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Policies at the Law Library

Law Library policies and rules.

Masks are strongly recommended on the California Western campus, and so masks are strongly recommended in the Law Library.

Authorized Library Users

The Library strives to make the collection available conveniently to all who are authorized to use it in accordance with CWSL access policies and rules. We are open to all CWSL affiliated patrons. This includes the following:

  • CWSL faculty, trustees, students, graduates, and staff;
  • Members of the Bar and their designated assistants.

All patrons are required to present identification and requisite documentation to Security before accessing the Library.

General Rules

To ensure fair and comfortable use of the Library, we ask that all patrons abide by the Library's rules and procedures. The Library reserves the right to revoke access privileges to anyone who fails to abide by these rules or who engages in inappropriate or unprofessional conduct. Furthermore, California Western students may be subject to disciplinary action under the Code of Student Professional Conduct if they fail to abide by these rules.

  • Patrons must comport themselves in a professional and responsible manner at all times.
  • No food is permitted in the library.
  • No food or drink delivery service may be directed to the Library.
  • Light snacks are permitted on the 1st, 2nd, and 4th Floors, provided that the snacks are not noisy, smelly, messy, or otherwise disturbing to another student using the Library. No food is permitted on the 3rd Floor of the Library. Please respect this rule and your fellow students who may have food sensitivities or allergies.
  • No smoking or vaping is permitted anywhere in the Library.
  • Non-alcoholic drinks in covered containers are permitted in the Library.
  • Please clean up spills and throw your trash into the container on each floor. Please report spills which require cleanup by maintenance staff to a library staff member immediately.
  • Please be quiet in all reading and study areas. Please turn cell phones to vibrate before entering the Library, and lower volume on laptops.
  • Personal items, including briefcases, equipment, books, coats, purses and wallets should not be left unattended. We do not provide assigned carrels so please take all your items with you when you leave the library. Items left may be picked up by a Security Guard. Anything turned in to the Library staff is given to a Security Guard.
  • Our telephones are not for patron use, and we do not have a paging system; however, in an actual emergency we will do our best to reach an individual in the Library.

Policy on Responding to Warrants and Subpoenas

We protect the confidentiality of Library patrons to the extent permitted under state and federal laws. The Library must comply with all lawfully issued court orders and subpoenas properly served upon it and furnish the documents and materials specifically listed in a lawfully issued court order or subpoena.

  1. It is further understood that compliance with validly issued court orders does not eliminate the right of the School of challenge their issuance in proper legal matter.
  2. The Library will seek the advice of the School's General Counsel on all requests for searches of Library records, on the scope and content of the applicable laws pertaining to that particular search, and on compliance with the search of Library and patron records.
  3. A Library employee or volunteer may disclose the contents of an electronic communication and/or information about a patron to law enforcement officials if he or she reasonably believes that an emergency involving immediate danger of death or serious physical injury requires disclosure without delay. She or he may rely upon the assertions of the law enforcement agent or officer as to the situation.
  4. Library records which may be the focus of law enforcement requests include electronic, print, and other forms of patron information. The Library needs to retain specific information for the regular operation of library business. Archives of information that reveal identities of individuals are kept only when clearly necessary.
  5. Each department in the Library is responsible for adherence to these policies and procedures. All Library personnel, including student assistants, are to be fully informed on this policy and procedure and on their own role if such situations arise. The policy is posted on the Library website, the bulletin boards in the Library copy rooms, and on the staff bulletin boards in the Library.

Circulation Policies

All material leaving the Library must be properly checked out at the Circulation Desk.

  • Students are required to present their barcoded California Western I.D. card when checking out materials.
  • Attorneys, CWSL graduates, and other persons authorized to use the collection will need to present their California Western Library Patron card.

If you are eligible to use the CWSL library and do not have a Library Patron card yet, you may obtain one at the Circulation Desk. This card will be used both for checking out materials and for access to the building.

Two-hour Checkouts

Reserve Room books and photocopies, all of the Library's reporters, codes, reference materials circulate for a two-hour period only. If no one else has requested use of the material, it may be renewed up to three times.

Students may renew by telephone. However, students must speak directly with the Circulation Desk Assistant to determine renewal eligibility. Students leaving a voicemail must include a return phone number in the event that the material has been recalled or cannot be renewed again. Leaving a voice message does not stop the process of fines accruing, if applicable.

