Library Reference Assistance

Library Reference Assistance

All patrons requesting reference assistance should conform to the Reference Service Policy stated below.

Reference Service Policy

Often Law Library patrons do not realize that Library staff members may not help patrons interpret the meaning of legal materials or ascertain their relevance to the patrons' particular problem. Library staff may not perform legal research, offer legal advice, or choose legal forms for patrons. Legal and ethical codes prohibit librarians from giving legal advice or opinion, or from interpreting sources of legal authority.

For these reasons, Law Library staff must limit themselves to suggesting library materials that might be helpful to you, assisting you in locating these materials, and showing you how to find information in them. Please do not think staff members are being uncooperative when they ask that you interpret the materials you read for yourself and make your own decision as to how the material you have read applies to you and your particular problem. The Library staff will be happy to suggest sources that may contain the material you need and show you how to use the various legal publications. They cannot, however, tell you the source that contains the information you need. Our goal is to help you understand the legal research process and how it can assist you in answering your questions.


Last updated April, 2010

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Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School is an independent, private, non-profit educational institution affiliated with Western Michigan University. As an independent institution, the Law School is solely responsible for its academic program. Accredited by the American Bar Association and the Higher Learning Commission. In corde hominem est anima legis.

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