Patron FAQ’s


How do I access databases off campus?

How do I access databases off campus?

To access databases from off-campus, go to the law library webpage at and use either the Database Quicklinks menu, or go to the A-Z database list. Clicking on Heinonline, Nexis Uni, or any of the databases in the A-Z list with a “U” next to it will take you to your campus login page. Once you’re logged in, you should be able to access the database.

Continue to use your own individual logins for Bloomberg Law, Westlaw, Lexis, etc., for access to those databases when you’re off-campus.

If you need assistance with your database accounts, contact Suzanne Darais at

For login technical support, contact Valeri Craigle at

How do I find a book using the catalog?

You can access the library catalog from the bottom, right of our homepage. The catalog searches all campus libraries, but can be limited to only items ‘Available in the Library’ under the Show Only filter on the left side of the screen, and/or to the Faust Law Library. An advanced search option is available. It provides an efficient way to search for a specific book by title or author. Book/Author Search There is a subject guide to call numbers posted at the information desk on level 1, and posted near the compact shelving on level 1 for those who want to browse within a topic. The guide is also posted on the shelving on level 4. If you are not a member of the law school community and an item you need is located on a non-public floor, please see someone at the information desk on level 1 to have the item retrieved for you. For help searching the catalog, see this video

Catalog Searching Hints:

  • One title may appear in several locations, but be under the same entry in the catalog. Click ‘Get It’ to see all locations. The default location is often to the 4th floor (older books) even though there may be a more recent copy on level 1.
  • If a basic search isn’t working, try an advanced search and vice versa.
  • Limit by ‘Location’ on the left hand side in results (to Faust Law Library).
  • Look for more information under ‘Get It’ and ‘Details’ in an item record.

How can I find a treatise on a particular subject?

Listed below are links to several libraries with subject guides to treatises. Once you’ve located a treatise you are interested in, run a catalog search to see if it is available in our library.  You can also check the PLI Plus database for additional materials.

Harvard Law School: Legal Treatises by Subject Guide This guide provides an introduction to treatises and has an A- Z guide; select a topic to view treatise options.

Georgetown Law Library: Treatise Finder This guide provides an alphabetical list of topics. Click on a topic to see print and electronic treatises.

Yale and Georgetown Law Collaborative Treatise Finder This guide provides an alphabetical listing of topics; click on topic to see print and electronic treatises.

Fordham University Law Library guide provides an alphabetical listing of treatises by topic.

Do you have any materials on probate/estate planning?

The topic of probate is state-specific so there are not a lot of materials that cover the topic in a general manner. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of Utah specific materials either! A copy of Utah Probate System, 2nd Edition (KFU142.H35 2005) is located on level 1 and is also available on reserve. The most recent edition of Practical Guide to Estate Planning (2016) is available with the study aids in the compact shelving and we have some other titles available in the stacks (KF726-KF765). You should also check the Pro Se Collection in the Reading Room as we have some books published by Nolo on the subject of estate planning.

Who can use Interlibrary Loan?

The Interlibrary Loan service is only available to current law faculty, law students, law staff, S.J. Quinney alumni, Utah Bar members, and visiting scholars who have an active circulation account with the James E. Faust Law Library. The service can be used when you need a copy of a journal article, newspaper article, conference proceedings, or when you want to borrow a book, microform, or video that is not available from one of the University of Utah libraries (check the library catalog first). The Interlibrary Loan staff will do its best to get a copy or borrow an item for you from another library outside campus.

Public patrons should contact their local public library; non-University of Utah students should contact the library at their home institutions; University of Utah health sciences students and staff should contact the Eccles Health Sciences Library; and all other University of Utah non-law students and staff should contact the Marriott Library to make interlibrary loan requests.

For additional help see the video on requesting interlibrary loan materials.

How can I find law review articles?

Patrons can find law review articles online using HeinOnline (Law Journal Library) or Google Scholar. You can search by citation or keyword (article name, author, subject of article, etc.).

