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Who has access to the Law Library?

All members and non-practicing members of the Law Society have access to the Law Library.

Members of the public also have access to the Law Library during business hours for the purpose of conducting legal research.

Is there a fee to access to the Law Library?

No, the Law Library does not charge fees for use of the Law Library.

Why do I need a library access card and how do I get one?

The Law Library and the Law Society are locked during business hours for staff safety. The library access card provides members with access to the Law Library both during business hours and in the evenings and on weekends for research access. Access cards do not provide access to the upper floors of the Law Society at any time.

Access cards are available, free of charge, to judges and lawyers who are members of the Law Society of Newfoundland & Labrador, and to registered law students by contacting the library at . If you are practicing outside the greater St. John’s area contact us to have an access card sent to you.

Out of province lawyers cannot have an access card, however, they can make use of the Law Library during our open hours.

As the library is locked during business hours, we recommend all Law Society members bring their access card with them.

Oops, I’ve lost my library access card – can I get another one?

You can request a replacement card by contacting the Law Library and requesting a card. If you are in good standing with the Law Society you can have up to two replacement cards for free.

Additional replacement cards carry a cost of $20.00/replacement card.

If you lose your card, please notify the Law Library as soon as possible so we can deactivate the lost card to continue to ensure the safety of the staff and the Law Society building.

Can I use my library access card to access the courts?

Yes – you will need to bring your registered access card from the Law Society to the Sheriff’s Office on Duckworth Street in order to have the card activated. You will be required to bring legal identification such as a driver’s licence or passport.

My access card didn’t work at the courthouse. Who do I talk to?

The Law Library can only assist if you are having trouble accessing the Law Library. Troubles regarding the court should be directed to the Office of the Sheriff.

How do I sign out material from the library?

All circulating items must be signed out before being removed from the Law Library – to sign out an item, remove the book card from the pocket and fill in your name, phone number, and the current date. Place the completed card in the grey box located at the reception desk marked “Borrower Cards”.

Please note the following circulation periods:

  • For circulating texts – the borrowing period is 30 days.
  • For reserve texts in the glass bookcase near the reception desk – the borrowing period is 3 days.
  • Items marked For Library Use Only / periodicals / items from the second floor – these items are for use in the library only and may not be borrowed.

Members may renew up to three (3) times by contacting the Law Library at 709-753-7770 or

Does the Law Library charge overdue fines?

The Law Library does not charge overdue fines. If you do not renew your items and we are unable to contact you, then we will assume the book is lost and charge you a replacement fee.  This consists of the cost of the book + taxes, shipping and handling, and a $25.00 processing fee.

For more information see the Use and Access Policy on our website.

How do I access online databases?

At their desktop, lawyers have access to CanLII and the Irwin e-library (please contact the Law Library for the login information). In the Law Library, lawyers have access to the following databases for legal research: DivorceMate, Heinonline, and WestlawNext Canada. Please contact the Law Library for content which is available from LexisNexis Advance Quicklaw (Canadian, American, and International) and O’Brien’s Forms (precedents).

For more information, please see the Resources tab on the library pages.

What are the rules for photocopying, printing and scanning?

The Law Library has a photocopier at which you can scan or photocopy content. The Law Library subscribes to the Fair Dealing provisions of the Canadian Copyright Act. Under these provisions, photocopies or scans of any physical library material or printouts from any database or online legal resource by staff or any clientele must not exceed 10% of the total amount of the publication, e.g. one journal article or one chapter of a book or loose-leaf. All copies must be for personal use (i.e. not for sale/profit).
You can also print from the computers.

a) Do I need to pay for photocopying/printing?

Yes, all photocopies or print jobs are $0.50 per page. Members of the Law Society can invoice the amount of photocopying by completing the log book beside the photocopier (or by the computers) when you are finished and an invoice will be sent to your firm. If you would prefer to pay at time of copying then we can accept payment in cash only. The Law Library does not accept debit or credit card payments.

If you require aid in using the photocopier please ask for assistance from the library staff.

b) If I scan something, do I still have to pay?

If you scan something without copying it first, then it is free. If you need to make printouts in order to scan them then you are required to pay the cost per page of printing/photocopying. This can also be invoiced by recording the copies on the log book next to the photocopier.

I don’t live on the Avalon Peninsula. Can I still make use of the library resources?

The Law Library provides assistance to all members of the Law Society. Members who are outside of the immediate area can request items be sent to them by courier.

The Law Library staff can also scan the table of contents of books, journal articles and sections from books for members who live out-of-town.

For more information, please see the Out of Town Members tab on the library pages.

How do I request a book/article that the Law Library does not have?

In the event that you are in need of an article or book not held in our library collection, we are able to place an interlibrary loan request to a variety of law society and academic libraries in Canada. The only fees charged for this service are those charged to us by the lending library.

Please contact the Law Library at 709-753-7770 or email and provide as much information about the item as possible (title, author, publisher, date, etc.). Please note borrowing periods are set by the lending library and may be different from those of the Law Library. Most interlibrary loans are not available to be renewed. This service is restricted to Law Society members only.

I am a student – can I access the Law Library?

Yes, students can have access to the Law Library, according to the following guidelines:

First year students – are not eligible for Law Society membership and therefore cannot have an access card to the Law Library. First years may access the library during regular business hours only. First years may have borrowing privileges for the Law Library by providing the Law Library with a copy of the Secondary Clientele Application Form signed by their principal. This authorization is good for the duration of their time with that firm (usually for the summer period).

Second year, third year, & articling students – are members of the Law Society and can have an access card to the Law Library, which provides regular business and after-hours access. They have automatic borrowing privileges with the Law Library for the duration of their work term. If you change firms or principals during this time, please contact the Law Library so we can update your records.

Student library accounts will remain each year you are a student with the Law Society and then can be rolled into your regular account once you are called to the Bar (NL only).



I would like to recommend a title for the Law Library to purchase – do you accept recommendations?

We do accept recommendations on the understanding that the final decision rests with the Law Librarian, who governs the makeup of the collection and makes all final budget decisions.

If you have a title you would like to recommend for the Law Library, please email the Law Librarian and provide as much detail as possible, in particular the title, author, publisher, and date of publication. Due to collection priorities, items which are more than 10 years old are not likely to be acquired.

I would like to donate legal materials for the Law Library – do you accept donations?

Donations are accepted in very limited circumstances.  We ask that you please contact the Law Librarian first, providing as much detail as possible about the donation, such as title, author, publisher, and date of publication, so that it can determined whether it can be accepted.

Please do not drop off donations without prior consultation.  All items that are to be donated must meet the requirements for donation as stated in our Collection and Development Policy.