Student Handbook

The Lucille Stewart Beeson Law Library supports the curriculum and research needs of the Cumberland Law School faculty and students.  It holds over 200,000 volumes including reporters, periodicals, loose-leaf materials, and treatises.  The library’s microfiche collection contains congressional reports, the Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, Records and Briefs of the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Code 1924-2006, state attorneys general opinions, state session laws, and superseded state codes.

Law Library Telephone: 726-2714
Office Hours:
(Monday – Friday)
8:00 A.M. to 12:00 Noon
1:00 P.M. to 4:30 P.M.

Law Library Hours

When Cumberland School of Law is in session the hours are:

Monday-Thursday 7:00 A.M. to Midnight
Friday 7:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M.
Saturday 9:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M.
Sunday 1:00 P.M. to Midnight

The hours are subject to change, depending on the availability of personnel.  Changes will be posted in advance with as much notice as possible.

During examination periods, the Law Library will be available to Cumberland students at 7:00 a.m. Monday to Friday.

Between semesters the Law Library is open 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday.

Summer hours and special hours for holidays will be posted in advance.

Access Policy

In an effort to provide for personal safety and the security of the books, equipment, and furnishings, and to preserve study space and other limited resources of our library, access to the library reading rooms is controlled.

Access to the Law Library building is limited to Cumberland/Samford University faculty, students, and staff with a current university identification card, Cumberland alumni, attorneys and members of their support staff, and others who have a legitimate academic purpose for using the legal collection.

To balance these goals with consideration of the convenience of the members of the Cumberland community, the desk attendant does not routinely ask Cumberland students, faculty, and staff to show a Samford ID card to enter the library. However, because the desk attendant may not recognize every member of the Cumberland community, you may need to show your Samford ID upon request. Everyone other than current Cumberland faculty, students, and staff must register at the Circulation Desk to gain access.

Security is of primary concern.  Your card is a key to the reading rooms and you should treat it accordingly. Do not lend it to anyone.

We appreciate your cooperation with the policies and procedures.  They are necessary and appropriate to providing a safe environment, and one which protects the significant investment that we have in the Library.

Online Catalog

There are seven public computers within the Law Library which can be used for searching the library holdings of the Law Library and Davis Library (Samford’s Main Library).  This catalog may also be accessed from the Internet at:

Circulation Desk

The most recent legal videotapes, course reserves (including professors’ class material) and reserve books (hornbooks, nutshells and other student aids) are kept at the Circulation Desk.  ALL MATERIALS CHECKED OUT FROM THE CIRCULATION DESK MUST BE RETURNED TO THE CIRCULATION DESK.  All such materials left in the reading areas of the library will be checked in at the time found by the library staff.  Patrons are responsible for any resulting fines between the time the item is due and checked in.

Current Newspapers

The Reading Lounge (Room 250) contains various regional newspapers as well as a selection of general interest magazines.  Please read these materials within the room and leave them there for the next person.

Online newspapers are also available here.

Periodical Collection

Periodicals are shelved in open stacks on the Lower Level in alphabetical order by journal title.  The titles of journals can be searched on the online public catalog.  The record will indicate if the journal is available online and/or how many volumes we have in print.

Periodical Indexes

Print periodical indexes are shelved on the west wall of the Lower Level.  LegalTrac, Index to Legal Periodicals, and Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals, all computerized legal indices, are available from any computer connected to the Internet.  Please see a Reference Librarian if you need assistance with these resources.  Click here for a list of index databases.

Reference Section

The Reference Section is located on the First Floor, in the front, right shelving (shelves 166-168).  The purpose of this section is to give convenient access to materials commonly used for reference purposes.  These books cannot be checked out by students and they should be used in the general area.

Interlibrary Loan

It is not possible for any one library to contain all materials that a researcher may need.  See a Reference Librarian to request books or articles on interlibrary loan which the library does not hold and are needed for course work.

