Free Legal Research Available to CABA Members

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Posted September 16, 2015

While every member of CABA and the Mississippi Bar has access to Casemaker, for those who want to do more detailed research, CABA has what you need! Every lawyer in the tri-county area has free access to both Lexis and Westlaw — paid for by Hinds County filing fees designated to support the county law library.

Hinds County has been more creative than most in the use of its county law library funds. The money comes from the public and the benefits should be available to both the public and the bar. To that end, satellite law libraries have been established in multiple locations.

All three county courthouses (Circuit, Chancery, and Raymond) have basic legal materials — Mississippi Reports, Mississippi Code, Encyclopedia of Mississippi Law, and other books. In addition, both the Circuit and Chancery Courthouses in Jackson have computer workstations that can be used by attorneys to create and print documents or to access Lexis.

The State Library is mainly funded through the Mississippi Supreme Court; but the equivalent of its Westlaw subscription and other materials are paid for through county filing fees and are available to all library users at no cost other than for photocopying and printing. As an added benefit, CABA members are not charged for photocopies or printing. The Library’s law collection is extensive and it is a major resource in the state for legal materials.

The courthouses and the State Library are only open from 8:00 to 5:00 Monday to Friday. However, the Eudora Welty Library on State Street has many more hours of availability. In addition to staying open from 9:00 to 9:00 Monday through Thursday (6:00 on Friday), it is also open on Saturday (9:00 to 5:00) and Sunday (1:00 to 5:00). Hinds County filing fees pay for the basic legal materials housed there in hard copy and for free access to Lexis through designated library computers. There is a charge for printing.

Mississippi College School of Law Library is not supported by the county library fund, but is another great legal research resource available to our members. The Law Library maintains a room on its main level for use by attorneys and judges. The room is furnished with several large tables and contains a collection of Mississippi materials. The Law Library is open from 7:30 to midnight Monday through Thursday (9:00 on Friday). It is also open on Saturday (9:00 to 9:00) and Sunday (noon to midnight).

Ben Piazza chairs CABA’s Hinds County Law Library Committee, which meets with representatives of all the satellite libraries, reviews issues relating to law library service, and makes recommendations to the CABA Board. In turn, the CABA Board makes recommendations to the Hinds County Board of Supervisors. If you have suggestions about Hinds County Law Library services, please send them to Ben at bjpiazza@schoolaw.com. A brochure describing law library hours, services, and availability is also available on the CABA website.

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