Located in the Supreme Court Building in New Orleans, the Law Library of Louisiana provides valuable services and resources for the judiciary, the bar, and the public throughout the state and beyond. The library, which was founded in 1838, now contains nearly 150,000 volumes in print, microform, and online, including the complete chronology of both statutes and court reports for all fifty states and the federal government. The historical collection of Louisiana legal materials is rich and thorough. Due to trends in the legal publishing environment, the Law Library’s collection has shifted its emphasis from print to online resources.
In addition to the law reviews of many American law schools, the library subscribes to legal periodicals and newspapers which are devoted to a wide range of subjects. The library collects both practice-oriented materials and scholarly treatises in many areas of American law. As a depository of both U.S. and Louisiana documents, the library annually receives thousands of publications from administrative agencies and legislative bodies. Judges and judicial administrators will find a rich array of publications to fulfill their specific needs. Our Rare Books Room contains rare French and Spanish texts, and is open by appointment with the Director.
Our online catalog is available via the Internet. Six public computer terminals offer access to the catalog, databases, and other electronic resources. Louisiana cases, statutes, and regulations; federal court of appeals and U. S. Supreme Court cases; and an extensive list of periodicals may be searched free of charge. These resources are only accessible from the library’s computers.
A self-service coin-operated photocopy machine is available for all library patrons. Copies cost 25 cents each, and a machine is available to convert bills to change. Out-of-town patrons may call or write to request copies of library materials to be delivered by mail or fax for appropriate fees (an exact citation is required). Our interlibrary loan service makes it possible to borrow or receive copies of materials which we do not own from other libraries throughout the country.
Our professional librarians assist patrons in becoming more knowledgeable about locating and using legal information resources. A number of "Research Guides" are posted on this website. De Novo, the library's award-winning, tri-annual newsletter, publishes many useful articles and research hints. It is available on this website, or we will be happy to email you a copy upon request. The Library Director, in conjunction with the Community Relations staff, conducts tours for a wide variety of audiences--everyone from experienced attorneys and public librarians to school children. If you or your organization or class would like to schedule a tour, please contact Valerie Willard at (504) 310-2588.
Please note that our librarians are not Louisiana attorneys. They cannot and will not give legal advice. The definition of “legal advice” can seem confusing to non-lawyers. Basically, the librarians cannot apply the law to your specific circumstances. They cannot offer guidance or recommendations. Our librarians are here to help you locate legal information, but they cannot interpret the law for you or in any other way act as your personal attorney.
Information on the Law Library of Louisiana's Exhibit, "Requiescant in Pace"