Legal reference explanations, details, and disclaimers

Find out what to expect when you ask the law libraries a question.

Table of Contents

Overview

We aren’t lawyers and can’t give legal advice, advise you about a specific course of action, or interpret laws, regulations or cases. You must read, analyze, and interpret the material based on your own situation, and decide what to do. We can’t answer complex legal questions, and you’ll be advised to talk to a lawyer. In some cases, there is no answer unless you file a case in court and let a judge decide the issue. See Limits of legal reference for more information.

Any communication (written or oral) from patrons that includes offensive, insulting or abusive language, including, but not limited to, name calling, profane and/or disrespectful language, will result in immediate suspension of library service.

Online chat

When you use the law libraries’ Online Chat, a law librarian will conduct a reference interview in enough detail to be able to identify the issues and choose materials that are most likely to help you find an answer. We may suggest websites for you to visit, forward relevant information to you from a database, recommend books on a topic, or direct you to the most convenient law library for in-person help.

If you don’t receive an immediate chat response, stay on the line until your turn or come back at your convenience.

Email form

When you use the law libraries’ email form, a law librarian will help identify the issues and choose materials that are most likely to help you find an answer. We may suggest websites for you to visit, forward relevant information to you from a database, recommend books on a topic, or direct you to the most convenient law library for in-person help.

On weekdays, we will continually monitor incoming questions and answer them within a few hours, but no longer than 24 hours (except weekends and holidays), depending on how complex the legal question is.

Telephone

When you call the law libraries, a law librarian will conduct a reference interview in enough detail to be able to identify the issues and choose materials that are most likely to help you find an answer. We may suggest websites for you to visit, forward relevant information to you from a database, recommend books on a topic, or direct you to the most convenient law library for in-person help.

Contact

Last updated: August 2, 2019
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