BCLS South Facade

Reference Policies

The Ross-Blakley Law Library reference librarians are experts in legal research methodology and are available during reference hours to answer questions from the public about how to do legal research; however, the librarians cannot do research for others, nor may they answer questions about the law or provide legal advice. For a current reference schedule, please check the library hours. Reference librarians can be contacted by phone at 480-965-7161 and via the Ask a Law Librarian online form.

Examples of questions that we CAN answer

  • Suggest specific books, journals, databases, websites or other resources that might be appropriate to your research topic.
  • Show you how particular books or databases are organized and indexed.
  • Help verify a citation or that we own a particular book, journal, or online resource.

For ethical and practical reasons we cannot answer these types of questions:

  • What does this case mean?
  • What should I do legally?
  • Which form do I use, and how do I fill it out?
  • Interpret or explain the meaning of any document, legal or otherwise.
  • Give legal advice.
  • Recommend a lawyer.
  • "Update" cases, statutes, etc., or let you know if they are still good law or have been overruled.

Telephone and Email Reference

What we will do for you over the phone is limited by the above guidelines and staff availability. Also, because of licensing restrictions, we cannot do searches of our subscription databases for members of the public.

Why does the law library have these rules?

As law librarians, we are here to assist you in using and accessing the materials in the law library. Only your lawyer can interpret documents or give you legal advice. If you do need legal advice, we have a referral list of local legal resources, including free and low-cost providers.

For access to in-person legal research resources and services, we recommend using the Maricopa County Superior Court Law Library.