Law Library Policies

General Policies
Borrowing Privileges
Collection Development
Interlibrary Loan
Reference Services
Study Rooms

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 or Library Access Pass 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 may not be used 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 on these phones 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 mutilate library materials.
  • Limited food is permitted in the Library. You must remove any waste items when you leave the Library. Beverages may be brought into the Library. Please report any spills to the Circulation Desk.
  • The Library does not page patrons nor take messages.
  • The public access computer terminals located on designated floors of the library are to be used to access the on-line catalog and research-related web sites only. Printouts will be routed to the computer lab or Wepa printers.
  • 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 open to:

  • Current students and faculty of St. John’s University School of Law
  • Law School Alumni
  • University employees (faculty, administrators, and staff)
  • Students in any St. John’s University law-related course whose instructor has requested approval for access during the semester
  • Graduate students in the Tobin College of Business Administration
  • St. John’s University Rittenberg Law Library Access Card holders
  • Students attending any law school with which St. John’s has a reciprocal-access agreement may be issued an access pass upon presentation of current law school identification and a letter of introduction from their law school’s library.
  • Licensed attorneys and those preparing for bar examinations must apply for access passes. Patrons with these passes may use the library’s collections but have no borrowing privileges.

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

Law Library Access Card

The following individuals are eligible for a Law Library Access Card.

  • Students from other law schools who wish to use the library for Bar Exam study purposes.
  • Current undergraduate students who are enrolled in a law-related course and/or need materials that are not available from the university library.
  • Students attending any law school with which St. John's has a reciprocal-access agreement who present a current law school identification and a letter of introduction from their law school library.
  • Licensed attorneys who present a government-issued identification and Bar Association ID's.
  • Law School Alumni with alumni cards, government issued identification and Bar Association ID's.

Patrons who wish to obtain a St. John's University Rittenberg Law Library Access Card must fill out and sign this application and present proper identification. The application may be sent to [email protected], or presented at the Circulation Desk.

No access cards may be used during any exam period.

Access cards do not include access to study rooms, on-campus parking, or access to subscription-based databases. For guest wireless access, contact the Law School IT Department at (718) 990-1430. For on-campus parking questions, contact Public Safety's Parking Office at (718) 990-5561.

You must supply your own password if you wish to use Lexis/Nexis or Westlaw. We are contractually prohibited from issuing passwords to anyone who is NOT a currently-enrolled student.

Depository Access

The Rittenberg Law Library is a New York State, United States, and United Nations Depository. Members of the general public may use these collections pursuant to the policies and procedures established for their use. Documents collections are open Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Friday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

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 questions about specific needs or questions concerning Law Library access should be directed to Courtney Selby, Associate Dean for Library Services and Associate Professor of Legal Research, at [email protected]. For Access Passes, please see the Circulation Desk.

Borrowing Privileges

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

  • SJU Law School students, faculty, and alumni/ae
  • SJU employees with faculty, administrator, or staff status
  • 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

Most circulating materials may be borrowed for two-week periods. A current, valid SJU ID card, Law School Alumni Association card or other authorized borrowers card must be presented when checking out materials.

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
  • Most video and audio tapes, CD-ROM and computer diskettes


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 calling the Circulation Desk (ext. 1580).


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 Illiad.

Reference Services

Reference Services are available to the St. John’s community, law school alumni, and authorized law library visitors.  In-person and telephone reference services are available during our regular reference hours.

Detailed information regarding Faculty Reference Support.

Detailed information regarding Student Reference 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 the St. John's University Law School community. So that we may serve you more effectively, we may ask you to indicate whether you are a St. John's law faculty member, student, administrator, or alum.

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 are available for use by law student study groups, Summer Institute students, Ron Brown Program students, and Law School Departments and Centers.  Law student study groups must make a reservation  using the library booking system before occupying a room.  Summer Institute and Ron Brown students can reserve rooms at the Circulation Desk.   Law School Departments and Centers may Reserve rooms without restrictions by contacting the library Circulation Desk.

  • All reservations are made on a first come, first served basis.
  • Study Rooms may be booked ahead of time.  Rooms can be booked as far in advance as the patron requests. 
  • With the exception of room 1M-19, study rooms may only be reserved by groups of 3 or more. Room 1M-19 is a single-person study room; one person may reserve it.
  • The maximum number of times a group may reserve a study room is once per day. The reservation may be made for 1, 2 or 3 hours. No group may reserve a room for more than 3 hours.
  • Reservations begin at 8:00 a.m. weekdays, and 10:00 a.m. on weekends.
  • Students must occupy the room within the first 15 minutes of the scheduled reservation or the reservation may be cancelled.


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