Finding a Law Library

If you are handling your own legal problem or want to get background information to help you when working with your lawyer, you may decide to use a local law library. There are several law libraries in Michigan where you may do your own legal research, and there are also public libraries with small law collections where you may be able to do some basic research.

To find a law library or law collection in your area, consult:

Tips for Using a Law Library

Most law libraries have reference desks. These desks are usually the best place to begin when you arrive at a law library. To avoid frustration when you go to a law library, keep the following in mind:

Reference desk and other law library staff can:

  • Show you how to begin your research.
  • Help you identify potential sources of information, such as books on the topic you are researching.
  • Show you how to use an index to statutes or how to use a digest or website.
  • Provide you with user guides or handouts to help you get started.
  • Help identify websites that might have information on your topic.
  • Help you identify a law library or law collection in your vicinity.

Reference desk and other law library staff cannot:

  • Do research for you.
  • Answer your legal questions.
  • Apply the law to the facts of your situation.
  • Determine whether what you find is relevant to your legal question.
  • Identify or update the laws relevant to your question.
  • Interpret a statute, regulation, court opinion, or legal writings for you.
  • Select the proper legal form for your situation.
  • Give you legal advice of any kind.
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