About the Library

The William Taylor Muse Law Library features extensive services, resources, and research training for students, faculty, and other users.  Occupying a spacious facility with four floors, the library provides an individual carrel for each law student, study tables, and other study areas, as well as individual rooms for collaborative group work.

Mission Statement & Guiding Principles

Mission Statement

The Law Library provides outstanding services, resources, and expertise to enable Richmond Law students, faculty, and staff and other University users to achieve their educational, scholarship, and professional goals and serves as an important source of legal information for alumni and the public.

Guiding Principles

  • Set a high standard of excellence in service, responsiveness, and reliability.
  • Support the use of effective and innovative technology throughout the School of Law.
  • Champion the principle that legal information should be available to everyone.
  • Provide and regularly enhance a positive and supportive environment for study, research, and scholarship.
  • Steward Law Library resources responsibly.
  • Encourage and support professional development for Law Library staff.

Revised and approved, February 2014

    Collection

    The William Taylor Muse Law Library has more than 430,000 volumes and serves not only as a library for law students and law faculty, but also for University of Richmond faculty and students, members of the local legal community, and the general public. The collection includes current and retrospective collections of federal and state codes and session laws, reported decisions of federal and state courts, federal regulatory and administrative materials, and an extensive collection of legal periodicals and law reviews, treatises, loose-leaf services, finding aids, and reference works.  The library maintains collections of United States Supreme Court records and briefs on microfiche, Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals records and briefs, and Virginia Supreme Court records and briefs. 

    In addition to the collection of Anglo-American materials, the library has substantial British and Canadian collections and a broad collection of both primary and secondary materials dealing with foreign, comparative and both private and public international law topics. 

    The library provides a substantial collection of electronic resources, including LexisNexis and Lexis Advance, Westlaw and Westlaw Next, Bloomberg Law, Fastcase, HeinOnline, Bloomberg BNA, Jurist and JustCite, CCH Intelliconnect, Law360, and numerous other electronic resources.  Electronic resources are available to students and faculty via both wired and wireless networks in the library and at home as well.

    The Muse Law Library has been a selective federal depository library since 1982 and maintains a strong collection of federal legislative and administrative materials. Public access to the government documents collection is accessible to all users, including the general public. In addition to these government publications, researchers will find legislative history materials, including full-text transcripts of Congressional hearings available in the microfiche collection.

    Although the library is open to the public most hours, it does restrict access during the fall and spring semester study and examination periods.  The library provides an individual carrel for each law student and ample study table and other seating for all users, offering a total of 684 total user seating.  The library also includes a student computer lab on the library first floor across from the Circulation Desk.

      Facilities
      Carrels

      The library houses more than 460 study carrels for student use. These carrels are generally equipped with a lockable cabinet, light, storage shelf, coat hook, two electrical outlets, and an Internet connection.

      While all of the carrels have been assigned to law students, other patrons of the library may use unoccupied carrels for brief periods. For extended research sessions, non-student patrons should use one of the work tables located throughout the library. For complete carrel policy information, students should refer to documents received at orientation.

      Computer Lab

      A ten-station computer lab is located on the first floor of the library. This lab is designed to serve student computer needs and act as a computer training center. It is available to current law students, authorized law school personnel, and library staff only. Also available in the computer lab are fast-speed laser printers, a scanner, and dedicated LexisNexis and Westlaw printers.

      The lab is available on a first-come, first served basis, except when it is being used for instructional purposes. At times of peak demand, the library reserves the right to establish special reservation policies.

      Law School Computer Network

      The law school's network allows students access to e-mail, Blackboard for course-related materials, LexisNexis, Westlaw, the online catalog, and other services. Students connect to the law school network via hardwired connections in carrels and classrooms, or via wireless access throughout the building. Students may connect to the network from their homes as well.

      Robert R. Merhige, Jr. Special Collections Rare Books Room

      The library's special collections include a number of rare volumes pertaining to the development of Anglo-American legal principles, and include most Virginia primary materials printed before 1866.

      The library also houses the papers of University of Richmond alumnus and former adjunct law school professor Judge Robert R. Merhige, Jr. Merhige served in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Virginia, and presided over numerous prominent cases, including Richmond's school desegregation cases and the Dalkon shield products liability cases. The papers reflect his many professional and judicial activities from the 1940's through the 1990's.

      Group Study Rooms

      There are seven group study rooms located in the basement of the library. These rooms are designed primarily for group study and research by two or more law students, but an individual student may use a study room if it is not being used by a group. Two of the study rooms are equipped with video and audio equipment for patron use. The library may restrict use of study rooms to groups at appropriate times, such as examination periods. In order to use a study room, students must check out a key from the circulation desk.