Google Scholar is easier to search, and will search HeinOnline and other databases that patrons have access to on campus (assuming that patrons have set up ‘Library links’ under Settings on Google Scholar). Clicking on the article title or the information on the right of the screen will take the patron to the article if it is available. See below.

Select print journals are available on the second floor. To see if a journal is available, look up the title of the journal in the catalog. For additional help see the video on finding law review articles on HeinOnline.

Downloading a pdf of an article from HeinOnline

If you locate an article you wish to download in HeinOnline, simply look at the toolbar above the article:

Do you have The Bluebook?

Copies of the most recent edition of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation are available on two-hour reserve. The call number is KF245 B58. Older editions are available on level 1 in the compact shelving.

The Legal Information Institute provides access to The Bluebook and other citation rules as well as examples of how to use the rules.

Where is the Utah Code?

The most recent edition of the Utah Code is available on Level 1 in the open shelving near the entrance to the building. One of the annotated codes will likely be most useful. Annotated codes provide the text of the statute as well as citations to cases, secondary sources, etc. There are two versions: the Lexis Utah Code Annotated; and West’s Utah Code Annotated. The text of the law is the same. The annotations will vary by publisher. Be sure to check pocket parts (located in the back of the volume) or print pamphlet supplements to make sure you are getting the most current information.If you only have a research topic but do not have a citation to a statute, use the index. The index is located at the end of the code. If you do not know how to read the citation to find the statute, see the FAQ entry on how to read citations.

How do I find Utah Cases?

Utah cases are available in the Pacific Reporter. [Remember: not all court decisions are published – only those designated by the courts for publication appear in print reporters. Decisions not designated for publication are called unpublished decisions. You will have to contact the court to get copies of unpublished decisions.]

Does the library provide access to Utah Courts Xchange?

Yes, the library provides access to Utah Courts Xchange for docket research. If you would like to use Utah Courts Xchange please ask a librarian or member of the staff for assistance at the Information Desk on Level 1. If you have your own laptop, we can log you in to the database. If you do not have your own laptop, we can provide access to a public computer (if you have a photo ID with you), and then log you in. We do not give out the password to this database.

Caselaw Research

Public patrons have access to Nexis Uni for caselaw research. Free databases, like Google Scholar, may also be accessed on the public computers on level 1. Print digests for federal caselaw are available on Level 2. Print digests and reporters for Utah caselaw (the Pacific Digest and Pacific Reporter) are available on Level 1.

How do I read a citation?

What does this reporter abbreviation mean?

Federal Reporters

Abbreviation Title Coverage
U.S. United States Reports Official U.S. Supreme Court cases
S.Ct. Supreme Court Reporter West’s U.S. Supreme Court cases
L.E. 2d
United States Supreme Court Reports, Lawyers’ Edition Lexis’ U.S. Supreme Court cases; printed in two series (Note: the library no longer subscribes to this reporter.)
Federal Reporter West’s U.S. Court of Appeals cases; printed in three series
F. App’x Federal Appendix West’s unpublished U.S. Court of Appeals cases
Fed.Cl. Federal Claims Reporter West’s U.S. Court of Federal Claims cases
F. Supp.
F. Supp.2d
Federal Supplement West’s U.S. District Court cases; printed in two series
F.R.D. Federal Rules Decisions West’s U.S. District Court cases covering the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Criminal Rules, Evidence, and Appellate Rules.
B.R. Bankruptcy Reporter West’s Bankruptcy cases
T.C. United States Tax Court Reports Official U.S. Tax Court cases

Regional Reporters

Atlantic Reporter Regional reporter containing cases from CT, DE, D.C., ME, MD, NH, NJ, PA, RI, VT; printed in three series
North Eastern Reporter Regional reporter containing cases from IL, IN, MA, NY, OH; printed in two series
North Western Reporter Regional reporter containing cases from IA, MI, MN, NE, ND, SD, WI; printed in two series
Pacific Reporter Regional reporter containing cases from AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, KS, MT, NV, NM, OK, OR, UT, WA, WY; printed in three series
South Eastern Reporter Regional reporter containing cases from GA, NC, SC, VA, WV; printed in two series
So. 2d
Southern Reporter Regional reporter containing cases from AL, FL, LA, MS; printed in two series
S.W. 2d
S.W. 3d
South Western Reporter Regional reporter containing cases from AR, KY, MO, TN, TX; printed in three series
Cal. Rptr.
Cal. Rptr. 2d
Cal. Rptr. 3d
California Reporter State reporter covering cases from CA; printed in three series
N.Y.S. 2d
New York Supplement State reporter covering cases from NY; printed in two series

*Note: Of the regional reporters listed above, the library only subscribes to the Pacific Reporter.

