About the Law Library

This website provides a general introduction to the Law Library, its policies and services. For further assistance, please contact a member of the Law Library staff.

The Law Library is part of the UBC Library System, and is located on three floors in the Peter A. Allard School of Law complex. It supports the study, reference, and research needs of the students and faculty of the Allard School of Law, and other members of the University community. As well, any person may use library resources for study and research in the Library.  During exam times, some tables and carrels are reserved for current Allard Law students. Please observe the signage.

The Library is committed to providing a learning environment that meets the intellectual and physical needs of users who are frequently in the library for extended periods of time. You may drink from spill-proof containers but you may not eat in the Law Library. Please help us to preserve the library and collections for future generations of scholars.


The Law Library has a comprehensive research collection. Primary and secondary legal materials are acquired from the major common law jurisdictions of the world: Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, as well as materials from other selected jurisdictions such as the European Community and the Pacific Rim. While the emphasis is on English language materials from common law jurisdictions, civil law materials from Quebec, in both English and French are collected, as well as comparative and international law materials.

Several factors determine the emphasis in areas of collection development: curriculum; research interests of the Faculty and its associated institutes; and current trends in society. Present areas of research support include Aboriginal Law, Asian Law, Business Law, Criminal Law, Dispute Resolution, Environmental Law, Legal History, Tax Law, and Women and the Law. A specialized Asian law collection comprises resources in English and in the vernacular. The current focus is on materials pertaining to the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Japan, and Korea.

Traditional research materials are supplemented by electronic databases. Students and faculty members have access to the internet, e-mail, and electronic books, journals and legal databases.

For materials that are not available at UBC, the Law Library relies on its network of Canadian academic law libraries for photocopies and the loan of materials, and on the UBC Library’s interlibrary loan service.

Accessing the Collection

Online Catalogue
The Library catalogue contains information on almost all of the materials housed in the Law Library. To find journal articles, legal periodical indexes must be used. Library workstations require users to log in using their library card barcode and PIN or with their Campus Wide Logins (CWL). Our location code under the heading “Holdings” is LAW LIBRARY. Suffixes added to this code indicate specific locations in the Law Library.

Most of the books will be in one of three locations: Reference Room on Level 2, Level 3 (books and Canadian federal and provincial legislative materials), and Level 4 (mainly journals, law reports, non-Canadian legislation).

Many law reports and statutes can be searched by their abbreviations (i.e., their cited forms) in the online catalogue. For those not in the catalogue, consult the Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations or books containing lists of abbreviations, located on the shelves in the Learning Commons (Level 2).

Use of the Collection

Borrowing Privileges
You must have a valid UBCcard to borrow any book. Only UBC students and faculty can sign out course reserve materials.

Loan Periods & Fines for Overdue Books

Loan periods vary, depending on the type of material and category of borrower. Generally, the loan period for books is 2 weeks and journals circulate for 2 days. Most reserve materials circulate for 2 hours and may be borrowed for overnight use 2 hours before closing. They are due 1 hour after opening the following day. The Library system imposes fines automatically from the first day a book is overdue (from the first hour that a Reserve book is overdue). For further information, refer to Loan Policies and Fines.

Non Circulating Materials
Primary legal materials (law reports, statutes, regulations, legislative materials) generally do not circulate because it is important that they always be available for study and research. Materials labelled “Reference” and materials in Special Collections do not circulate and it may be necessary, on occasion, to restrict other materials.

Reference Room The Reference Room contains both reference materials such as Canadian federal and BC statutes, legal encyclopedias, and indexes to court cases; and books put on reserve by instructors. Other types of material in the Reference Room include the latest editions of many Canadian and English texts, and core practice materials.

Facilities & Services

Disabled Library Users
The Law Library staff will try to accommodate the special needs of its users. For further information, refer to the Access Guide.

Email Service for Students

Food & Drink Policy
You may not eat in any public space in the Law Library. You may drink from closed, spill-proof containers. You may drink water from any container that is closed when not in use. No other drink containers are allowed. For more information see the Food & Drink Policy.

Group Study Rooms

Interlibrary Loans
Students, Staff and Faculty
Fee-for Service Clients

Internet Access for Laptops
For wireless access in the Law Library, refer to Wireless Internet Access.

Lost and Found
Personal possessions found in the Law Library are turned in at the Circulation Desk.
Also check the Lost & Found Database.

Printing and Copying
There are printers in the Copy Rooms on Levels 2 & 4, as well as copiers on Levels 2, 3, 4 and in the Reference Room. Black and white copies are 7 cents per exposure and colour copies are 40 cents per exposure. For more information refer to Print, Copy, Scan.

There is information on Pay for Print from laptops and library computers. Ask a library staff member for help if you encounter any problems.

Reference Services Reference Hours, Staff and Services

Use of Law Library Facilities The moving of furniture, including chairs and tables, carrels, or other furniture is not permitted.

All personal belongings must be removed from carrels and tables by closing time each day. The Library assumes no responsibility for notes or other personal belongings, and all personal property is left unattended at the user’s risk.

Thefts do occur in the Library. Please keep your valuables with you.

Library Layout | Virtual Tour