On behalf of the entire law library staff, I extend a warm welcome to Mercer Law School and the Furman Smith Law Library. Our law library staff is its greatest strength, best expressed recently by a student: “One of the things that has consistently impressed me about Mercer is the quality and accessibility of the library staff!”

In the first semester of law school, our students learn about and use the research tools of the practicing lawyer in the Introduction to Legal Research course. Because research skills are so important for the successful practice of law, the Introduction to Legal Research course is a required, graded, full-credit course. The full-course treatment of basic legal research at Mercer Law School gives students a comprehensive introduction to print and electronic legal information sources, including LexisNexis, Westlaw and other web-based sources, free and fee-based. To ensure that our students receive thorough, expert instruction, the Introduction to Legal Research course is taught by experienced and knowledgeable law librarians who have law degrees and master's degrees in library and information science.

A Mercer law student’s instruction in legal research does not end after the first year. To further develop a lawyer’s ability to critically select and use a wide range of legal information sources, many students take the popular elective, Advanced Legal Research. Mercer law librarians also teach specialized legal research as part of doctrinal courses such as labor, securities, domestic relations and tax law. It is impossible to take a course on every legal subject, but it is possible to learn how to find the law on any topic, and to do so efficiently.

In addition to teaching, our highly qualified law librarians provide expert reference service and work closely with the law faculty through our faculty liaison program. Librarians are available to assist students and faculty with legal research, locating in-house materials, interlibrary loan, or Internet resources. Our experienced and helpful staff provides a full complement of library services.

We are committed to providing you with a comprehensive collection of essential resources. Students, faculty and attorneys have access to a rich and varied collection of print and electronic resources, both legal and nonlegal. Our collection includes more than 350,000 volumes and volume equivalents and an ever-growing number of electronic resources. The law library is a selective government depository, collecting law-related materials that are available to the public. Special funding from the Southeastern Bankruptcy Law Institute has helped create an extensive collection of materials on bankruptcy and commercial law. All of our resources are accessible from the law library’s Web pages and are easy to find by using our online catalog, LawCat. We invite you to explore the law library’s Web site, with its extensive collection of annotated links to Georgia and federal legal research materials.

The law library welcomes students with comfortable research and study areas for quiet study or for collaborative work. The law library and technology lounge have seating for more than 400 students, including carrels, tables, soft seating, and “smart” study rooms, all in a wireless environment. The library occupies a central location on the second and third floors of the law school. Large windows provide natural lighting as well as views of historic Coleman Hill and Macon. You may visit our Web site or come by in person to learn more about our services and resources. Please let me know how we can better serve you.

Suzanne L. Cassidy
Director of the Law Library and
Professor of Law