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. 

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 the date on your application.

Bar Study for Non-Alumni / $50 per exam:  Law graduates from other ABA-accredited schools may study for the bar exam at Zief Law Library if they purchase a $50 bar study card. Law graduates will need to show a law school ID card and a valid government ID in order to purchase this card.  The 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.

What if I don't want to pay any fees?

We are happy to share a list of public Bay Area law libraries with you. 

I am a USF Law graduate. Do I have to pay a fee?

No. USF Law alumni have free lifetime access to Zief Law Library. You will need to sign in at the circulation desk when you arrive at the library.

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 the law school's reading and final exam periods.

I am a current law student at an ABA-accredited law school. Do I have to pay a fee?

  • No. You may study here until you graduate, except during USF Law's reading and final exam periods.
  •  If you wish to use our library to study for the bar exam after you graduate from law school, you must pay the bar study fee described above.

What privileges do I get if I join?

  • On-site access to the print 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 databases to which the library subscribes. Due to vendor-imposed licensing restrictions, off-campus access is prohibited.  Please note that some digital resources, such as Lexis, are not available to Special Access Card holders.
  • Westlaw Bar Patron Access (per vendor  licensing agreement).
  • Use of library desks, carrel space and facilities. Group study rooms and classrooms are not available for use by Special Access Card holders.
  • The law library has a free book-edge scanner, which Special Access Card holders may use. You can email scanned materials to yourself or save PDFs to a USB drive.
  • 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 law library's circulation desk.  One of the full-time circulation desk employees will need to be present.  We regret we cannot process applications 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.
  • Please submit a photo by email for your ID.
  • The library will grant access until your USF ID card is available at the law library from USF's One Card 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 to speak with a full-time staff member 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.