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Visitor Services & Conduct

MISSION

Garbrecht Law Library is staffed and funded primarily to serve the scholarly needs of the University of Maine School of Law students, faculty, and staff, and to provide a place for the study and research of law.

The Law Library serves attorneys, judges, paralegals, residents of Maine, and the public in general who wish to conduct legal research or to use Federal Depository Library (FDLP) materials. Visitors not affiliated with Maine Law or the University are welcome to use the Library and many of its resources. However, priority service is given to University students, faculty and staff.


RESTRICTED BUILDING ACCESS

Visitors to the Law School may enter between 8 am and 5 pm most weekdays. Access to the Law Library is restricted during weather events, evenings, weekends, holidays, and some semester break periods. Entering or remaining when access is restricted is criminal trespass under 17-A M.R.S. §402. For that reason, we suggest you telephone (207.780.4829) the Law Library in advance to confirm that the library is open or visit Law Library hours page

We follow the same weather & emergency closure days as the University of Southern Maine. For emergency or university closures, please call 207-780-4800 or toll free 800-800-4876 (option 1). The message will be updated as needed, or as conditions change throughout the day.

Become familiar with our CONDUCT EXPECTATIONS before visiting.

Save a trip! Often the fastest way to borrow: request and pick up circulating Law Library materials at your local library via MaineCat or through your local public library's interlibrary loan service. Use your local public library account number. As an example, here's Portland Public Library's Interlibrary Loan Service.

Visitor Parking

Street parking is available surrounding the law school. The parking lot is limited to Faculty and Staff with proper decals. It does however have a few metered spots for law school guests.


VISITOR SERVICES

Legal

Maine Law's faculty, students, and staff are unable to provide legal advice or do legal research for patrons.

A list of resources for legal services is provided by The State of Maine Judiciary Branch at Legal Aid & Help

Reference

The Reference Desk is located in the Law Library Reference room on the third floor. Reference librarians are available to answer basic questions and to help you locate materials. Hours vary. While librarians are prohibited from giving legal advice or interpreting legal materials, other types of assistance are available. Reference librarians may:

  • help library users locate Law Library resources and materials
  • instruct in the use of electronic resources such as the online catalog
  • help you figure out legal citations
  • suggest appropriate sources and research strategies
  • refer users to other libraries or institutions when needed

What we CANNOT do for you:

  • choose which books or forms you need
  • tell you what a law means
  • find cases or laws for you
  • print or photocopy for you
  • type for you or show you how to use a computer

If you are unfamiliar with legal research:

Borrowing

Maine residents with government issued photo ID may obtain a Library card free of charge. Borrowers should be aware that most of our collection is non-circulating. To use Reserve materials in the Library, visitors must have a "clean" library record and history of library behavior.

Loan periods: General Treatises — 4 week loan with one (1) renewal. All other materials must be used in the library.

Interlibrary loan services are available through your local public library. The Maine legal community may request interlibrary loan for a fee or through paid membership in the Donald L. Garbrecht Law Library Association. In addition, USM Libraries (including Glickman Family Library) offer fee-based interlibrary loan services.

Computers

Maine Law Library currently provides access to two public computers on the 3rd floor for purposes associated with an academic library, such as research and accessing electronic resources. One terminal has LexisNexis Public Access, which includes statutes and regulations, case law (appellate court decisions), and Shepard's citation service. Public access computers are shared with the Maine Law community.

Use is limited to sixty (60) minutes per day; 30 minutes when others are waiting. Checking email, checking Facebook, surfing the web, etc. are not appropriate uses of the computers.

If you are found using computers for purposes other than legal research or government documents, you may be asked to leave.

Wireless

Visitors with personal laptops may connect to the University of Maine's "MaineEDU-Guest" wireless service to access our databases. (Lexis Nexis Public Access is available exclusively on one public access computer.)

Databases

Databases are online collections of published works. Legal databases at Garbrect Law Library are reliable, credible, authenticated, current information collections that include legal articles and laws. These databases are available to you on-site using our public computer or our Guest wireless:

Print-Copy-Scan

Visitors need to purchase a GUESTcard for $5 to access printing from the public access machines. Value must be added to the card to print or copy. To retain your research without cost, we suggest that visitors send their research as an email attachment or using Scan to Email on the printer.

From outside the Law School building

Search URSUS, our online catalog. Narrow your search to Maine Law Library materials using the dropdown titled "=Search Entire URSUS Catalog=" and choosing "University of Maine School of Law" (UMLAW). Legal materials identified as "LEG" are located at the State Law & Legislative Library in Augusta.



More information for visitors to the Garbrecht Law Library

Free Legal Research

Looking at these sites first may help you formulate your research plan. Free legal research services are available from any computer with internet access and consist of web pages or a combination of web pages and databases:

  • LII is a not-for-profit affiliated with Cornell Law School that "believes everyone should be able to read and understand the laws that govern them, without cost." Its website explains, defines, and publishes law.
  • Google Scholar is a free service for finding law journal articles and case law.
  • Find Law is a free legal resource from the folks at Thomson Reuters (Westlaw).
  • LexisWeb is a free legal research engine from LexisNexis.
  • Public Library of Law is a free service from Fastcase.