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¶  Overview of the Law Library Collection

Collection Development Guidelines. The Law Library develops and maintains its collection to serve the research needs of statutory users with select additional resources for members of the legal community, and residents actively involved in researching practical aspects of the law. The focus of the Library’s collection is to provide the materials its patrons need and use for their day-to-day legal research needs. The Library does not collect theoretical or strictly academic materials, jurisprudence and legal history materials, law school textbooks, or foreign, international or comparative law materials. The Law Library will generally purchase only current materials.

The Law Library will acquire information in the most effective and efficient manner, whether that manner is traditional print materials or electronic resources. Materials formerly available only in paper are increasingly made available through online resources. When materials are available in both print and electronic formats, the decision to purchase one format or the other, or both, is based on frequency of need, convenience of use, the need for multiple access points, price and library budgetary constraints.

Format choices are not meant to obligate the Law Library to retain materials from government or other websites, to provide Internet access to electronic resources, or to provide users with access to licensed online legal research services. Access to all electronic resources, including resources only made available electronically, is limited to statutory users and lawyers with law library privileges. See. e.g., Legal & Law-Related Licensed Research Services. The Law Library has produced a series of guides for performing online legal research that includes information about commercial and free legal research services and websites for members of the public.

Ohio Legal Research

Ohio Primary Legal Materials & Research Tools. The Law Library's collection contains Ohio state primary legal resources in print and/or in electronic format including the following:

  • Published decisions of Ohio courts
  • A current annotated edition of the Ohio Revised Code, with archival copies of some earlier editions
  • Session laws and bills of the Ohio General Assembly and House and Senate Journals
  • The current Ohio Constitution plus readily available historical versions of the Ohio Constitution and published debates or proceedings of state constitutional conventions
  • Current Ohio Administrative Code, with archival copies of some earlier editions, and Current Monthly Record
  • Rules of practice and procedure in Ohio courts, and rules and codes of conduct for Ohio judges and attorneys, with archival copies of earlier versions, and Ohio State Bar Association ethics opinions and Ohio State Judges Ethics Advisory Opinions
  • Opinions of the Ohio Attorney General
  • Codified ordinances of municipalities in Butler County selectively
  • Research tools to provide topical access to primary court, statutory and regulatory materials and a citation index

Ohio Secondary Legal Materials. The Law Library maintains a relatively comprehensive collection of state-oriented legal treatises, practice and procedure materials, topical deskbooks, court and transactional form compilations and self-help materials in print and/or in electronic format. Materials in print and/or electronic format include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Ohio Jurisprudence
  • Anderson's Ohio Practice Treaties series and other Ohio-related titles published by LexisNexis
  • Baldwin's Ohio Practice Treatise series published by West
  • Ohio Jury Instructions
  • Ohio Forms of Pleading and Practice (LexisNexis)
  • Anderson's Civil Practice with Forms (LexisNexis)
  • Couse's Ohio Form Book (LexisNexis)
  • Ohio Transaction Guide (LexisNexis)

The Law Library collection also includes continuing legal education materials from the Ohio State Bar Association and selected law reviews, legal periodicals and newspapers, including bar publications, that are of significance to the Butler County legal community.

Federal Legal Research

Federal Primary Legal Materials & Research Tools. The Law Library's collection contains federal primary legal resources in print and/or in electronic format including the following:

  • Published decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States, United States Courts of Appeal, United States District Courts and United States Bankruptcy Courts
  • A current annotated version of the United States Code
  • Session laws and bills of Congress, the Congressional Record and related legislative history resources
  • Federal court rules for federal courts within Ohio
  • Current Code of Federal Regulations and Federal Register
  • Federal administrative case law from selected administrative agencies
  • Research tools to provide topical access to primary court, statutory and regulatory materials and a citation index

Federal Secondary Legal Materials. The Law Library maintains a selective collection of federal practice and procedure materials, form books and legal encyclopedic works in print and/or electronic format.

Multi-State Legal Research. State codes, administrative codes and state court opinions are almost exclusively available only in electronic formats.

General Treatise Collection. The subject areas of the general treatise collection address the needs of statutory users in the official conduct of their duties and other patrons of the Law Library as determined by the professional judgment of the Law Library Director. The Law Library concentrates its general treatise collection efforts on the most commonly practiced areas of law in Butler County identified by the Law Library Director in consultation with the Butler County Law Library Resources Board to provide a basic collection of legal texts of contemporary value to the legal community.

Currently, practice areas include bankruptcy law and creditors’ rights, business entities, contract law, criminal law and criminal practice and procedure, family law, immigration, labor and employment, legal ethics and professional responsibility, real property, personal injury, probate, taxation, trial practice, UCC, and wills, trusts and estates, plus a modest collection of self-help resources for members of the general public and the self-represented litigant.

No attempt is made to provide a comprehensive collection of current resources in any area of legal practice. The Law Library does, however, strive to provide at least one essential current resource for each. Some practice areas are excluded completely while current materials in some listed practice areas are subject to available funding. Collection development in listed practice areas is subject to change due to budgetary constraints, escalating costs, patron use and on-going collection reassessments. In many instances, specialized materials are only available in electronic format.

The Law Library collection also includes in print and/or electronic format:

  • General legal encyclopedia and legal dictionary
  • General legal forms set
  • General pleading and practice forms set
  • American Law Institute Restatements
  • Uniform Laws Annotated

Online Catalog. To determine whether the Law Library has print materials by title, author, subject or keyword, library patrons may search the Law Library's online catalog. If a title is not available in the Law Library, library staff can attempt to borrow it from a lending library. Note the Law Library's interlibrary loan fees.

Local Public Libraries with Law and Law-Related Resources. As a practical collection of legal resources limited in scope, the Law Library may not have the materials some patrons will need to perform legal research. OhioLINK is an online union catalog of 88 Ohio college and university libraries, the State Library of Ohio, and the Center for Research Libraries. It contains over 11 million unique titles including law collections held by public and private law school libraries such as the University of Cincinnati College of Law Library, a public law school library that is open to lawyers and members of the public for the purpose of performing legal research.

Libraries that participate in the Federal Depository Library Program are required to provide access to federal government documents received through the Program. Most libraries are selective depositories but some receive federal legal and agency publications in print or electronic format. See list of federal depository libraries in Ohio. Do note any university, law school or federal depository library patron access and use policies, including their hours of operation, by visiting their website first.

Local general public libraries provide reference assistance and access to computers for Internet use. Many include basic law and government document collections in print and/or electronic formats. See, e.g., The Lane Public Library (Hamilton, Fairfield & Oxford), Middletown Public Library (Middletown, Trenton & West Chester), and the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

 ¶  In This Section

Search the Law Library's Online Catalog

Law Library Collection Overview

Legal & Law-Related Licensed Research Services

Law Library Practitioners Program