Spaces at the Law Library

Two readers sit facing each other either side of a wooden desk, the room behind is light and airy

You will need to book a time slot to use our open libraries. Check individual libraries for more details. Find out what to expect when you visit a library and our latest service updates.

The Law Library will additionally be open on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 June from 10am – 7pm.

Please note that, due to COVID-19 regulations, some of these rooms and spaces are currently not bookable. Please contact with any questions.



There are several different kinds of workspace in the Bodleian Law Library. Some are restricted to research students and members of the Law Faculty.  

Use our floorplans (PDF) to find your way around the Bodleian Law Library or ask library staff for help.  

Please note that no food is allowed in the library. You may only bring bottled water and drinks in KeepCups.

Seating spaces

The Just In Corner

If you would like a more relaxed reading area, there is a new journal display with soft seating available. This is in the main reading room to the left of the entrance. This area also has the Oxford Authors' display, showing recent publications by present and past Law Faculty members.

Nearby is a long desk with a couple of Quick Search terminals to search the catalogue, one Bodleian Library computer, and the Reader Printer for printing from microfilm or fiche.

Main floor

The main reading room is open to everybody. This is the large area as you come into the library on Level 2. There are a number of desks that are reserved for research students, but these are clearly marked.

Ground floor seating

There are desks along the corridor leading to the IT Training Room and there is more seating in the Official Papers section. There is also a height-adjustable desk outside Discussion Room 1.

Level 1 seating

If you do not want to sit in the main reading room, there are desks available on Level 1. This is mainly outside the Seminar Room, but there is a separate desk at the far end.

‘Walk in’ carrels on Level 3

Carrels 13 and 18 are open to any reader who would like to sit there. Each carrel can accommodate a maximum of 3 readers. They are not discussion spaces and should be used for silent working.

Bookable carrel on Level 3

Carrel 24 seats 2 people. One desk is equipped with a Bodleian Library computer. This is to help researchers who find they need to consult materials only available via eLD (electronic Legal Deposit). This too is not a discussion space. You can view pictures and check availability on our booking site.

Closed carrels

There is a small number of closed carrels in the library. They are primarily intended for readers with special educational needs but may sometimes be made available for small groups working on special projects (e.g. mooting competitions). Please ask library staff for information.

Discussion rooms and seminar room

The Bodleian Law Library has 3 discussion rooms and a seminar room available for academics or students to book.

The discussion rooms are on the ground floor. Discussion Room 1 and Discussion Room 2 are opposite the Small Computer Room. Discussion Room 3 is next to the Large IT Room. The seminar room is located on the first floor. All rooms have a relatively strong Wi-Fi signal.


  • These rooms are available for Bodleian Library and University of Oxford-related purposes.
  • No food or drink is permitted in any of these rooms, except for bottled water with a sports-cap or screw-top, or drinks in Bodleian KeepCups.
  • Rooms may usually be booked for a maximum of 2 hours at a time, up to 1 week in advance.
  • Room bookings are not confirmed until you have received a confirmation email from the Bodleian Law Library staff.
  • Please visit our booking site to check availability and for more information about the spaces, including images.


This room seats 4 people. It has a whiteboard, 2 power sockets and 2 Ethernet network points.


This room is suitable for up to 6 people. It has audio-visual equipment. Basic instructions are provided, and equipment can be borrowed from the main enquiry desk. It also has a whiteboard and Ethernet network points. 


This room is suitable for 3 – 4 people. It has a whiteboard and Ethernet network points.


The seminar room is on the first floor and can seat up to 15 people. It may be used for academic meetings and seminars on weekdays when the library is open. It has a pull-down screen, but you will need to ask for a projector, as no projector is housed in the room. It also has a whiteboard and Ethernet network points. 

Research desks and research carrels

If you are reading for a PRS, DPhil, MPhil, MLitt or MSt degree with the Law Faculty, you are are eligible to apply for a research desk. There are research desks on the north side of the main library floor, in the Gallery and in research carrels.

Most of the graduate research desks on the main floor and in research carrels have Ethernet network sockets. You may use these to connect to the network. The Wi-Fi network is also available from some of these desks. The research desks above the enquiry desk do not have Ethernet ports and have limited Wi-Fi access.

To apply, contact Margaret Watson (, the Academic Services Librarian. She will allocate your desk and can be contacted if you have any further queries.


  • These desks are for the personal use of the reader(s) to whom they are assigned. You may not ‘lend’ your desk to another reader.  
  • There is no ability to lock items away, so you may not keep any personal belongings there, or affix any decorations to the areas.
  • If you do not use your reserved seat regularly on at least 2 – 3 days a week during term, and do not reserve books to it, we may ask you to give it up to accommodate another reader.
  • Due to a high demand, most desks are shared on a basis of 6 readers to 4 desks, or 3 readers to 2 desks. In practice, patterns of library usage mean that overcrowding situations are very rare.
  • Another postgraduate or academic visitor who applies for a seat may be assigned to any seat not in frequent use.
  • Tickets for research desks are issued for one academic year only. All expire on 31st July each year, and desks will be cleared during August. If you are continuing to work in Oxford for a postgraduate degree of the Faculty of Law, please tell us before the end of July so that we do not remove your books. We cannot guarantee extensions beyond one year, as these depend on demand by fellow students.

Other rooms

IT Training Room

The IT Training Room is on the ground floor, in the far corner or straight along the corridor as you go down the main stairs. It has 24 workstations and is intended for the use of Law Faculty students and staff. The room is used for teaching the undergraduate Legal Research Skills Programme, for the Legal Research Classes programme, and for training in the use of legal databases.  

When the room is not being used for teaching, members of faculty and students may use the computers for general academic use.  

Small Computer Room

There is a smaller computer room available to use. This is also located on the ground floor. The room has 7 PCs and is available to use during most of the year. There are occasional classes held in this room; please ask staff for more information.

Graduate Reading Room

The Graduate Reading Room is on the ground floor, next to the Small Computer Room. It is available for any postgraduate student to use, as well as BCL and MJur students who prepare a brief dissertation as part of a taught course. It offers desks and network ports to plug in laptops, plus a relatively strong Wi-Fi signal. The room also has soft seating and a whiteboard. The room is a silent study area and should not be used for group discussions. You may bring books from any part of the library into this room, including the Law Reserve collection.

Photocopying Room

The Photocopying Room is still located off the main reading room to the left of the entrance. It has 3 Print, Copy and Scan (PCAS) machines for self-service photocopying, scanning and printing