Law Library Information & Services
About the Schaefer Law Library
A home away from home for many students, the Schaefer Law Library is a quiet and comfortable place to study and explore the law. Named for John F. Schaefer, '69, a trustee emeritus, generous donor, and adjunct professor at the Law College for more than 30 years, the law library has all the print and online reference materials you need. Our librarians are happy to guide you through your toughest research questions, and the circulation desk is staffed by students who can connect you with the library's wide range of resources.
About John F. Schaefer
John F. Schaefer is one of the country’s best-known and most highly respected lawyers in the field of matrimonial law, which he has practiced for more than 40 years. A trustee emeritus at MSU Law, Schaefer taught Family Law for more than 30 years as an adjunct professor at the Law College.
Schaefer is involved in numerous professional, civic, and philanthropic organizations. He has served as president of the Michigan Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, fellow of the Michigan State Bar Foundation, president of the Oakland County Bar Association, and chair of the State Bar of Michigan’s Family Law Section. He has been an arbitrator for the Michigan State Bar Attorney Grievance Commission, a member of the Committee on Character and Fitness, and a member of the board of trustees of William Beaumont Hospital and the Detroit Police Athletic League. As an instructor at the Michigan Judicial Institute, Schaefer educated hundreds of Michigan circuit court judges in substantive matrimonial law.
In addition to earning his Juris Doctor degree at Detroit College of Law in 1969, Schaefer also received a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University in 1965 and an honorary doctor of law degree from MSU-DCL.
The Reserve Collection is housed behind the Circulation Desk. Upon request, student assistants will retrieve items for your use. These items may be located by using the Library catalog. The reserve collection is primarily made up of high use items such as textbooks, supplements, hornbooks, and review aids.
Effective Fall 2021, law students will be able to check out reserve materials that circulate overnight for 72 hours. Due to heavy usage and demand, reserve materials are subject to borrowing restrictions and fines. They are non-renewable and the fine is $1.00 per hour past the due date and time including overnight hours.
Please see the Circulation Desk for more details on borrowing privileges. Overdue fines will now be collected at the Main Library in person or by phone. For more information please see https://lib.msu.edu/circ/policies-and-procedures/.
A comprehensive list of books authored by MSU Law faculty members is available.
The Schaefer Law Library maintains an institutional repository of scholarship generated by current faculty. Articles and similar scholarly works are available here in full-text for download. Additional collections are continually added, so check back regularly!
Interlibrary Loan (ILL)
The Law Library strives to own all material necessary to pursue legal scholarship and education. From time to time, however, we must borrow items from other libraries to meet the needs of our patrons, hence the expression "interlibrary loans" or ILL's. Click here for more information.
Copying & Printing
A Copy Room is located on the 1st level of the Library and a single copier is located on the 2nd level. $5 copy cards may be purchased by using the card dispenser, which is conveniently located in the Copy Room. Value may also be added to copy cards by using the card dispenser, which accepts $1, $5, $10, and $20 bills. $1 copy cards may be purchased at the Circulation Desk. Please note that the Library’s copiers do not accept bills or coins and that the cards dispensed do not work in copiers within the MSU Main Library system. Please report any copier problems to the Circulation Desk.
MSU Law Faculty and Student Organizations may use MSU Law departmental account numbers in lieu of cash to purchase copy cards. Please see the Circulation Desk for details.
MSU Faculty and Research Assistants may use their university account numbers to purchase copy cards. Please see the Circulation Desk for details.
Printing is available for law students, faculty, and staff. For student access to printing information, read about the law college’s distributed printing system.
The Schaefer Law Library staffs a reference desk with professional librarians who are here to assist patrons with research. If you have any questions, visit our contact page for assistance.
Library Account Access
Renew books or check the status of your library account.
- Group Study Rooms are reserved for use by law students. Groups may sign up for a room at the Law Library Circulation Desk up to 24 hours in advance. MSU students are advised to check with the MSU Library system to reserve rooms for group study.
- Quiet Study Rooms are also reserved for use by law students. Inquire at the Law Library Circulation Desk to gain access.
Seating on Level 2 of the Law Library is available for general study; however, seating on Level 1 of the Library is reserved for use by law students and faculty, and for members of the public, including the MSU community, who are actively using the library materials.
Access & Borrowing
- Access. The Law Library is open to the public. We must therefore balance the needs of our law students and faculty with the needs of the public to use our legal research materials. This results in some restrictions on borrowing and seating within the Law Library.
- Borrowing. Because of the nature of legal research, our collection functions as a reference collection and the bulk of it does not leave the Library. A small portion of our books that meet certain criteria may be borrowed by law faculty, students, alumni, and by MSU faculty and students. Public patrons may not borrow law library books.
Each semester the Law Library employs many part-time student workers. Work study students are given preference in hiring decisions. Law students are also given preference, but the Library will consider MSU work study students if necessary to fill the positions. Application forms may be downloaded here or obtained at the Law Library Circulation Desk, where completed applications may be dropped off. A brief job description is provided below; please note that Work Study is preferred.
Student Library Assistant
Hours: Variable, as scheduled by the Circulation Manager, at any time the Law Library is open; cannot exceed an average of 16 hours per week for law students and 20 hours per week for non-law students.
Duties: Workers may be assigned any or all of the following duties: staffing the circulation desk, maintaining copiers, monitoring group study rooms, reshelving books, scanning or copying documents, gathering statistics, shelf reading and various other duties as needed.