HUSL Library ABOUT SERVICES CATALOG STAFF HOURS ROOMS DIRECTIONS ALUMNI HOWARD UNIVERSITY LAW LIBRARY HOWARD UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW HU CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES DIRECTORY OF LAW SCHOOL OFFICES DATABASES RESEARCH GUIDES ARCHIVES BAR EXAM PREP Skip to Main Content
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HUSL Library

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Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., Law Library

We are proud to announce that on March 8, 2021 the Howard University Board of Trustees unanimously voted to name the Law School Library the Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., Law Library in honor of the late Civil Rights icon and devoted Howard University School of Law alumnus.

Read more here: https://giving.howard.edu/jordanlibrary

To make a contribution visit: https://giving.howard.edu/JordanLibraryFund


Welcome home!

Fall 2021 Back on Campus

We are looking forward to seeing all students and faculty!

Please see our Orientation Guide for library information. 

Welcome home!


 

Hours and Status

The Vernon E. Jordan Jr., Law Library on the Howard University West Campus is restricted to current Howard Law and Divinity students, faculty, and staff at this time. Excluding holidays and university closures (listed below), and following official D.C. government guidelines, the Law Library has returned to our normal operating schedule.  To familiarize yourself with the physical library space, a virtual tour of the library can be found here.  

HUSL community members are encouraged to send all questions to our reference@law.howard.edu email.  This email will be monitored during regular business hours (Monday - Friday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm ET) and will allow us to triage questions more efficiently.  


Hours of Operation:

Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. 

Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. 

Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.


2021 Federal Holiday and Howard University-wide CLOSURES and REDUCED HOURS:

  • Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.

CLOSED: Monday, January 18, 2021

  • Inauguration Day

CLOSED: Wednesday, January 20, 2021

  • President's Day

CLOSED: Monday, February 15, 2021 

  • Spring Break

CLOSED: Monday, March 15, 2021 through Friday, March 19, 2021

  • Memorial Day

CLOSED: Monday, May 31, 2021

  • Independence Day

CLOSED: Monday, July 5, 2021 (Observed)

  • Labor Day

CLOSED: Monday, September 6, 2021

  • Veterans Day

REDUCED HOURS: Thursday, November 11, 2021, open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

  • Thanksgiving Break

CLOSED: Thursday, November 25, 2021

CLOSED: Friday, November 26, 2021


Access Information for other Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC) Libraries

This access information was compiled for Howard Law Students only.  Access policies may be different for Howard University students in other schools and for members of the public.  Always contact any WRLC library before visiting to check access information and hours.


Howard University School of Law - Events Calendar

The events calendar contains information about events across the law school. 


Howard University School of Law - Facilities 

To reach out to the Law School's Facilities call 202-806-8224 or fill out this form: Work Request Form.


Howard University School of Law - Information Technology Department

To reach the Law School's Information Technology department, call 202-806-8013 or e-mail lawschoolhelp@law.howard.edu.

Research Guides

The following guides provide specialized subject, collection, and bar information. Submit suggestions for additional topics to reference@law.howard.edu.

Services

Circulation Desk
  • To contact the Circulation Desk, call 202.806.8045.
  • For questions concerning Access Services, and the Circulation Desk policies and procedures contact reference@law.howard.edu.
  • The Circulation Desk is located at the entrance to the library on the first floor.
  • The Circulation Desk is staffed all the hours that the library is open.
  • Circulation employees can help you with borrowing, study rooms, photocopiers, and printers.
  • Transactions completed at the Circulation Desk:
    • Borrowing and returning materials.
    • Checking out and returning study room keys.
  • Closing Policies:
    • All circulation transactions, including returning study room keys and reserve materials, must be completed 15 minutes prior to the library closing.
    • Any Circulation transactions not completed by closing will be credited to the next business day and fines may accrue.

 

Study Rooms

Law Library study rooms are available for use by current Howard Law students only.  Make Study Room Reservations.

