The Law Library is the major public law library in New Jersey. It has a comprehensive collection of American legal materials, with special emphasis on federal and New Jersey materials. Out-of-state laws and cases, computer searches, and an extensive file of New Jersey legislative histories are available for the researcher. The Law Library’s research guide is available online. Staff offers reference assistance and provides photocopies that can be mailed, emailed or faxed to government agencies and to individuals for a fee.
The Law Library’s collection of New Jersey legal materials is its most complete collection. This collection contains statutes, cases, administrative regulations, administrative agency decisions, legislative bills since 1832, and a comprehensive collection of books and journals dealing with New Jersey law.
The Law Library’s collection of materials from the federal government and all 50 states include statutory codes, session laws, court reports (official and National Reporter System), administrative regulations, federal administrative agency decisions and briefs of cases argued in the United States Supreme Court. A comprehensive collection of books and journals on all areas of federal and American law is also maintained.
Special collections maintained by the Law Library include:
- A file of superseded pages of the New Jersey Administrative Code, where the researcher can find the text of old regulations.
- Superseded volumes of New Jersey Statutes Annotated, where the researcher can find the text of old laws.
- A collection of records and briefs from the New Jersey Supreme Court, the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court, and the old New Jersey Court of Errors and Appeals.
The Law Library compiles legislative histories of New Jersey legislation on a current basis as laws are enacted and, if not already compiled, upon special request from state government researchers. The history indicates any recorded legislative intent concerning the passage of each act including reports, hearings, statements and Governor’s messages. Once compiled, these histories are available for use by all researchers at the Law Library and can be photocopied for a small fee.
Beginning with 1998 enactments, legislative histories are available online.
The Law Library provides telephone, mail, email and in person reference service to all branches of state government, to members of the New Jersey Bar, to other libraries through the New Jersey Library Network, and to the general public. Requested materials may be sent or, if non-circulating, photocopied for state government employees or libraries. For other patrons, photocopies of material available only at the Law Library will be made for a small fee, subject to applicable copyright laws.
The Law collection is included in the State Library’s online catalog.
LEXIS, a computerized legal research system, includes federal and state statutes, cases and regulations, citator services, and an abundance of secondary legal materials. Librarians in the law section can do searches in LEXIS for specific words provided by the patron for free.
Other online legal databases available to patrons:
- LegalTrac, a legal periodicals index.
- OmniFile Full Text Select, which includes access to legal periodicals.
- ProQuest Congressional, with access to federal bills, laws, regulations and the Congressional Record.
- CQ Congress Collection, a research tool of the U.S. Congress, including the history and development of legislation, members biographical information, voting records and more.
- CQ Weekly, a weekly magazine covering the U.S. Congress. Includes the status of bills, committee and floor activity, votes, and backroom maneuvering.
The Law Library reference desk is located in the reading room on Level 3 (street level) of the State Library.
New Jersey State Library – Level 3
185 West State St.
(mailing address: PO Box 520)
Trenton, NJ 08625
Telephone: 609-278-2640 x102