The Law Library provides expert reference services, staffed by law librarians with law and library/information science degrees. While members of the University of Iowa community are our primary user group, we also provide guidance on legal research resources to visitors, when possible.
Ask a Law Librarian
Contact the Reference Librarians in person, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at (319) 335-9005.
Reference Librarians may:
- help visitors locate resources in the Law Library and on the Internet
- instruct visitors in the use of library materials and electronic resources
- suggest appropriate resources and research strategies
- refer visitors to other libraries or institutions for materials
Reference Librarians will not, however:
- conduct research for visitors
- interpret the law
- provide legal advice
- read statutes, cases, court rules, or definitions over the phone
- confirm that resources currently are on the shelf and available to use
Policy on Legal Research and Legal Advice
Reference librarians primarily serve the University of Iowa's students, faculty, and staff. Reference librarians also help attorneys and the general public, as time permits. However, reference librarians are not allowed to do research for public users, and may not give them legal advice. Public users are responsible for their own research.
Legal research is complicated and time-intensive. Simple questions can require complex analysis. Researching law, applying law to specific facts, and advising clients must be done by a licensed attorney meeting all Iowa State Bar requirements for operating a legal practice. Our reference librarians are highly qualified legal professionals, but they are not practicing attorneys.
Reference librarians will recommend legal resources and demonstrate their use. However, reference librarians are not allowed to conduct public users' research, nor may reference librarians analyze or interpret information found in library resources. In addition, reference librarians may recommend resources for finding an attorney, but are not allowed to recommend specific attorneys to public users.