All libraries will be closed Wednesday, June 19th in celebration of Juneteenth.

Law Library

The Law Library is located in the Richmond Room of Main Library. It is free and open to all. Legal research materials can be accessed anytime Main Library is open. However, the staff of the Richmond Room are generally available Monday thru Friday during regular business hours and can help answer questions and assist with your legal research needs. Evening and Saturday hours are available. Please call or email ahead of your visit if you would like to make an appointment with the Law Librarian, or confirm a time when staff is available in the Richmond Room.

Law Library Collections


The Richmond Public Law Library has an extensive collection of both print and digital legal resources. All materials in this collection are reference books that cannot be checked out, but we are happy to provide digital access and print copies of legal materials. All current or formerly held print materials are available in digital form through our databases.

  • Westlaw – Westlaw is a computerized database that provides free access to state and federal cases, statutes and regulations from all jurisdictions (50 states and Federal), as well as various secondary sources, forms, and briefs. It also features “Practical Law” which offers extensive in-depth support for non-lawyers. These resources can be accessed at all Richmond Public Library locations.
  • Lexis – Lexis provides free access to state and federal cases, statutes and regulations from all jurisdictions. It also features Michie’s Jurisprudence and Virginia Forms, as well as many Virginia specific legal resources. Lexis can be accessed only at the Main Library building.
  • Gale Legal Forms – Gale has thousands of free legal forms specific to Virginia including samples of wills, Power of Attorney, divorce, and business contracts. It also features an Attorney Directory by subject expertise. Gale can be accessed through the RPL website from any remote location.
  • City of Richmond Code – The Law Library contains print copies of City of Richmond code books, resolutions and ordinances dating back to the 1860s. These are helpful for researching past versions of city ordinances and code.
  • City Reports and Records – We have archival reports and records from many city agencies dating back to the early 20th century. These reports are a wealth of insight into the history of Richmond. For more information on our archival materials, please visit our Local History page.
  • Code of Virginia – We also have print copies of West’s annotated Code of Virginia dating back to the 1840s, including older annotated versions of the 1950 Code of Virginia with pocket parts, which detail changes in state code over the last 70 years
  • Acts of Assembly – These are the officially published resolutions and bills passed by the Virginia General Assembly. Our print collection dates to the 1840s.
  • House and Senate Journals – We have print copies of Virginia House of Delegates and Senate journals from the 1940s to the 2000s. These are the primary source material for researching legislative intent regarding the Code of Virginia. More recent Journals can be accessed through the Legislative Information Service or the Library of Virginia.

Westlaw Patron Access


Westlaw is a computerized database that provides free access to state and federal cases, statutes and regulations from all jurisdictions, as well as various secondary sources, forms, and briefs. These resources can be accessed at all Richmond Public Library locations using these links:

Programs, Events, and Workshops


The Law Library hosts free legal workshops on a wide variety of topics including Estate Planning, Small Business help, Starting a Nonprofit, Family Law, and more. Please check the calendar for upcoming events.

Online Law Library Resources


The Law Librarian can assist patrons with legal questions and legal research. The Law Librarian is also available for one-on-one appointments to discuss your legal needs. We can provide information on a variety of legal topics, print examples of legal documents and forms, and assist with referrals to a many of the free and low-cost legal services in and around Richmond. Call 804-646-3425 or email Charles.Schmidt@rva.gov for more information.

LexisNexis

The world's largest electronic database for legal and public-records–related information. Access at Main Library only.