Public Patron Services

Library Policies
Access, Services, and Use of the Law Library for the General Public
Use of Cell Phones, Laptops, Scanners and Cameras

Access, Services, and Use of the Law Library for the General Public

The Law Library is a specialized library and is limited in scope and resources focused on specialized resources and research.  It is not a general library.  We are open to the public for legal research purposes only following a consultation with a Law Librarian to determine the viability of completing projects at the Law Library and to review our rules and procedures.  Public visitors should note that they do not have full access to our databases, nor are they permitted to check out materials.  More than 70% of our holdings are available in digital format only and are not available to those who are unaffiliated with the William S. Richardson School of Law.  Consulting with our Law Librarians will avoid unnecessary trips, and we may be able to provide you with better assistance remotely.

Appointments with a Law Librarian can be made in person or via Zoom. Below is the contact information for the reference librarians (email communication is often faster):

Cory Lenz
(808) 956-3761

Daniel Blackaby
(808) 956-0478

Reference assistance to the public will be provided to non-law school patrons as time and staffing allow. Reference questions from non-law school library users which exceed our capacity may be referred to the user’s own organization or a public library.  Although no time limit is fixed for answering a research question, priority for reference services is given to serving current students, faculty, and staff of the William S. Richardson School of Law.  If a public patron requires extended time to complete their project, a pass for two weeks will be issued to that patron.  Renewals will be granted upon review and application.

If you already made an appointment, please ring the doorbell or call 956-2867 for service.  Upon entry, you will be required to sign our visitor log.

Public patrons must limit their visits to the lobby area, except to retrieve shelved books or to use the bathrooms. Maps of the Law Library can be found in the information stand located in the Hawaii collection, or you may ask for one at the circulation desk.

Loitering, interrupting students or staff members, or use of the Law Library for purposes unrelated to conducting legal research is not permitted. Any person who interferes with our educational mission or disregards these use policies will be asked to leave.

Our services include:

  • identifying/recommending relevant print and Web resources
  • advice on legal and legislative research strategies
  • help using the PRIMO discovery tool
  • referrals to legal assistance organizations
  • limited scanning of materials for digital delivery

The Law Library staff is not permitted to:

  • give legal advice
  • interpret or analyze the meaning of any law or legal document
  • recommend a lawyer
  • read a section of a law, case, definition, or book over the phone or to patrons in the Law Library
  • help you fill out forms
  • compile bibliographies or legislative histories
  • complete student or work assignments
  • provide monetary change


The Library has public access computers which can be printed from. Printing costs ten cents per page.  We accept cash only and do not give change.

You may reserve a computer for 30 minute sessions.  You may not sign up for successive 30 minute session if others are waiting for a computer station.  These computers may be used for research purposes only.  Patrons may access personal email accounts in connection with their research while at the Library.  These terminals provide access to the Library catalog, various legal and general databases, and the Internet.  These computers do not have any word processing capabilities or audio capabilities.

Recreational use of the Library’s public Internet workstations is prohibited.  Persons using public Internet workstations solely for recreational purposes may be asked to leave the premises.

Patrons may bring flash drives to copy files on public computers. Read more about our Public Computer services here.


The Law Library does not have a photocopy machine available for public use. A scanner is available to the public to make digital copies of material that can be emailed or saved to a USB drive. The Law Library does not supply USB drives. Read more about our Public Computer scanning tools here.

Use of Cell Phones, Laptops, Scanners and Cameras

Use of cell phones in the Law Library is prohibited. Hand-held scanners are allowed and patrons may use cameras without flash attachments. Patrons may use laptop computers or other portable personal computers in the Law Library.