Reference Services
  • To contact the Reference Librarians, email reference@law.howard.edu.
  • Reference Coverage:
    • Reference services are Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    • Follow the library’s Twitter account @HUSLLibrary for up to date Reference Services schedules.
  • To set up a meeting with a Reference Librarian contact Eileen Santos at 202.806.8301, Victoria Capatosto at 202.806.8175, or Quinterrion Waits at 202.806.8304.

Access
  • Howard law students must be registered in the library's Circulation system to check out materials.
  • Registration requires name, address, phone, Capstone ID number, e-mail address, and a signed acknowledgement that you are responsible for all materials checked out in your name.
  • To register for borrowing privileges, students must have a validated Capstone ID.
  • Students must make sure that their IDs are validated each semester, and that they update their library patron registration each semester.

Borrowing
The Howard University Law Library is the research library of the Howard University School of Law. 
  • The majority of the collection does not circulate.
  • Items that are part of a series or multi-volume set, or that are supplemented with pocket parts, looseleaf pages, or bound supplements, may not be checked out.
  • Only single volume monographs, reserve, and A/V items circulate.

Public Patrons
  • Public visitors may not check out materials, but may use them within the library.
  • Our staff is happy to assist with searching our online catalog and locating materials on the shelves.

Interlibrary Loan 
The Law Library maintains formal agreements with libraries worldwide to share materials with, or provide photocopies to, other libraries. This service is available to Howard Law School students, faculty and staff only.
  • Requests are processed Monday - Friday, except holidays.
  • Photocopies are delivered within 3-5 business days.
  • Books are delivered within 10-14 business days.
  • Please be aware that delivery can take significantly longer, depending on the availability of the materials and the response time of lending libraries.
  • Please contact reference@law.howard.edu for more information.
Materials not loaned:
  • An entire volume of a journal, periodical, reporter, code or digest.
  • Rare books; loose-leaf volumes; volumes from a multi-volume set, or reference material.

Reserve
  • The reserve collection is located in the Reserve Reading Room adjacent to Circulation.
  • The reserve collection includes textbooks for first-year courses, hornbooks, nutshells, legal dictionaries, and selected local materials.
  • Course reserve materials requested by faculty are located behind the Circulation Desk, and are searchable in the library's catalog, WRLC, by course or professor's name.
  • Using Reserve Materials:
    • Reserve Materials can be used in the Reserve Reading Room.
    • Students and faculty can check out Reserve Materials for 3 hours at a time, but must use Reserve Materials within the library.
    • Reserve materials not returned promptly are subject to a $1.00/hour fine.
    • A photocopier is located in the Reserve Reading Room for your convenience.

HUSL Past Exams
  • Exams are kept on a TWEN site named Howard Law School Past Exams.
  • Only Howard University School of Law students, faculty and staff have access to these exams.
  • Exams are organized by course title, professor, and date.
  • Exam selection is the decision of the faculty member teaching the course. To inquire about the availability of past exams that are not included, contact the professor directly.
  • Professors retain all intellectual property rights to their written exams.
  • Questions about past exam collection should be directed to:

 

 

Special Collections and Archives

The Howard University School of Law Archives is currently closed for health and safety reasons due to COVID-19.

The Archives' goal is to acquire, and make available for public use, manuscripts, printed materials, and visual materials that document the history of the law in general and that of the Howard University School of Law in particular. Specifically, the Archives collect materials relating to civil rights litigation and legislation.

In addition to its paper-based collections, the Archives has an oral history program, and houses a growing digital collection of interviews of alumni, former deans and faculty, and civil rights activists.

Accessing the Archives:


General Information

Printers
  • There are two networked printers in the Computer Lab (LL102).
  • HUSL Library has one Lexis printer in the PC Computer Lab (LL102), it can only be used for printing documents directly from Lexis Advance.
  • These are part of the Law School's network resources and are managed by the IT Department.
  • Direct any concerns regarding printer performance problems to Frank King at 202.806.8030.

