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The Law Library provides reference services in person and via email, phone, and chat. However, the law librarians are not permitted to give legal advice. In addition, many questions require detailed research in the library and are not within the scope of this service.

  • Ask a Law Librarian : This service provides reference help via email. It is checked each morning, Monday through Friday, excluding weekends, holidays, and vacation periods. You may expect a reply to your question within 1 business day.
  • Phone Reference: You can get quicker service by calling the reference desk at 919-962-1194.
  • Chat Reference: You can chat with a librarian during library reference hours by clicking on the chat icon on any library webpage. You can also send an instant message to the Library at lawchat4U using AIM, MSN or Yahoo! messenger services.

Other UNC Email Reference Services

SMS/Text a Law Librarian

The Law Library offers reference services via SMS during normal reference hours at 919-885-1000. Patrons at the Reference Desk have priority, so there may be a brief delay.

IM a Reference Librarian at the Kathrine R. Everett Law Library


Frequently Asked Questions

Who can use this service?
This service is open to all UNC students and staff.

What kind of questions can I ask?
This service is intended to assist you with brief research questions and other questions you might have about the Library. Students may be asked to email a law librarian or to schedule a research appointment (919-962-1194) if you have a lengthy or involved question.

Will I need to wait to chat with the law librarian?
Patrons at the Reference Desk have priority over IM patrons.

When is the service offered?
The service is offered during regular reference desk hours.

How can I IM a law librarian?
There are two easy ways:

  1. Internet: Just click on our chat button on the right side of any Law Library webpage, or
  2. Messaging Services: Add lawchat4u to your instant message service buddy list on AIM, MSN, or Yahoo!. Then, you are ready to send messages.

I have never used instant messaging before. How do I get started?
Below are instructions for setting up instant messaging for AIM, MSN, and Yahoo!.

  1. Download and install instant messenger software from one of the following: Please refer to the company websites for installation questions.
  2. For MSN Messenger, use to add lawchat4u as a contact. For the others use the buddy name lawchat4u.
  3. If your list indicates that we are online, double click on lawchat4u to send a message to a law librarian.
  4. Type your question and hit the enter key.
  5. Wait for a response. Be patient, we may be helping other patrons.

Are my chat questions private?
The Library may save the transcript of your chat session for educational and research purposes only. Any use of the transcripts will have all identifying information removed. Any information you provide will remain confidential.

Please contact Nicole Downing at or 919-843-9734 with questions about this service.

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