Research Services

The Law Library provides a number of services aimed at assisting all library users in their research.  Reference librarians help library users to identify and locate particular publications and to use specific materials. Because research is an integral part of any successful law professional's career, our library staff works closely with law students to build their research skills, preparing them not only for their coursework but for their profession.

Reference Service

Every effort is made to provide the services of a reference librarian during peak Library usage hours. Please ask at the Reference Desk if you need assistance, or call us at (815) 753-0519. The Library provides reference assistance to help in doing research, in identifying particular publications, and in using specific materials. Reference librarians may suggest sources where particular information or publications might be found in and outside of the Library, and will explain how to use the Law Library's finding tools.

Reference assistance does not include giving legal advice or opinions, or providing interpretations of statutes, court decisions or other primary or secondary authority. While reference librarians attempt to be of service to all Library users, some limitations may be imposed on the amount of assistance to users not affiliated with the College of Law. Reference service to non-NIU users cannot be extended to the point that it seriously interferes with the ability to assist NIU students and faculty. Therefore, at periods of high demand in the public services area, the reference librarian on duty may postpone or reschedule assisting a non-NIU user of the Law Library.  For additional information, please see our Policy on Legal Research Assistance to Patrons.

Telephone reference service is available, but usually will be limited to answering questions which can be quickly and easily determined. Email reference ("virtual reference") is limited to the students, faculty and staff of the College of Law.

Interlibrary Loans

Interlibrary loan services are restricted to faculty or students of the College of Law for the purposes of study and law school-related research or teaching. Through interlibrary loan, the Law Library will attempt to borrow materials or obtain photocopies of materials from libraries outside NIU. Please allow approximately 10 working days to fulfill interlibrary loan requests. You will be notified via your student mailbox or e-mail when materials arrive. Interlibrary loan materials can be picked up at the Circulation Desk. For more information about interlibrary loan services, please see Interlibrary Loan Services, Policies & Procedures.