Lost and Found
  • Lost and found items are centralized for the law school campus in the Office of Student Affairs on the 2nd floor of Houston Hall.
  • Items found in the library are sent to Student Affairs, with the exception of textbooks. These are held in the reserve reading room.

Security
  • Library security officers are on duty twenty-four hours every day.
  • The officers check identification for everyone who enters the library.
  • Security patrols the library.
  • To gain access to the library, Howard law students, faculty and staff must show the officer on duty their Capstone ID card.
  • Students, faculty or staff who cannot present a Capstone ID upon entering the library must show another current photo ID and sign in at the security desk.
  • All public visitors must present a current photo ID and also sign in at the security desk.
  • Security is responsible for stopping library patrons when the security gate alarms sound as they enter or exit. If the gate alarms do trigger, the patron’s packages are subject to search.

Tours - Not available at this time
The Law Library staff is pleased to welcome all visitors. We offer individual or group tours of our building and collections for visitors of all ages.
  • Tours can also be designed to meet any special interests, or focused on unique resources such as our Archives, which houses unique materials spanning the Civil War through Civil Rights eras.
  • To make arrangements for a tour, please contact reference@law.howard.edu. Please submit your request at least a week in advance for a group tour.
  • Note that tours are not given during the Law School exam period.

U.S. Government Depository
HUSL Law Library was designated a selective U.S. Federal Depository Library in April 1998. Although we are closed to the public at this time, the Law Library is committed to providing free public access to Government information for our primary patrons and for all public patrons.
  • As a selective depository, the Library receives approximately 7% of all government documents available through this program.
  • In accordance with the mission of the law library, most depository selections cover a broad range of law-related materials in many formats.
  • Note that public patrons are allowed in-house use of the collection only. Patrons may request assistance locating government depository resources from any librarian staffing the reference desk.

Members of the public who are interested in researching physical items in our Federal depository library collection are encouraged to reach out to us at reference@law.howard.edu.  In addition, access to online Government information is available through our catalog, government websites, and several Libguides.  Contact information for nearby FDLP libraries can be found in the FDLP Library Directory.  We look forward to seeing you in person once it’s safe to do so!

 

 

Directions

The Law Library is located on the West Campus, at 2929 Van Ness St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, and can be reached at 202.806.8045.

Traveling by Metrorail

 

Walking from Van Ness/UDC Metro Station 

  • It is about a 10 minute walk from metro station to the library.
  • At ground level, turn around and proceed across the street. Turn left at the next street, which is Van Ness Street.
  • Follow Van Ness to the end of the street. The Howard University Law School is at the end of the street. The Law Library is the building at the top of the rise, on the left. View walking routes.
  • Directly behind the Law School is a large parking lot. Parking on campus is by permit only. It is recommended that you take the Metro to the Law Library, since finding street parking in D.C. can be difficult.
 

Driving from Reagan National Airport

  • Follow signs to Washington. Take I-395 North/US-1 North. Follow signs to US-1 North. US-1 becomes 14th Street, NW. Go up 14th Street and turn left on K Street. Get in the right lane and go about 4 blocks to Connecticut Avenue. Turn right on Connecticut Avenue. Turn right on Van Ness Street. Howard University School of Law is at the end of the street.
     
 

Driving from the south: refer to I-395 directions above

 

Driving from Dulles International Airport

Take the Toll Road to 66 east. Once on 66 east take 495 north/east (towards Baltimore). Once on 495 east, take the Connecticut Avenue exit (Exit 31). Turn right and go south on Connecticut Avenue for about three miles. Turn left on Van Ness Street. Howard University School of Law is at the end of the street.

 

Driving from Baltimore-Washington International Airport

Take I-95 south to I-495 west. Once on I-495 west, take I-495 to Connecticut Avenue (Exit 31). Turn left and go south on Connecticut Avenue for about 3 miles. Turn left on Van Ness Street. Howard University School of Law is at the end of the street.

