The New York State Library is the greatest little-known, completely free, legal research resource for New York lawyers.
New York State Library members have remote access to an extensive collection of online databases in various subjects and can borrow any circulating materials from the library’s collection. The Library also provides assistance with legislative history research.
New York State Library members get access to the following legal databases (among others)
- Fastcase: A comprehensive national law library that includes searching, sorting, and visualization tools.
- More than 20,000 full-text online journals and newspapers. Additionally, the librarians at the reference desk are very helpful
Borrowing Hard-Copy Materials
To borrow hard-copy materials, find the material you want via the online catalog, then request it via phone, fax, e-mail or online. Books are mailed to you at no cost; you just pay the cost of return shipping. Journal articles can be copied (for a fee) and delivered by mail, fax or e-mail.
Legislative History Research Assistance
The New York State Library offers a helpful online tutorial about researching New York legislative history Additionally, many New York legislative history documents are available only in hard copy at the Library. You can ask a reference librarian to compile the legislative history documents and mail, e-mail or fax them to you.
Who can be a Member of the New York State Library?
Any lawyer who is both a New York resident and admitted in New York can become a registered borrower. A law firm with a NY office can also become a member upon submission of an application signed by a partner. When a firm is a member, anyone can be identified as the office contact (including paralegals).
About the Author
Lisa Solomon has worked exclusively as a freelance lawyer for almost 25 years. In that capacity, she helps attorneys nationwide with all of their legal research and writing needs. You can download a free guide to working with freelance lawyers from, and view writing samples at, her website, www.QuestionOfLaw.net. You can also contact her directly at 914-595-6575 or Lisa@QuestionOfLaw.net.