      Users With Disabilities

      The University of Richmond Law Library staff is committed to assisting people with disabilities so that they may use our resources and services effectively.  If you have any questions or special requests, please ask at the Circulation Desk, call 804-289-8637, or email. As time and staffing allow, we can assist library users with disabilities to retrieve materials from the stacks or assist with photocopying.

      Facility Features
      • Parking – The Law School parking lot has 4 marked handicapped spaces. An unobstructed sidewalk leads to the building entrance.
      • Doors – An outside door leading into the building, as well as the inside door leading into the main library, may be opened electronically using a push pad.
      • An elevator provides access to all floors of the library.
      • Restrooms have wide access facilities and include grip bars.
      • Computers -Two public table-height computer stations have access to many legal databases, including Lexis Academic and Westpac with access to Federal and State primary authority, some secondary sources and selective forms.
      Contact

      Gail Zwirner
      Head of Access Services
      804-287-6555
      gzwirner@richmond.edu

      Hours
      Regular Library Hours

      Monday-Thursday:  7:30 a.m. – Midnight
      Friday:       7:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
      Saturday:   9:00am - 9:00pm 
      Sunday:     9:00am - Midnight

      Additional Information

      Special hours are posted in advance on the board by the library's entrance and are available on the library hours phone line: (804) 287-6552. 

      Library closing procedures commence approximately 15 minutes prior to closing time. All patrons should complete photocopying, return reserve materials, re-shelve books, and check out library materials 15 minutes prior to closing.

      Complete Law Library Hours Information for 2014-2015

      Policies

      Noise
      Conversations, including those conversations at the tables and chairs in the library's Reading Room, should be kept to a quiet level in order to avoid disturbing fellow patrons. Your fellow students expect that the carrel and stack areas of the library be quiet; therefore, please refrain from having extended conversations in those areas.

      Smoking
      Smoking and the use of other tobacco products is prohibited in all areas of the library.

      Drinks/Food
      Beverages are permitted in the library, preferably in spill-proof containers. "Snack-type" foods are permitted.

      Small Appliances
      Small appliances, such as coffee makers, are not permitted in library carrels.

      Re-shelving
      Library users are expected to re-shelve their own books before leaving the library.

      Telephones
      Telephones located at the circulation desk, reference desk, the computer help desk and in library offices are not for public or student use. Phones are available in various areas of the library to enable users to call the circulation desk for assistance.

      Cell Phones and Pagers
      Cell phones and pagers may not be used in the law library. All patrons should turn off the ring feature on their cellular phones and pagers when entering the library. If a call is received, it must be taken outside the library immediately.

      Paging
      The library does not page patrons.

      Exit Alarms
      The only authorized exit from the library is located on the first floor adjacent to the circulation desk. All other exits are to be used in emergencies only. Opening an emergency exit or stepping on the warning mats in front of these doors will activate the alarm system. Intentionally exiting through an unauthorized door is a violation of the University of Richmond Code of Conduct and may be a violation of the University of Richmond School of Law Honor Code.

      Security System
      The law library has an electronic security system to prevent unauthorized removal of library materials.. The library entrance is also monitored by surveillance cameras. Attempts to circumvent the security systems are violations of the University's Code of Conduct and may be a violation of the Law School Honor Code.

      Fines
      Fines for overdue materials are assessed as follows:

      • Reserve Materials:$0.50 per hour while the library is open.
      • Non-Reserve Materials: $0.50 per book for each day overdue. Maximum fine is $25.00 per book.
      • Lost Book: Circulating materials more than four months overdue will be declared lost. The patron will be charged the cost of the book, a $5.00 processing fee, and all accrued fines.

      Vandalism
      The unauthorized removal, mutilation, or abuse of library equipment and materials is prohibited. Such acts are a violation of law under Title 42.1 of the Code of Virginia.

      Violations
      Violations of library rules may result in suspension of the user's library privileges and could subject law students to sanctions under the law school Honor Code or the University's Standards of Student Conduct.

      Parking
      University Parking Services will ticket unregistered vehicles in the law school parking lot. Visitors who are using library materials may obtain a temporary parking permit from the library staff. For a more extended time, visitors may obtain passes, free of charge, by contacting Parking Services in the University's Special Programs Building, by calling (804) 289-8703, or by e-mailing parkingservices@richmond.edu.

      Pets
      Animals are not allowed in the library.