When requesting a journal through interlibrary loan, please provide a Reference Librarian with the journal’s name, volume, number, article title and author’s name.  Also, provide the location of the citation (i.e., page and volume number of Index to Legal Periodicals).  When requesting treatises, the full title, edition and author are needed as well as the location of where you found the information about the book requested.  Notification of arrival of requested interlibrary loans will be sent to your Samford email address.

Searches for Missing Materials

If you find that materials are missing from the library shelves, you may request a search at the Circulation Desk by filling out a Missing Item Form.  Please fill out the form completely as all information is necessary for an effective search of the needed item.

Circulation of Library Materials

To check out 7-day or reserve materials from the library, you must present your Samford I.D. card for checkout.  These materials which Cumberland students may check out are in two categories:

Treatises (7-day check-out):
A Cumberland student may check out a treatise for one week, and renew it if there is no other demand for it. These books must be returned to the Circulation Desk.

Reserve Books (3-hour check-out):
A Cumberland student may check out a reserve book and other reserve materials for three hours, and renew it if there is no other demand for it.   These materials are to be used within the Law Library and must be returned to the Circulation Desk.

Overnight Checkout:
Cumberland students may check out reserve books overnight within three hours of closing (Monday – Friday and Sunday after 9:00 p.m. and Saturday after 7:00 p.m.) for use outside the Law Library.  The books are due back the next morning within one hour after opening (Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m., Saturday 10:00 a.m., and Sunday 2:00 p.m.).  Reminder:  The fine for an overdue reserve book is $1.00 per hour.  Special reserve materials, reserve folders, and newspapers do not go out overnight.

Fines and Penalties

It is the student’s responsibility to observe due date obligations and return all borrowed library materials to the Circulation Desk on time.  The prompt return of the materials is crucial to provide for the needs of the entire student population.

When library materials become overdue, the Circulation Department will send a notice to your Samford email address. No further reminder will be attempted.

The Law Library will impose a fine for overdue books and other materials.  Fines are $1.00 per day per book for each day the Library is open for 7-day books, and $1.00 per hour for 3-hour materials.  For an item damaged or lost, the library will charge a $10.00 replacement fee, plus the cost of the book, in addition to any outstanding fines on that book.  Fines continue to accrue until the book is returned or reported lost by the student.  There is no “maximum fine”.

You are responsible for all the library materials you check out.  You are cautioned not to “loan” books, your I.D. card, and other materials to fellow students, attorneys, or anyone else. You should report the loss of your card to a Reference Librarian as soon as possible.

Extended Loan Period – Extended loan periods for reserve books and treatises may be granted to Cumberland students.  Please ask  a Reference Librarian or one of the other librarians for an extension if you have a special need for a longer loan period.

Noncirculating Materials

Examples of materials which may not be checked out are periodicals, encyclopedias, reporters, digests, codes, citators, and microfiche.


All reporters, digests, codes, encyclopedias, administrative rules and regulations, citators, indexes, and law reviews must be returned to their proper shelf location after use.  Do not, however, shelve treatises. Leave them on nearby tables.  Be sure to return reserve books and materials to the Circulation Desk.

“Local Use” Materials

Index materials, Shepard’s, and digests must be used in the area where they are shelved.  Do not take them to carrels.


There is a photocopy room to the right of the elevator (east end) on the First Floor.  The charge is 10¢ per copy.  You may bring any books in the Law Library to the photocopiers provided that you return them to the proper shelf after copying.  The photocopy machines are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Please extend professional courtesy to other patrons.

None of the copiers take cash; they all take a Samford I.D. card programmed with money.

Should any of the machines break down or need supplies, notify the Circulation Desk Attendant.

