South Carolina's Flagship University

Coleman Karesh Law Library

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Services to Students

Law Library News & Events

Students may check our Cocky Law Blawg for research tips and law library news and events.

Law Library Guides

The law library staff has developed the following location guides to help students locate materials in the law library:

Legal Reference

A reference librarian is available at the reference desk Monday through Fridays, 8:30 AM until 5:00 PM, to answer reference questions and to assist students in developing research plans for particular projects. Students may contact the reference desk by phone at 777-5902 or via e-mail at lawref@law.sc.edu. Students may also take advantage of the various research aids posted on the law library's website.

Legal Research, Analysis & Writing

Legal Research, Analysis, and Writing (LRAW) is a core component of the first year law school curriculum that integrates essential skills necessary for the practice of law.

In LRAW-1 (Fall) students learn the basic methods of researching state statutes and case law. Students also learn how to analyze those statutes and cases, how to identify and understand legal rules derived from those authorities, and how to apply those rules to make informed predictions about legal issues. Students learn how to convey legal analysis clearly and concisely and how to draft a legal prediction in the form of a memorandum of law.

In LRAW-2 (Spring), students build on their basic research, analytical, and writing skills to learn how to research federal statutes and cases, regulations, and secondary sources. Students also learn the skills of persuasive writing and argumentation through the preparation of an appellate brief and oral argument.

The Legal Research, Analysis & Writing (LRAW) classes are co-taught by our Legal Research Librarians and Legal Writing Instructors.

The Law School also offers an Advanced Legal Research course as an elective to all students during the second and third years. Students may attend seminars and workshops conducted by the Reference Librarians throughout the school year on specific legal research topics and online databases.

Finding Books & Articles

To determine if the law library has a particular book, periodical or other item in print or in electronic format, students may search the Law Library Catalog by keyword, title or author. For a tutorial on how to use the catalog go to Using the Library Collection.

To find articles on particular legal and non-legal topics, students should use the electronic indexes & e-journals databases. The law library also subscribes to several limited access electronic resources that either must be accessed using a law school computer or are available to law students only via username and password.

Borrowing Law Library Materials

Law students may check out books and other law library and reserve materials at the circulation desk. If after searching the law library and other University of South Carolina catalogs you cannot find the item you need, you may request that we borrow it from another library by completing an Interlibrary Loan request form (below) and submitting it to Circulation. Law students may also check out course materials and sample exams placed on reserve by their professors for particular courses.

Interlibrary Loan Requests

Forms for requesting Interlibrary Loans are available at the Circulation desk or may be submitted online.

Research Guides & Tutorials

The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI) developes legal lessons covering over 30 different subject areas. Students and faculty can access the tutorials on the CALI website after they register and create a personal account using the USC authorization code. (To obtain the code contact the reference librarians either at the Reference Desk or at lawref@law.sc.edu.)

Research Assistant Training Materials
The Research Assistants Training Program is a two-day concentrated training program that gives instruction to assist research assistants including how to locate difficult-to-find materials, suggestions on how to find relevant topical and internet resources, search strategies for finding internet and print resources for specialized research projects, searching legislative documents, finding federal and state agency documents, use and searching of the law library catalog, and legal citation orientation. This is a link to the training materials used in the program.

For additional research aids information and legal tutorials, please visit law.sc.edu/library/research_aids/.

Computing, Copying & Printing

  • Computer Service
  • Wireless laptop access is available to law students throughout the law library. Links to information on student computer ownership, accessing the wireless network, and virus protection are provided on the law school's Information Technology page.

  • Copying
  • Two self-service photocopiers are available on the library's first floor in Room 104 next to the circulation desk. Copies are $.20 per page. Both copying machines require the CarolinaCard to make copies. A CarolinaCard machine is located on the 1st floor near the copying machines. This machine can be used to purchase a CarolinaCard for $1.00 plus the amount you wish to use to copy. This machine can also add money to your CarolinaCard account. If you have a USC ID card you do not have to purchase a CarolinaCard. You can add money and additional printing pages to your USC ID card with the CarolinaCard machine.

  • Printing
  • Computer labs are located on the 2nd floor of the law library for law students to access via username and password. Law students are allotted 1000 pages per year to print documents and other information using the computers and printers in the labs. Additional print pages may be purchased at any CarolinaCard machine.

    LexisNexis print jobs are routed to a designated printer on the 1st floor of the law library and are independent of the USC Law School printing page allotment.


Students enter the law library and seek assistance from the Circulation and Reference desks on the first floor. Therefore, the upper floors of the law library are more suited to quiet study. Assigned study carrels are located on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors of the law library. Carrels are assigned by lottery. Students may sign up for the lottery at the beginning of Fall semester. Students may also use the open study carrels located on all floors. More Information about our study rooms is available on the website.