Special Access Card

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. As a private institution, Zief Law Library offers paid access for California Bar members, and recent law graduates of ABA-accredited institutions who are studying for the bar. USF Law alumni may purchase an optional access card for a one-time fee of $20

Applications are available at the circulation desk.

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. The card is valid for one year from date on application.

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.

USF LAW ALUMNI - $20 optional fee:  The law library does not charge an annual access fee to USF Law graduates.  However, USF Law alumni may purchase an optional access card for a one-time fee of $20, which gives alumni door and security gate access with no need to sign in for every library visit.  This card cannot be used for printing or copying.

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, unless you opt for our optional access card which allows door and security gate access with no need to sign in for every library visit.

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 wish to use our library to study for the bar exam after you graduate from law school, you must pay a fee and 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

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.  One of the full-time circulation desk employees will need to be present.  We regret we cannot process information if there are only student workers on the Circulation Desk.
  • Registration procedures must be completed and all applicable fees must be paid by credit card.
  • We will take your picture for your new USF ID with our webcam.
  • The library will grant access until your USF ID card is available at Zief from USF's OneCard Office.

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

No, you will be able to pick up your USF ID card at the Circulation Desk approximately one week after applying.    

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.