Programming of Samford I.D.s for Photocopying

Students may program their Samford I.D. cards with money (bills only, no coins) at the Law Library Card Value Center station in the First Floor photocopy room. Other stations are located under the grand staircase of Davis Library and beside the AmSouth ATM machine in Beeson Student Center. Another option is to use your Mastercard, VISA or DISCOVER card to add funds to your I.D at the bookstore of the Beeson Student Center. A programmed card is the only means of using the photocopiers in the Law Library or Samford’s Davis Library. It can also be used to pay for purchases at the bookstore, the Food Court and the cafeteria at Beeson Student Center.

Microfiche Readers and Readers/Printers

A microfiche reader/scanner is available in room 031B of the Lower Level during Law Library office hours (if unattended, please go to the Circulation Desk).  The reader will print copies.  For assistance, please see a Reference Librarian.

Lexis and Westlaw

Because of contract restrictions, LEXIS and WESTLAW are available only to faculty and currently enrolled and trained Cumberland law students for research related to the school’s educational function.  Use for other purposes is strictly prohibited.

Training sessions will be announced on the Law Library bulletin boards.


Individual study carrels and study tables are available on a first-come, first-served basis.  Carrels may not be reserved.  Unattended personal effects left in carrels or on reading tables are subject to removal to Lost and Found at the Circulation Desk.

Conference Rooms

Conference rooms may only be used by Cumberland students, faculty, and staff.  Eleven conference rooms are available for the use of Cumberland students for group discussions.  Generally, conference rooms are available for use on a first-come, first-served basis for study groups, subject to prior room reservations which are made only for law school functions such as committee meetings or special classes and not for study groups.

In order to obtain access to a conference room, students and faculty must check out a room key from the Law Library Circulation Desk.  A valid Samford I.D. card is required to check out a key. Room key checkout is made on a first-come, first-served basis for a current time period (key checkout for future time periods is not permitted).

Room keys will be checked out for three hours at a time, with renewals permitted if there have been no requests for “holds” on a room.  When a key checkout period has ended, the key borrower is responsible for seeing that all materials are removed from the room, for relocking the door, and returning the key to the Circulation Desk.  If these obligations are not met, room use privileges will be suspended for one week.  Late return of keys will be treated in the same manner as late reserve treatises:  $1.00 for each hour that the key is late.  If a key is reported lost, the patron will be charged $40.00 for replacement costs as well as any overdue charges that have accrued up to the time that the patron reports the key missing.  If the key is reported missing and later found within the day, 75% of the replacement charge will be refunded.   If the key is returned the following day or thereafter, 40% of the replacement charge will be refunded.  Overdue fines are not refundable.

If all room keys are checked out when you request a room, you may choose to put your name on a “hold” list, which allows you to check out the key to the next available conference room when your name comes up on the list. When you place a hold on a room, give the Desk Attendant a study carrel address which is close to the Circulation Desk. The Desk Attendant will notify you when a room becomes available.  If you do not pick up the key within 15 minutes of availability, the next student on the hold list will be given priority and your name will be dropped from the list.

It is not possible to put a “hold” on a particular conference room. When a room becomes available, you have the option of taking the room or your name will be dropped from the list.

The student checking out the room key is solely responsible for its security and timely return.  That student is also solely responsible for fines and replacement costs incurred.

Food, Beverages, and Tobacco Products

Food and beverages are allowed in the Law Library subject to the following restrictions:
• Drinks are permitted in the Law Library building, which include reading rooms, conference rooms, and computer labs, provided they are in covered, spill-resistant containers (examples: travel mugs with lids, plastic bottles with screw tops) or in cans with a tabbed opening.
• Sandwiches, fruit and wrapped items, such as those dispensed in vending machines, are permitted. No “messy” foods are allowed. “Messy” foods include, but are not limited to, items such as pizza, spaghetti, ribs, chicken wings and ice cream. Meals are not allowed.
• The delivery of beverages and food to the library by outside vendors is prohibited, except for catered events that have been approved by the law library administration.
• Please remember to discard any refuse and to clean up after yourself.
• Please report spills immediately to law library staff so the spills can be cleaned up. Anyone responsible for damaging computers, printers, or similar equipment is liable for repair or replacement costs.

