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Library Resources for Members of the Public

We welcome visitors and legal researchers to our library. This guide will help you understand our policies and resources.

Our Services

The Gallagher Law Library is open to the public and you are welcome to visit us in person to use our legal resources and materials.

If you need help identifying and finding legal resources, you can speak to a Research Services librarian in the Reference Office, located on floor L1 (the first lower level) of William H. Gates Hall. We are open Monday through Friday, closed on the weekends. You can find our Reference hours here.

You may also reach us by phone at (206) 543-6794 or by email via our Ask Us! service. Please allow a 24-48 hour turnaround time for questions asked via this service. 

The Research Services librarians provide legal research assistance; that is, we can direct you to resources that you can use to find answers to your legal research questions. We cannot tell you what law applies to your situation or give you legal advice. For similar reasons, it is our policy not to read legal materials over the phone or email the text of legal resources via our Ask Us service. If you cannot come into the law library, you might want to use our fee-based Copy & Send Service. Many Federal and Washington State laws, cases, and regulations are available for free online, as described in Researching a Legal Issue. 

Common examples of questions librarians cannot answer:

What does this legal phrase/word mean?
What statute or law applies in my situation?
Could you find and explain this case to me?
Can you help me fill out this form or tell me if I have filled it in correctly?

How a librarian might help you instead:

Where would I learn what this legal term means?
How do I find which law applies in my situation?
Is there a book or article that talks about this case?
Do you have a sample of this form that I could look at or copy?

Our Legal Research Guides

We have created legal research guides on a number of common topics, such as researching case law, statutes, and secondary sources. Research guides are lists of librarian-recommended resources on your specific topic, and are an excellent starting point for any legal research project. See our research guides here