 

Driving from the north: refer to I-495 directions above

 

About

Welcome

Welcome to the Howard University School of Law Library. We provide access to and maintain a collection of information resources that support law school programs, legal research, and the needs of all library users. The Law Library selects, organizes, preserves, and provides access to all of its resources as a way to assist those in their pursuit of justice.

The Law Library has a collection of approximately 225,000 volumes and is open 105 hours per week. Four librarians and four staff members provide excellent service for those who need legal research assistance. Our building is a 76,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art facility. From oak tables and print resources to a computer lab and smart classroom, the Law Library supports all research needs. On the fourth floor is the Special Collections area, which houses the papers of such civil rights giants as Charles Hamilton Houston, Spottswood Robinson, and Phineas Indritz (a prominent Washington lawyer who helped desegregate the D.C. bar).

So, whether you visit the Law Library in person or via the Internet, we welcome the opportunity to assist you.


Mission

The Law Library mission is to excel in service by strengthening our community’s legal, research, and educational goals through innovative programming, practice-oriented instruction, and a collection across traditional and evolving formats. 

In line with the Howard University School of Law mission, the Law Library is committed to:

  1. Delivering instruction and programs that deepen the law student body’s legal information literacy skills;
  2. Building and maintaining a collection of legal resources that advances the research and curricular needs of the Howard University School of Law faculty, students, and staff with a commitment to civil rights and social justice materials; and
  3. Facilitating access to Law Library collections in service of defending the rights of all, particularly African-Americans and diverse, multicultural individuals and communities.

 

 

Collection

As repositories of knowledge and as places to learn, libraries are central to a university’s mission. In May 2001, Howard University School of Law Library moved into its state-of-the-art facility at 2929 Van Ness Street, N.W., Washington D.C. 20009. The four-story, 76,000 square foot building provides space for a book collection of up to 670,000 volumes; can seat more than 295 students (more than 70 percent of the student population), including 90 open carrels; enlarged microfilm and audio-visual facilities; three distinctive rooms of wood and brick for special collections, newspaper and periodical reading, and a rare book collection.

 

View of HUSL Library from the third floor.

 

Facility

The library is organized around the second-floor, triple-height Reading Room, which has wireless access to the Internet and faces the new courtyard and Holy Cross Hall to the south. The tall windows of this 4,000-square-foot space give views onto the landscaped courtyard and celebrate the display of readers and books to the campus. Table and lounge seating for 80 students is provided in this great room, which is home to the 2,000-volume reference collection.

The book collection and individual student carrels are distributed equally on the second, third, and fourth floors that open directly to the Reading Room. A wood-paneled lobby on the first floor connects the building entrances from the courtyard to the south and the parking areas to the north, and functionally separates the Law Library from the Smart classroom and student computer lab.

Framing the interior entrance to the library are display cases that inform visitors about the law faculty and the library. The west wing of the library provides a total of ten private study rooms and seven group study rooms that serve from two-to-eight students each and are on the second and third floors. Crowning the west wing and surrounded by a roof terrace is the Special Collections Rare Book Reading Room.

To get a better sense of the beautiful space that is HUSL Library, view our self-guided tour.

 

Alumni

As members of the Howard Law family, we welcome the opportunity to assist alumni seeking research assistance.  In addition to the information on this website, including the research guides and A-Z Database List, you can contact the librarians at reference@law.howard.edu with your question.  

Whether you visit the Law Library in person or via the Internet, the library is here for you.

 

HUSL Library Internship Program

Opportunities for LIS Graduate Students

Internship hours are flexible and can be arranged to fit your schedule. You will be a member of the small, dynamic team and will be able to make an enormous contribution to the work we do at HUSL Library.

These are wonderful opportunities to gain specialized academic backend library services experience, public-facing information services experience, or a combination of both, at one of Washington, D.C.’s highly regarded law schools!

 

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