About the Blogger

Legal Beagle's picture

The Legal Beagle’s favorite book and that of dog lovers everywhere is Every Dog’s Legal Guide: A Must Have Book for Your Owner by Mary Randolph (KF390.5 .D6 R36 2005). His favorite movie is about the crime fighting pooch, Underdog! His current hero is Uno, the beagle who won Best in Show at the...

Affordable Excellence at RWU LAW

Legal Beagle's Post

Law Libraries in Massachusetts

Posted by Library Blog on 05/14/2008 at 12:00 AM

For those who intend to practice law in Massachusetts or in a neighboring state, membership to the Social Law Library may be of some benefit to you for your legal research needs.  The Social Law Library is the oldest continuously chartered law library in the United States.  Established in 1803, it is also one of the oldest civic and cultural organizations in Boston.  The Library’s membership consists of approximately several thousand lawyers from law firms and corporate law departments in the metropolitan Boston area and outside of Boston.  The annual membership fee is $355.00 per year per attorney inside Route 128 and $215.00 per year per attorney outside Route 128.  There are several pricing plans for members of firms and corporate legal departments.

Membership has its privileges!  A member can borrow circulating materials from the Social Law Library’s collection of over 420,000 volumes and access (remote and on-site) various electronic databases such as HeinOnline, LexisNexis, and Westlaw.  There is access to FastCase which contains state and federal court opinions, statutes, and regulations.  Unlimited access to the Social Law Library’s Massachusetts Substantive Law databases is provided while there is a nominal fee to access the Social Law Library’s Massachusetts Administrative databases.  Also available to members are reference assistance, interlibrary loan, document delivery, website hosting, and training.

Seventeen trial court libraries located in Massachusetts are dedicated to providing legal research services to the bench, bar and the public.  These libraries offer reference assistance, borrowing privileges, interlibrary loan, document delivery, and free access to Westlaw, LexisNexis or both.  The website of the Massachusetts Trial Court Libraries is a great resource for Massachusetts legal information.  There are links to websites for laws, regulations, cases, and municipal ordinances.  One can access federal and Massachusetts legal forms for numerous topics.  The website has pathfinders that are bibliographies of available print materials and recommended websites for selected topics.  There is a also a series of “Law About...” on over 100 topics.  Each “Law About...” has links to websites for Massachusetts primary and secondary legal materials.