Law Library Policies

General Policies
Borrowing Privileges
Collection Development
Interlibrary Loan
Research & Reference Services
Study Room Reservations

General Policies

The goal of the library administration and staff is to make the collection as freely available to all patrons as is consistent with proper and equitable use, and to provide a safe and secure space in which the collection may be used. We have adopted policies related to library access and resource use that further this goal.

  • A Storm Card must be presented upon request.
  • Only currently enrolled SJU LAW students may use the computer lab and study rooms on floors 1, 1M, and 2.
  • Please help us preserve an atmosphere conducive to quiet study. While on the first floor, please keep your voices at a low volume. Please step outside into the lobby or reserve a study room for extended discussions.  Please keep floors 1M and 2M as quiet as possible.  The 3rd floor is a designated Quiet Floor. All conversation is prohibited and the use of electronic devices is allowed without sound and limited typing.
  • Cell phones should not be used for conversations in the Law Library. All patrons should turn off the ring feature on their phones so that the noise does not disturb other patrons. Conversations should be carried on outside the Law Library.
  • If you are planning to use audio on any device, please use headphones.
  • Please do not write in, underline, or otherwise damage library materials.
  • Beverages with lids may be brought into the Library. Please report any spills to the Circulation Desk.
  • The Library does not page patrons nor take messages for users.
  • Smoking and the use of all other tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes and vaporizers, is not permitted anywhere in the Library.
  • Fire alarm drills are periodically performed. Everyone must leave the Library immediately when the fire alarm sounds.

Access Policy

The Rittenberg Law Library is only open to St. John's University School of Law current students, employees, and law school alumni. A detailed description of resources and services available to law school alumni is available from our Resources for Alumni page.

Individuals not eligible for Rittenberg Law Library Access should contact one of New York’s many law libraries open to the public.

Depository Access

The Rittenberg Law Library is a New York State, United States, and United Nations Depository. Access to government documents is available by appointment. Please contact us to schedule an appointment if you need access to our depository collection.

Access for Individuals with Disabilities

The Law Library is accessible to persons with disabilities. All elevators and rest rooms are wheelchair accessible. The Circulation staff will retrieve books from shelves and will assist with scanning and photocopying when needed. In-house telephones are available on each floor and may be used to request assistance.

Any inquiries about specific needs or questions concerning Law Library access should be directed to Courtney Selby, Associate Dean for Library Services and Professor of Legal Research, at [email protected].

Borrowing Privileges

The following library patrons may borrow circulating materials for use outside the Library:

  • SJU Law School students and employees
  • SJU employees with faculty, administrator, or staff status (non-law students and employees should contact the Circulation Desk to receive information about access to materials)
  • SJU undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled in law-related courses for which the instructor has received approval for student access to the Law Library  (non-law students and employees should contact the Circulation Desk to receive information about access to materials)

Most circulating materials may be borrowed for a two-week period. Due to high demand, course reserve materials may be borrowed for 2-hours and may only be renewed twice.

Faculty members may borrow materials for up to 12 months.

Materials for In-Library Use Only

The following materials are available for in-library use only:

  • Primary source materials, such as statutes, codes, and court reporters
  • Loose-leaf volumes and those supplemented by pocket parts or free-standing supplement
  • Multi-volume sets and their individual parts
  • Periodicals and newspapers, bound or unbound
  • Reference materials
  • Materials in the United States, New York, and United Nations documents collections, rare books, and those in other special collections
  • Microfiche, microfilm, and other microform materials


Two-week loan items may be renewed twice, provided they are not "on hold" for another patron. Renewals may be made in person or by contacting the Circulation Desk.

Faculty members may renew items by contacting the Circulation Desk


Please return all loaned books and other materials directly to the Circulation Desk. If the Circulation Desk is closed, please use the drop box outside the Library entrance. The Law Library cannot be responsible for materials returned to other locations, including other libraries on campus.

Collection Development Policy

Check back for updates. 


Fines for two-week circulating items are charged at the rate of $.50 cents per day for the first four days, and $1.00 per day thereafter.  Fines for Reserve materials and other items circulating on 2-hour loan are charged at a rate of $1.00 per hour.

Fines may be paid in cash, by check, or by the donation of one pair of socks per fine.  Socks collected in payment of fines are given to Campus Ministry for distribution to those in need.

Borrowing privileges, registration, diplomas, or transcripts may be blocked until materials are returned or replaced, or fines are paid.

Interlibrary Loan Policies

Please see the Interlibrary Loan Guide for a complete guide to the policies and procedures related to ILL services.  For library users who already have an ILL account, you may log in to Tipasa.

Research & Reference Services

Research & Reference Services are available to St. John’s Law School current students and employees. Questions may be answered in person at the reference desk, by email, or by making an appointment with a librarian during our regular reference hours.

Detailed information regarding Faculty Scholarship Support.

Detailed information regarding Student Research Support.

E-mail Reference Services

You may email a reference question to [email protected].  We will generally respond within 48 hours excluding weekends or holidays.

Reference assistance via email is available to St. John's University Law School current students and employees.

While we are happy to provide reference services, including assistance in planning research strategies and identifying useful resources, our limited resources require that we limit research services to the St. John's Law School faculty and administration.

Some reference questions cannot be answered adequately via email.  In that case, the responding librarian will indicate this and make other suggestions for assisting you.

Reference librarians will not give legal advice or interpretations of the law.

Study Rooms

Study rooms on floors 1, 1M, and 2 may only be reserved by St. John's Law School students and employees. Students must make a reservation using the library booking system before occupying a room. Law School Departments and Centers may reserve rooms for special events by contacting the library Circulation Desk.

  • Study Rooms are reserved for small group study, as we have a small number of study rooms and as individual study space is available throughout the library.
  • All reservations are made on a first come, first served basis.
  • Study Rooms may be booked up to 14 days in advance. 
  • Reservations may be made for 1, 2 or 3 hours at a time, and students are limited to 1 study room reservation per day.
  • Students must provide their SJU email address and X number to reserve a study room.
  • Reservations are available only during the law library building hours.
  • Students must occupy the room within the first 15 minutes of the scheduled reservation or the reservation may be cancelled.
  • If a student no longer needs the study room, they should cancel the reservation so that another student can use the room. Cancel a reservation by contacting the library Circulation Desk.


    Connect With Us

    Clock Icon
    Icon of Letter
    Phone Icon
    Library Hours[[email protected]]

    [[email protected]]
    Circulation Desk

    Reference Desk