Tobacco products are prohibited in the Law Library building.

Law Library Computer Labs

Two computer labs are available on the Second Floor of the Law Library (Rooms 226 and 228).  Each computer offers software for word processing, e-mail, Internet access, LEXIS, WESTLAW, and other applications.  Law Library labs are open only to currently enrolled Cumberland law students and faculty.  To ensure security, law students are required to use their I.D.s and passwords to log in and out of the network each time they use a Law Library computer.

If you have lost or have never obtained a password for network/e-mail, you will need to go to Computer Services, Brooks Hall, Room 329 (phone 726-2662).  This building is across the lawn, directly south of the Law Library.

Laptops and Wireless

Laptops are available to Cumberland students for checkout.  Please see the Information Technology Librarian for more information.  Wireless is available for law students throughout the Law Library. Ethernet ports are available in carrels and conference rooms.

Printing from Computer Labs

Due to network changes, the Print Account Policy will not be re-implemented until further notice. Students will be notified when charges for printing go into effect.


Due to the possible disturbances involved, cellular telephone use is not permitted in the library reading areas. They may be used in the passageway between the Law Library and the Law School.


The library cannot accept calls for patrons working in the library.

Lost and Found/Unattended Property

Articles found in the library will be held at the Circulation Desk for an indefinite period.  Later, all articles are sent to the SBA office Lost and Found.

The library can assume no responsibility for personal property or articles left in the library.  This includes computers, study notes, books, and circulating treatises which are checked out.

Library Employment

The Law Library employs several second and third year Law Student Library Assistants each semester. Students agree to work during final examination periods although adjustments are made for testing days.  Those students interested in applying should contact the Secretary to the Law Librarian in Room 150A for an application form.


All persons must leave the library and computer labs by closing time.  Regardless of circumstances, students must sign off the computer terminals before closing time.  Additional time for printing will not be allowed.  A student’s refusal to leave may result in disciplinary action being taken.

Library Publications

The Law Library publishes an online newsletter, Check it Out, to faculty and interested students six times a year.  This newsletter contains official announcements of the Law Library as well as articles covering legal research and bibliography.

A Guide to Study Aids is distributed to first year law students and additional copies are available at the Circulation Desk.  The Guide is also available online.  This bibliography is divided by Subject and can aid in locating treatises needed for a particular class.

To see these publications, click here.
Printed copies of these  publications can be found in the kiosk between the Law Library and the Law School.

Inclement Weather

In the event of severe weather due to snow and ice, the Law Library will attempt to be open during the regular hours.  However, it may not be possible for staff members to get to the library building.  In the event that bad weather conditions develop during a day or evening, the Law Library will close early.  The time of closing will be determined by weather forecasts and road conditions.  Closing notices will be announced and posted with as much forewarning as is possible.

Utility Problems

Power outages, water interruptions, and other utility problems can require the closing of the Law Library.

Law Library Staff

Click here for a list of the Law Library Staff.

Beeson Law Library Collection

Click here for maps of the Law Library.

Lower Level:

  • Formal Conference Room (Rm.026)
  • Looseleaf Material
  • Microform (Rm.031B)
  • Newsletters
  • Periodicals A-Z
  • Special Subject Reporters
  • Tax Material

First Floor:

  • Alabama Section
  • Circulation/Reserve
  • Digests
  • Federal Material
  • Practice Material
  • Pre-Reporters State Reports
  • Reference Material
  • Regional Reporters
  • State, Territorial Codes
  • State Session Laws

Second Floor:

  • Computer Labs
  • Friendship Room
  • Reading Lounge
  • Treatises

Third Floor:

  • Administrative Material
  • Attorneys Room
  • Cordell Hull International Law Collection
  • Foreign Material