Reference Services

The Thurgood Marshall State Law Library prides itself on providing comprehensive legal research assistance. We are committed to the highest level of customer service and are available to answer questions in person, via phone, and by e-mail. Librarians assist both novice and sophisticated researchers in finding, using, and evaluating various legal resources. 


The Library serves a diverse clientele that includes judges, clerks, attorneys, state employees, self-represented litigants, librarians, historians, and students. To support your legal research needs, we provide the following services. 

Library patrons needing assistance with special needs may wish to review the Maryland Judiciary's Assistance with Special Needs webpage for information on requesting accommodation. Library patrons may wish to review the Library's Guidelines for Legal Information Service to the Public.


As one of the largest public law libraries in the State, the Library offers unique resources for our diverse clientele, which includes judges, clerks, attorneys, state employees, self-represented litigants, librarians, historians, and students. Our collections include the following resources:

  • Maryland case law, statutes and regulations
  • Superseded volumes of the Maryland Annotated Code and Rules
  • Current and superseded Maryland municipal codes
  • Briefs and unpublished opinions from the Appellate Court of Maryland (Formerly Court of Special Appeals)
  • General Assembly legislative bill files
  • Secondary source materials, including treatises, Restatements, formbooks, historic Maryland legal treatises, Nutshells, and law reviews and journals
  • Major law encyclopedias, including The Maryland Law Encyclopedia, Corpus Juris Secundum, and American Jurisprudence
  • State documents, including task force reports, state agency publications, and Judiciary publications
  • Genealogy materials, such as family genealogies, cemetery records, and court records compilations
  • Access via microfilm and online databases to historical newspapers
  • Resources for self-represented litigants, including materials from Nolo Press and The National Consumer Law Center
  • Continuing legal education (CLE) handbooks (Maryland and general)
  • In-person access to legal databases, such as Westlaw and HeinOnline


Reference staff possess over a century of research experience, gained in diverse settings, including university, public, and law firm libraries. Many staff members hold graduate degrees in library science; five have law degrees. While Library users frequently bring novel research questions to the Reference Desk, staff members are skilled at locating unique resources in the Library's sizeable collections.

Contact Us

Library staff is pleased to assist researchers in person, by phone, or via e-mail.