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Secondary Sources

Secondary sources criticize, describe, discuss, and summarize the law found in primary law sources. (Primary law includes constitutions, laws, judicial opinions, and regulations.)

Library Call Numbers

Books in the law library are arranged ("classified") by call number, using the Library of Congress classification system. Within law, the system assigns call numbers by jurisdiction and subject.  For example:

K = law

KD = British law

KE = Canadian law

KF = United States law

. . .

KF501-553 = Domestic Relations, Family Law

KF560-720 = Property

KF726-780 = Trusts, Estate Planning, Wills

KF749.P74 2015 = Price on Contemporary Estate Planning (2015 ed.)

. . .

KFA = Law of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas

. . .

KFW = Law of Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming

KFW1-599 = Law of Washington

KFW140.A75 W37 2005 = Washington Estate Planning Deskbook

. . .

KNX = Japanese law

. . .

KZ  = International law

Library Locations

  • Reference Areaphoto of Reference Area
    • Near library's main entrance.
    • Current editions of study aids, treatises, many practice materials, and so on.
    • Some primary materials (e.g., federal and Washington State statutes and regulations; U.S. Supreme Court cases).
    • Limited circulation. Law students and other UW grad students: 4 hours. UW faculty: 2 weeks. Others: library use only.

      Reference Office
  • Reference Office
    • Small office inside the Reference Area.
    • Limited collection of books.




  • Classified StacksClassified Stacks on L1
    • Most of floor L1, part of floor L2.
    • Hundreds of thousands of books.
    • Wide variety of materials, including older editions of works in the Reference Area.
    • Loan period:
      • undergraduates and members of the public: 4 weeks.
      • UW grad students (including law students, faculty, staff): 12 weeks.
    • TIP: If you find a study aid you like in the Reference Area, check the same call number (except the year) in the Classified Stacks for an older edition you can check out.

  • Compact Stacksphoto of Compact Stacks
    • Floor L2, north side.
    • Law reviews (in alphabetical order)
    • Old Congressional Record and Federal Register.
    • Superseded statutes (federal and states other than Washington).
    • State reporters (generally pre-1880).
  • Reporters Area
    • Floor L2, south side and west end.
    • Federal and regional reporters.


  • Good Reads
    • Floor L1, wooden shelves west of the lightwell
    • Our collection of biography, current events, fiction, history, humor, and illustrated works