Have an abbreviation you can’t decipher? Try the Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations, available here:

What briefs are available and where are they located?

Many but not all Utah Appellate and Supreme Court briefs are available online. You can access Utah briefs electronically by going to our A-Z Database list and clicking on Utah Court Briefs or by going to this link:  The Utah State Law Library and Hunter Law Library at BYU both have print collections of briefs.

What is a docket number?

In general, courts assign each newly filed action with a docket number, which often refers to the year in which the case was commenced followed by a sequential reference number, and sometimes includes letters or numbers indicating the type (civil, criminal, family court, etc.) or location of filing and/or the initials of the judge to whom the case is assigned. For example, a federal district court docket number may sometimes be given in a form such as 3:04cv04321 ABC(XYZ).

U.S. Supreme Court briefs are available in multiple places. Nexis Uni provides briefs beginning in 1979. The library has Landmark Briefs and Arguments of the Supreme Court of the United States available on Level 1 in the compact shelving. The call number is KF220 L35. The library also has microfilm and microfiche of the briefs from 1887-2007 (1887-1896 in film, and 1897-2007 in fiche). The microfiche is arranged by docket number.  Briefs from 1832-1978 are available on site through the Supreme Court Records and Briefs database.  Check the library’s A-Z database list for a link.  Briefs are also available for free online by searching for a case or checking one of these websites: since 2007)

Does the library provide access to Lexis?

The library provides access to Nexis Uni to all patrons. [Lexis Advance is available only to current students, faculty and staff of the College of Law.] Nexis Uni is available from the library homepage or from the library’s A-Z Database list.

Does the library provide access to Westlaw?

Only faculty, current students and staff of the College of Law have access to Westlaw. Nexus Uni is available to everyone for legal research and updating materials. The State Law Library provides public access to Westlaw.

Where can I find older versions of the City Code for Salt Lake City?

The City Recorder’s Office has superseded versions of the City Code. You can call them at (801) 535-7671 to find out what years they have.

Can I print at the library?

The James E. Faust Law Library no longer offers printing for the public. Printing is available for a fee at the Marriott Library or at the FedEx located at 200 University Street.

If you are working on a computer, you may email your materials or save them to a USB drive.

If you are working with print materials, we have a scanner available. You may make a free scan of the material, and then email it or save it to a USB drive.

If you need assistance with either of these options, please see someone at the information desk.

How do I pay library fines?

You may pay library fines by check or by credit card using our online payment system, UMarket. You can also access UMarket from the Library homepage (where it says ‘Pay Library Fines’). Please note that there is no way to process refunds so please verify the amount of the fine before submitting a payment. If you have questions about your fine please call (801) 581-6438 or stop by the information desk on level 1 or 2.

Can I get a law student to give me legal advice and/or do research?

  • Legal adviceLaw students are not licensed attorneys and cannot provide legal advice.  Some law students staff Free Brief Advice Legal Clinics, which provide brief one-on-one instruction and assistance to low-income Utahns who cannot afford legal representation. The Free Brief Advice Legal Clinics are open to any low-income Utahn on a first-come first-served basis.  All Free Brief Advice Legal Clinics are staffed by volunteer law students and volunteer on-site supervising attorneys.  You can find a list of our clinics here.
  • Research:  S.J. Quinney College of Law policy prohibits students from performing legal research for the general public. Students can only provide research services under the supervision of an attorney. The Career Development Office provides assistance to attorneys looking for law students to do research for them.