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How do I find a copy of a deceased’s will?

If you know the lawyer that drafted the will, you should contact that lawyer, who can advise whether or not a copy of the will can be disclosed to you. If you cannot locate the original will, please email the Law Society and we will  contact our membership and try to locate the will for you.

Please provide us with the following information:

  • Persons full name
  • Date and place of birth
  • Date of death
  • Last known residence
  • Full Contact information for the requestor
How do I find a file or a will?

If you know the lawyer that drafted the will or worked on the file, you should contact that lawyer who can advise whether or not a copy of the will can be disclosed to you. More…

Can members of the public access the Law Library?

Members of the public who are conducting legal research may use the library during operating hours, however, as the library is locked during business hours, please call 753-7770, before you drop in. Members of the public looking to do non-legal research should contact one of the 3 public libraries in the City of St. John’s which are available for other types of research and activities.

The Law Library reserves the right to revoke or refuse access to anyone who is not conducting legal research. The use of social media is not permitted on the library computers.

Is there a fee to access the Law Library?

No, there are no fees for accessing the Law Library. The only charges are for printing/photocopying/scanning (see below).

I need to conduct research – can the library staff help me?

The Law Library can only provide help with legal information, such as where to find a book or what materials might be of help to start with. We cannot interpret the law as this constitutes legal advice. Please see below:

  • Legal Information: Legal information explains the law and the justice system. The information is not tailored to a specific situation or case. Law Library staff provide access to legal information through the books, journals and legal resources in the Law Library and online, and assistance with developing a legal research project. They do not interpret the law, including explaining the meaning of certain sections of legislation or a case.
  • Legal Advice: Legal advice applies the law to a specific situation. This includes interpreting the meaning of case law, statutes/regulations, and applying legal principles. Legal advice is provided by a person trained in the law – only lawyers are allowed to provide legal advice.

Researchers are responsible for interpreting the information they locate in the Law Library.

Can members of the public borrow/sign-out books or journals from the Law Library?

Members of the public may use the library resources on-site only.

Photocopying and printing is available for $0.50/page.

Can I access online databases to find cases and legislation?

Due to licencing restrictions, the public only has access to the free case and legislation database CanLII and to our library catalogue. These can be accessed on either our computers or off-site through the internet. Members of the public cannot make use of the databases that are on the computers in the Law Library.

What are the rules and costs for photocopying, printing and scanning?

a) Can I print or scan at the Law Library?

Yes, members of the public can photocopy/print/scan materials at the Law Library. Please note that due to legislation (Canadian Copyright Act), a person may not photocopy or scan more than 10% of a book or journal. As an example, 10% would be one or two chapters of a book or one journal article from a journal publication.

Members of the public are permitted to photocopy or scan for personal research, review, private study, criticism, or for court/tribunal/government proceedings. Use for commercial purposes is strictly forbidden. If you are uncertain if what you need to copy is within that limit or within the limits of the Copyright Act, please consult the Law Library staff and they can advise you. Individuals found to be engaged in excessive copying will be asked to leave the library.


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

Yes, all photocopies are $0.50 per page and are cash only, due upon printing. 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.


c) 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. Please remember that even when you scan rather than copy, you must adhere to the 10% copying rule.

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

Unfortunately, we cannot offer distance services to the public. However, you may still access the free case and legislation database CanLII and our library catalogue off-site through the internet. We also suggest consulting your local public library or making use of the Public Legal Information Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (PLIAN).

Can I request a book that the library does not have?

This service is restricted to members of the Law Society.

Where can I go if I do need to find legal advice?

The Public Legal Information Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (PLIAN) can assist you in finding a lawyer if you are having difficulty.

I would like to donate legal materials to 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.