James J. Lunsford Law Library
Using the Law Library
Where is the Law Library?
The library is located in downtown Tampa, Florida at 701 East Twiggs Street, near the intersection of Twiggs and Pierce Street in the old courthouse building. The library is on the ground floor at the north end with its own entrance facing Twiggs.
Can I use my Public Library card to check books out from the Law Library?
No. The Law Library is not a "lending library" but a research-reference library. There are services provided at the Law Library, e.g. computers that do require a public library card to use. If you do not have a library card, you can sign up for one at the Law Library.
How much do copies/printing cost?
Photocopies and printing cost 20¢ per page.
Can the Law Library make change?
The law library can make a limited amount of change. Usually, we will not be able to change anything larger than a five dollar bill.
Does the Law Library take checks?
Yes, with proper identification.
Does the Law Library take credit cards?
Not at this time, however, it is in the works to do so.
Can I bring my children with me to the Law Library?
As long as they are quiet and well-behaved. Please remember that other patrons are doing research and require a peaceful environment. Anyone (not just children) making excessive noise or other disturbance may be asked to leave.
Does the Law Library have computers available?
Yes, Westlaw® kiosks, an online legal research service, as well as computers for internet access or Microsoft Office® products are available. There is also free WiFi, if you bring your own device. If you are going to use the computers for internet access, you will be required to sign in with your library card number.
Can I use my Westlaw password at the library?
Yes, on the computers available for internet access.
How much does it cost to use Westlaw at the Law Library?
There is no cost for use of the public Westlaw® kiosks. If you print your results, the cost is 20¢ per page. Additionally, the law library staff can run a Westlaw® query for you at a cost of $8.00 per search (a search is a set of keywords matched to a specific database or jurisdiction) or $2.00 to retrieve a citation. It is your responsibility to formulate the query. Both of these options include the first five pages of printing with the initial cost. Each additional page thereafter is charged at 20¢ each.
If I am a lawyer, do I get special privileges at the Law Library?
The only service offered exclusively to attorneys is lending of Continuing Legal Education CDs. Non-attorneys or attorneys who do not qualify for lending may still use the CLE materials in the library.
Are the library employees attorneys?
No, we are librarians with specialized skills in legal materials. We will assist you as much as possible without crossing the line of “Unauthorized Practice of Law.”
Can the library employees give me legal advice?
Only an attorney can give you legal advice. The law can be complex and you should only seek legal advice from a licensed attorney.
Can the library employees help me fill out a form?
No. See above.
Can the library employees explain a certain law to me?
No. See above. Legal dictionaries and other reference materials are available to help you understand unfamiliar terms used in our resources.
Can the library refer me to a lawyer or firm that deals with the topic I'm researching?
We cannot refer you ourselves, but we can give you contact information for the Hillsborough County Bar Associations Referral Service – 813-221-7780 or email email@example.com.
Are there rooms available for mediations or meetings?
Yes, there are two conference rooms available. There is no cost for their use, but it is a good idea to reserve a room in advance. Reservation requests are processed on a first come, first served basis. The only requirement is that there are at least two or more people present. To reserve a room(s) please call 813-272-5818. Our website will soon have a link to reserve it online.
Can I borrow my colleague's/friend's/relative's Bar number so that I can check out more than one C.L.E. tape or CD?
Yes, provided the following conditions are met: you have prior permission from the other attorney; you provide the Bar number of the other attorney (the library cannot look it up for you); the attorney whose Bar number you provide must already have checkout permissions established with the library and remain eligible to borrow items (e.g. still an active member of the Bar, no outstanding overdue fines, a current Hillsborough County Public Library card etc).
Can I use my cell phone at the library?
Taking your call outside is preferred. Cellphone use within the library is discouraged and ringers should be turned down or off. However, if you can keep your conversation quiet in an unoccupied area of the library, it will probably not be a problem. If you can be overheard by other patrons, you are too loud. Please use the same common courtesy and common sense as for any audible activity in the library.
Are there "quiet rooms" or private study areas for me to use?
No, all seating is in the common area.