Finding the Materials You Need in the Law Library

The Law Library contains many different types of materials organized in differing ways. This can make locating individual titles quite a challenge, especially for the new student. This guide is designed to orient you to the various collections and locations within the Library.

A good place to begin is with our  maps. These are general in design, but will provide you with a visual overview of the four floors and how they are arranged.

For a more detailed list of locations,  click on any of the links below to see a summary listing of our collections by floor and range number or collections and call numbers.

  • Floor and Range Number  - Coming Soon.
    The shelves within the Library are numbered on each floor.  These numbers are displayed on the sides of each shelf.
  • Collections Displayed by Call Number - Coming Soon.

Many of our titles are arranged and classified using the Library of Congress Classification System, a method that organizes materials by subject.  An explanation of this system is available.  If you are looking for materials in a specific area of the law, Torts, for example, this list will provide an alphabetical breakdown of most major legal subjects, with references to the floor and range numbers on which the materials are located within our Library.  

Some of our non-print items are located in specific areas of Library.  For example, our video and DVD collections are housed entirely in the Reserve area on the fourth floorMicroforms, in contrast, are placed in specially designed cabinets on the second floor.  A searchable online guide to microforms (coming soon) that will assist you in locating in which cabinet a particular title is located is useful if you are trying to locate one of these items.    Readers for the microform items are adjacent to the cabinets.

Looseleaf services are a popular source for practitioners as they compile multiple forms of legal authority and commentary into one comprehensive source.  For a list and description of some of our most popular looseleafs, see this guide.  It will also provide location information for the print and online sources.

To locate a specific, book, periodical, video, CD-ROM or DVD, you should use the Library's online catalog.  With this you can search by title, author or keyword and thus identify the exact call number or location associated with your title.  For more information on how to search the catalog, see this PowerPoint Slideshow.  Special locations referenced in the catalog are linked to particular places and collections within the Library.  This guide will indicate those locations.  With a title and call number in hand, the online guides referenced above will help you identify where in the Library materials with a particular call number or location are housed.  Finally, if you encounter any difficulty in locating any item within the Library, do not hesitate to ask at the Circulation Desk for further assistance.  


The Washington University Law Library and Computer Labs are contained on four floors of the five story Anheuser-Busch Law School (there are no materials on the third floor of the building). Floor plans with labeled sections are located by the elevators.  Copies of these are also available at the Circulation/Reference desk in the Library lobby.