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Policy & Benefits of the Paid Special Access Card

The University of San Francisco is a private, Jesuit institution, and the Dorraine Zief Law Library is a private research library for the University of San Francisco community. As a private institution, the Zief Law Library formerly offered free access to California Bar members as well as law students of ABA-accredited institutions.

Due to the changing legal environment, we have reconsidered our Access Policies.  We will be offering a paid Special Access Card to non-alumni licensed attorneys in good standing with any state Bar in the United States.  We will also offer a paid Special Access Card to non-alumni studying for the Bar who hold an ABA-accredited law school ID card.

This new program begins June 1, 2014.  Applications will be available in May 2014.

Licensed Attorney / $400 per year:  Non-alumni licensed attorneys in good standing with any state Bar in the United States, (including active or inactive members of the California Bar) may purchase a Special Access Card. We will need your firm name (if applicable), your Bar Number, and a valid government ID.

Bar Study for Non-Alumni / $50 per exam:  Law graduates with an ABA-accredited law school ID card, the expected date of the Bar Exam, and a valid government ID may purchase a Special Access Card.  This card is valid for approximately two months, depending on date of purchase.  This does not apply to current law students with a valid ABA-accredited law school ID card.

Why are we going to charge fees to attorneys ($400 per year) & non-alumni bar studiers ($50 per exam)?

  • It is extremely costly to deliver the wealth of legal research resources available at the law library.  We simply must recoup some of our costs.
  • We have offered a wonderful, safe facility (use of computers, copiers/printers, power, restrooms, lights, maintenance, staffing, etc.) with wireless Internet access, WestlawNext Bar Patron Access (that costs us well over $10,000 a year), and use of the entire law library collection (digital and print) at no charge.  Unfortunately, we cannot offer these privileges for free any longer. 
  • As the legal industry continues to bounce back in a difficult economy, law firms,  judges and academics know many changes must be made to stay on track and up-to-date in our rapidly changing world.
  • Many other Bay Area law schools charge for access to their law libraries.
  • Many of our patrons are working attorneys who bill their clients.  This is a business expense. 

What if I don't want to pay any fees?
We are happy to share a list of free Bay Area law, government document, and specialized libraries with you at the circulation desk. 

I am a USF Law Graduate.  Do I have to pay a fee?
No. USF Law Alumni are exempt from this fee!  Alumni will have to sign in on the iPad at the circulation desk.

I am a current USF undergraduate.  Do I have to pay a fee?
No. You are part of the USF community!  You are welcome to study at the law library, except during   our law school exam periods.

I am a current law student at an ABA-accredited institution.  Do I have to pay a fee?
No. You may study here until you graduate, except during our law school exam periods. If you want to study here for the bar, after graduation, you will be require to pay a fee.  You must sign in on the iPad.

What privileges do I get if I join?

  • On-site access to the Zief Law Library collection.  No circulation / borrowing privileges.
  • Wireless Internet access, including access from any  of our public computers or your own laptop. 
  • On-site access to some proprietary databases to which the library subscribes.  Due to vendor-imposed licensing agreements and limitations, off-campus access is prohibited.  (Please note that some digital resources, such as Lexis, are  not available on-site to attorney patrons.)
  • WestlawNext Bar Patron Access (per vendor  licensing agreement).
  • Use of library desks, carrel space and facilities. No Access to Group Study Rooms or Classrooms.
  • Scanning is available for free by using a USB drive.  Printing is available by putting money on a USF copy/print card.
  • Research strategy consultations with Research Librarians, subject to our Legal Research  Service Policies at: usfca.edu/law/library/policies/reference/.

Can I borrow material?
No. Borrowing privileges are not included.  All material must be used in the law library.

How do I get a Special Access Card?

  • Visitors should apply in person at the Circulation Desk at the Zief Law Library. Registration procedures must be completed and all applicable fees must be paid.  The library will only grant two days of access as a courtesy until an ID card is obtained from USF's OneCard Office on Lone Mountain, Room 130. 
  • We have a walking & driving map available for your convenience.
  • Replacement cards are $15 if lost or stolen.

Do I have to go to Lone Mountain to pick up my card?

  • Yes. Bring a valid Government ID with you to USF's OneCard Office after applying in person at Zief Law Library.
  • You must obtain your Special Access Card at USF's OneCard Office located on Lone Mountain Main Campus, Room 130, on Turk Blvd. between Parker and Masonic, Tel: 415-422-7663, onecard@usfca.edu.  Office hours are: Mon-Fri: 9am-5pm, Sat-Sun: Closed.   

Can I lend my card to someone else?
No. The Zief Law Library Special Access card is intended for use solely by the person whose name appears on the card.

How long is the card valid for?

  • The Special Access Card is valid through the expiration date on the card. 
  • Special Access Cards are the property of USF and must be returned to the library after expiration.

How do I renew my card?

Applicable fees must be paid in full at the time of a renewal request.  Cards are renewed at the discretion of the library.

Whom do I contact for further information?
If you need further assistance, please call 415-422-6679 or ask at the Circulation Desk.

Can I lose my Special Access Privilege?
Yes.  The Library reserves the right to refuse or revoke  access privileges for individuals in any category.

  • A Special Access Card is non-transferable and non-refundable. 
  • All Zief Law Library rules, regulations and policies must be followed.  They are available at: usfca.edu/law/library/policies.  

Please see the Circulation Desk for an APPLICATION FOR A SPECIAL ACCESS CARD
(Applications will be available in May 2014)

Access for persons above does not include circulation privileges; all materials must be used in the library.

The Zief Law Library does not provide access to anyone who is not in the above categories (such as students from non-USF undergraduate or graduate programs, paralegal programs, or law schools not accredited by the ABA).

Zief Access Policies, including this Special Access Card policy, are intended to help ensure the safety of our patrons and the security of the building and its contents. Zief Law Library reserves the right to decline or revoke access privileges, including removing any individual who causes disruption or poses a threat to library staff, other patrons, or the security of the library's collections.