Legal Reference Services for the Public

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The reference staff at the Harris County Law Library is always happy to help you find the resources you need to answer your legal research questions. Whether you are a legal professional or a self-represented litigant, we strive to provide the most appropriate and thorough information to meet your legal needs.

Our print materials, especially the titles shelved at the Reference Desk, are heavily used on a daily basis. O'Connor's annotated codes and the O'Connor's legal form books are requested most frequently, along with the State Bar of Texas Practice Manuals for Family, Probate, Real Estate, and Guardianship matters.

The do-it-yourself legal website, TexasLawHelp.org, is another indispensable tool. It provides library patrons with the information they need to file for divorce, arrange for child custody, request name changes, apply for occupational licenses, and expunge criminal records. It also provides a wealth of information about common legal matters including court structure, basic civil procedure, and what to expect when going before a judge in a court of law. 

The Harris County Law Library is a self-service, public law library committed to providing open and equal access to justice for all. We aim to offer the best service possible for every individual who walks through our doors. We partner with the Houston Volunteer Lawyers to offer you the legal advice that we as librarians are not permitted to provide. As a constant reminder to ourselves and to those we serve, we post signs clearly displayed throughout the library, informing patrons of our dedication to providing legal information but not legal advice. We can point you to resources that we know to be reliable, accurate, and authoritative, but we cannot interpret legal forms, statutes, or cases. We must remain neutral and impartial, providing legal definitions and procedural explanations that facilitate access to and understanding of the legal system without providing advice, research, opinions, legal counsel, or subjective evaluations.

As providers of legal reference -- not legal research -- we must remain objective and unbiased. Law librarians are passionate about facilitating access to legal information and empowering library patrons to educate themselves about the law. Ensuring that all library patrons -- especially pro se litigants -- have the tools they need to successfully navigate the complex legal machinery of our justice system and gain access to the legal process is our goal.

To answer any questions about the kind of service we can provide, please refer to this helpful quick reference guide. We're happy to clarify any of the points covered. We look forward to serving all your legal reference needs.