Reserve Room items and other two-hour items incur a fine of $1.00 per hour for all patrons. If the item has been recalled and is overdue, the fine increases to $5.00 per hour.

Some Reserve items may circulate overnight. Overnight circulation begins two hours before closing; ordinarily that would be at 8:56 p.m. These items are to be returned to the library by 8 a.m. the following morning. No weekend checkouts (i.e., Friday to Sunday, or Saturday to Monday) are allowed.

Long-term Checkouts

  • CWSL Students may check out long term materials for a renewable 30 day period. Overdue fines for such items are 25¢ per day (for recalled items, the fine increases to $5.00 per day), up to a $25.00 maximum per item. The overdue fine for reserve and two hour materials is $1.00 per hour (for recalled items, the fine increases to $5.00 per hour).
  • CWSL Alumni may check out long term materials for a renewable two-week period. Overdue fines for such items are 25¢ per day (for recalled items, the fine increases to $5.00 per day), up to a $25.00 maximum per item. When a graduate accrues a total of $25.00 in fines, library privileges will be suspended until the bill is settled.
  • Lawyers may check out long term materials for a renewable two-week period. Overdue fines for such items will be $1.00 per day (for recalled items, the fine increases to $5.00 per day), up to a $25.00 maximum per item. When an attorney accrues a total of $25.00 in fines, library privileges will be suspended until the bill is settled.

In Library Use

Almost all books not located in the Reserve Room may be used freely in the Library, and there is no time limit on their use. The exception to this is the Open Reserve area next to the Self Checkout machine. Books in Open Reserve must be checked out before being used and checked back in with the Self Checkout machine and placed back on the shelf after use. Failure to check out books on Open Reserve will lower their usage count and may result in our subscription to updates being cancelled for lack of use.

We ask that courtesy and consideration prevail to make the books easily accessible to any who might need them.

Books will be reshelved if left unattended. If it is necessary to hold a pile of books on a table or carrel while completing research please be sure to place a "Do Not Reshelve" sign on the books with the date and your name. These notices can be obtained from the Circulation Desk and they must be renewed daily. Please reshelve your books on the 1st and 2nd floor.

Overdue and Fine Notices

Students will be notified of overdue fines and bills via their student email account. No other notification is sent. Students are responsible for checking their email for Library notices on a regular basis. Non-students will be mailed overdue notices, fines and bills to the postal address or email address submitted for the Library Patron card.

Overdue fines and bills are to be paid at the Administration Office on the second floor of the Library via cash or check. At the end of each semester, student bills of $25.00 or more are sent to the Business Office for collection. After being sent over, the bill will not be reduced or renegotiated by staff. Notification of grades will be withheld until the bill is settled.

If it is necessary for the Library to order a replacement of an overdue or lost item, the patron will be charged the current replacement cost of the item plus $15.00 for Library processing. Return of the overdue material does not negate the processing charge, overdue fine and cost of replacement if already ordered.

DVD's & CD Collection

DVD's and CDs are located in the Reserve Room. Commercial DVD's may be checked out to any authorized CWSL patron for 24 hours. Most course reserve DVD's circulate for two hours and may be checked out only by CWSL students.

We have headphones that may be checked out for use in the building. CWSL students may check out portable DVD drives at the Circulation Desk. Other patrons must go off-campus for viewing.

Practicing Law Institute's Interactive Courtroom is available for checkout at the Reserve Desk. It must be used in the Student Computer Lab, and is available only to CWSL faculty, students, and authorized attorneys enrolled in our Institute for Criminal Defense Advocacy (ICDA). A California Western I.D. card or ICDA registration must be presented for use of these materials.

Interlibrary Loans

California Western students or employees who wish to use material which our Library does not own should check with a Reference Librarian to determine the location of the books or documents needed and the feasibility of arranging an interlibrary loan or securing a photocopy.

Quite often the material is most conveniently available at a local library and can be used there, but check with the Librarian to verify the bibliographic information, the names of the libraries which own the books, and the terms under which they can be used.

We do not request materials from other libraries via Interlibrary Loan for any patrons other than California Western students and employees.