As a law librarian, I’ve learned to expect the same response from people any time I get asked what I do: polite bafflement. For most people, law and libraries are two separate professions, and I am often the first law librarian they’ve ever met. So I explain a bit and convey the salient point: they may still have quiet reputations, but modern law libraries are actually hubs of activity and support for law students, law faculty, and the legal community. Here’s a quick rundown on some of the ways the law library at Seton Hall helps its law students.
One of the first things you might notice about our law library is all of the different places you can study. We have soft seating and small tables near the entrance, large tables in our formal reading room, lots of carrels, and study rooms throughout the library. Whether you prefer to study quietly by yourself, meet for a group study session, or just want a place to hang out in between classes, you’ll find a spot for it in the library.
Class and Exam Prep
We know that law school is expensive, and class materials are often just one more item to buy. Our library has at least one copy of each required textbook every semester, which students can borrow for short-term use. We also have a large collection of study aids, to help you better understand your class topics and prepare for exams. Many of these are available as ebooks, so you can use them on-the-go too.
Support From Reference Librarians
You know how they say people are the best resource? It’s true. The law librarians at Seton Hall are available to help in so many ways. Do you need to write a paper for your seminar class and aren’t sure if anybody has written on it before or how to research it? Drop by the Reference Desk and get one-on-one support. Have you been assigned a project in your summer job, and you’re too afraid to tell your supervising attorney you don’t even know what everything they said means? Call a librarian for guidance. Do you want in-depth instruction and practice on how to become a faster, more effective researcher? Take Advanced Legal Research from a librarian. That’s just the start too. What you should remember is that the law librarians are here to help you. You’re not bothering us if you ask questions, and we’re not reporting on what we talk about with you to anyone either. We’d love to help.
The law librarians went to law school too, so we know how stressful it can be. We try to help in a variety of ways, including books on stress and anxiety, free earplugs, and healthy snacks, puzzles, and other special items during exams. (Don’t worry, we offer unhealthy snacks sometimes too.)
Much of my career as a law librarian has been focused on making the library a welcoming and supportive place for law students. While I’ve only been at Seton Hall for a short time now, I’m sure you’ll agree the library team does an excellent job of this already. If you have suggestions for us on other ways we can help you as a law student, please let us know.
Pictured below: Three floors of the Peter W. Rodino, Jr. Law Library at Seton Hall Law School as seen from the building atrium.