as well as the needs of residents of the 7th Congressional District.

Selections for the DePaul University Libraries are made under a formal Selective Housing Agreement with the law library.

  • All depository materials are catalogued and integrated into the collections.
  • The general libraries house Census Bureau publications and other titles providing demographic and business-related information.
  • The law library houses mostly law-related titles covering all three branches of government.

Public Access:

The general public is entitled to use the Federal Depository publications housed in the DePaul University Libraries. Providing free access to the general public to the resources of the documents collection, including electronic resources, is a basic program obligation.

  • Guests must visit the circulation desk and present a photo ID in order to sign in.
  • Library administrators under the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) guidelines determine hours of operation, access and security procedures. (See Administrative Notes - v.24 - #04 - p.7, 4/15/2003.)
  • Depository access is limited to patrons who have depository-related needs.

Public Online Research:

The law library provides several computer workstations that can be used by the public to retrieve government information via the Internet. Reference librarians are able to assist with any access issues.

The Rinn Law Library is also open to the general public for the purpose of conducting legal research and using the federal government depository collection. With the exception of select government documents databases; internet and wireless network access is not available to members of the general public. Patrons without DePaul ID cards must ring the buzzer to gain entrance, sign in and show current photo identification (i.e. government issued photo identification). We reserve the right to restrict public / visitor access during law school final exam periods. We also reserve the right to revoke a public patron or visitor's access for violation of library polices. 

For a comprehensive overview of services for Public patrons / visitors, please see our Public Visitors Services page.

During the College of Law's final exam period, the Rinn Law library restricts library access to the general public and consortium patrons. During this period; only students, faculty, staff, alumni, and retirees from DePaul University will be admitted. DePaul ID will be required.

Consortium members needing to borrow circulating materials via walkover (i.e. physically picking them up from our location) are asked to call Access Services at (312) 362-8121 during hours of operation to make arrangments prior to arrival.

Members of the public seeking access to federal documents at these times are encouraged to visit one of the federal depository libraries listed below:

  • Chicago Public Library Harold Washington Library Center
    400 South State Street
    Phone: (312) 747-4300 
  • U.S. Court of Appeals Seventh Circuit Library
    219 South Dearborn Street
    Phone: (312) 435-5660
  • University of Illinois, Chicago Richard J. Daley Library
    801 South Morgan Street
    Phone: (312) 996-2724

For frequently asked questions, please visit our FAQ page.