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.

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  • 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 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, Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals records and briefs on microfiche, and Virginia Supreme Court records and briefs in print and in digital format.

    The library provides a substantial collection of electronic resources, including Lexis Advance, Westlaw Next, Bloomberg Law, Fastcase, HeinOnline, Jurist and JustCite, Cheetah, Law360, and numerous other electronic resources. Electronic resources are available to students and faculty in the law school and at home via a VPN connection.

    The Muse Law Library has been a selective federal depository library since 1982. 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. The computer lab is equipped with ten dual-boot computers, a scanner, and two high-speed duplex printers.

  • Facilities

    Carrels

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

    While the majority of the carrels are 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.

    Computer Lab

    A ten-station computer lab is located on the first floor of the library. The computers in the lab are set to be dual-boot, i.e. they can function as either Mac or Windows machines. The lab is available to current law students, authorized law school personnel, and library staff only. Also available in the computer lab are two high-speed duplex printers, a scanner, and a dedicated LexisNexis printer.

    Law School Computer Network

    Students connect to the law school’s network to access to e-mail, Blackboard for course-related materials, the online catalog, and research databases. Connection to the law school network is via wireless access throughout the building. Students may connect to the network from their homes as well using a VPN connection.

    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 1940s through the 1990s.

    Group Study Rooms

    There are five group study rooms located in the basement of the library and three on the second floor. The rooms are generally available on a first-come, first-served basis but students may reserve a study room in advance. These rooms are intended for group study by two or more law students, but an individual student may use a study room if it is not being used by a group. The library may restrict use of study rooms to groups at appropriate times, such as examination periods. In addition, study rooms are available to Richmond Law students only. 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

    Andrew Frank
    Head of Access Services
    804-287-6555
    afrank@richmond.edu