College of Law > Law Library > About > FAQ


The primary mission of the law library is to serve the research and study needs of faculty, currently enrolled students and the DePaul University community. The library is open to members of the public who are conducting serious legal research. With the exception of select government documents databases, Internet and wireless network access is not available to the public. However, the vast majority of the print collection can be used within the library. Members of the public who need access to the physical collection are required to have a staff approved appointment and visitors pass. Please complete the online reference form to request access. 

Patrons without DePaul ID cards must ring the buzzer to gain entry, and sign-in at the Circulation and show current photo identification.

For complete hours, including holidays and closings see the library hours page.

The law library is located in the Lewis Center at 25 East Jackson Boulevard on the university's Loop Campus. 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 or DePaul alumni card. Vistors without access cards should ring the buzzer to gain entry, show a current photo ID and sign in at the circulation desk. Public visitors must request a visitors pass.The general number for the Library is (312) 362-8121, and the number for the reference desk is (312) 362-6894. See more here.

The law school computer lab is located in room 513 in the law library. It is exclusively for enrolled law students and law faculty. Currently enrolled DePaul University students and faculty may use the university computer lab on the 14th floor of Lewis Center. There are no public computing facilities for those not currently affiliated with DePaul. Chicago residents have access to various computing resources at the Harold Washington Library Center's Computer Connection. The Harold Washington Library Center is located at 400 S. State Street, less than two blocks from DePaul Law Library.

Westlaw and Lexis are subscriber-only services which require an individual userid and password.. DePaul University Law School's user agreement permits access to both services only for current law students, faculty and the professional staff of the library.

The Law Library has one computer which offers public access to WestlawNext Patron Access, a subset of the Westlaw research service. (During busy periods, a time limit will be enforced.)

In addition, the Law Library's public catalog terminals offer public access to Nexis Uni, which includes a limited subset of that service's legal and news databases.

The law library has a photocopier available for public use. A courtesy copy card  is available upon request at the Circulation Desk. The card has a limited number of copies, and we ask patrons to be prudent when using it

The Rinn Law Library has a microform scanner next to the reference desk. Patrons can scan pages to PDF, and save the results to their USB flash drive, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM. The Law Library cannot provide storage media. Documents may also be printed for 8 cents per page via the university's Intelliprint system. (Printers use the same card system as the photocopiers.)

Information Resources

The library catalog, PRIMO is accessible from any computer connected to the Internet or via the terminals across from the reference desk. When using the catalog to determine a book's location, you will find a call number and the library in which it is located. (Note that "Loop Campus" denotes a location in the university library on the 10th floor of DePaul Center. Only those books with "Law Library" listed as the location are in the law library.)

Reserve materials are kept behind the circulation desk. Reserve materials include books and articles put on reserve by professors for particular courses as well as any item whose location is listed as "Reserve" by I-Share.

Most recent general law reviews are on the 6th floor, arranged alphabetically between the call numbers of K1 and K30. (Older issues have been moved to offsite storage.) However, many journals, including those focused on a specific area of law and those not directly law-related, are shelved with books on the same subjects. Always check the online catalog before concluding that the journal is not in the library.

The Rinn Law Library uses Library of Congress call numbers, which always begin with one to three letters followed by a string of numbers. The other DePaul libraries use the Dewey Decimal System of classification, which always begins with a three-digit number. Check the location of the book in the catalog. If it has a Dewey number and the location says Loop Campus, it is in the DePaul Library on the 10th floor of DePaul Center. If it says Lincoln Park, it is in the Richardson Library on the Lincoln Park campus.

If you can't find the book you are looking for in the online catalog or you need more detailed research help, go to the Reference Desk (across from the entrance to the library). You can call the Reference Desk at (312) 362-6894 or use Online Reference to request an email response. For current reference hours see the hours page.

In general, current DePaul students and DePaul alumni may check out any book not listed in I-Share as Reference, Reserve or Non-Circulating. The online catalog will indicate the loan period, usually either a week or 24 hours. DePaul Law Library is a member of two library consortia: CLAS, which includes most of the academic law libraries in Chicago, and CARLI, a statewide library consortium. Authorized users of libraries in either consortium may borrow only those books listed as circulating for one week.

The librarians and library staff cannot give legal advice. If you are not an attorney and you are attempting to deal with a complex legal issue we strongly advise you to speak with an attorney familiar with the legal area in question.

The Chicago Bar Association has a lawyer referral service to match prospective clients with an attorney. Another service is Illinois Lawyer Finder. For individuals in DuPage County, visit the DuPage County Bar Association.

The library does not offer a document delivery service. While members of the public with approved access (please complete the online form) are welcome to come in and use the library's resources during our public hours, we do not have the staff or resources to respond to telephone, fax or email requests for documents.