San Francisco Public Library


The law collection contains books on self-help legal topics, U.S. Supreme Court decisions, famous trials, codes and regulations, legal directories, constitutions of other countries, and popular reading. Material for the practicing attorney or law student is not selected for the collection. Library users with in-depth legal questions are referred to law libraries or to private counsel. Case law is generally not collected, but some case law is received as part of the federal depository collection.

The major periodical index is the Index to Legal Periodicals; however, the periodical collection consists chiefly of major law reviews and bar association publications of local interest. The U.S. Government Periodicals Index, available in the Government Information Center (GIC), is also used for legal questions.

Information about lawyers and how to find a lawyer is a popular library user inquiry. Librarians cannot recommend an attorney or give legal advice, but staff has created a list of useful Sources for Finding a Lawyer or Legal Help.

The GIC has an historical and current collection of Federal, California, and San Francisco bills, ordinances and resolutions. If the bill or ordinance number is known, the bill can be located using a variety of resources.