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Library Construction Creates New Space for Students and Faculty

September 17, 2012

Substantial construction at the library this summer created additional study rooms and offices for faculty, programs, and clinics.

Dorraine Zief Law Library

“The construction in the Dorraine Zief Law Library is an exciting and important moment for the law school,” Dean Jeffrey Brand said. “In a dramatically changed legal educational environment, students need more than ever the best in skills training and practical experience to ensure that they can effectively engage a difficult job market. The renovations are being done with that goal in mind.”

Under the supervision of Senior Director of Administration Blake Grenier, the first phase of library construction has been completed. The Academic Support Program (ASP) has moved from Kendrick Hall to a larger space in the lower level of the library that includes an ASP study room and a tutoring room. Additional study rooms have been added beside the ASP offices. The lower level also now features new offices for the legal writing faculty. Their old offices are being converted into study space for students.

Six study rooms outfitted with new technology are available for immediate use. They vary in size to accommodate different group sizes and student needs. One study room is configured with assistive technology, and two rooms are equipped with technology for collaborative study or projects. An additional three study rooms will be available in October, and a total of nine rooms will be available on the lower level of the library upon completion of construction.

“We hope that these changes make better use of the space in the library for our students,” Grenier said.

A large space conducive to collaborative work has been designated in the northeast section of the lower level of the library for the Moot Court Program, which combines the First Year Moot Court Program and the former Advocacy Programs. In addition, a seminar room previously located in the lower level of the library has been moved and enlarged to provide a more comfortable classroom, and a smaller seminar room outfitted with collaborative technology has been created.

On the first floor of the library expanded seating options have been provided to create a study commons space for students. The new space will add nearly 50 seats on the main level of the library once complete. Also on the main floor, two additional research librarian offices have been built adjacent to the research desk to make all research librarians visible and accessible to students.

The second phase of construction will begin next summer.

“This past summer saw the completion of phase one: Beautiful new spaces for advocacy training, academic support, legal research and writing, seminar rooms, and group study rooms on the lower level along with new airy, comfortable ‘learning commons’ on the main floor,” Brand said. “Next summer we will complete phase two, which will expand our clinics and provide yet more seminar and group study rooms for students. All of these changes are being made without compromising the beauty and integrity of one of the great law libraries in the United States. It’s an exciting time for the law school in this, our centennial year.”

Information on the construction is available at legalresearch.usfca.edu/renovations. For questions, contact Director of the Law Library Ronald Wheeler at (415) 422-2251 or rewheeler@usfca.edu.