Shelby County Law Library will reopen on June 15th, 2020. Begining at that time, patrons will be required to wear appropriate face coverings and to practice social distancing.

COVID-19 Restrictions

Legal Aid

The Law Library cannot provide legal advice. However, Shelby County and the surrounding areas have many organizations that may help Pro Se litigants at little or no cost. Follow the link below for more information.

Legal Aid Organizations

Library News & Events

Recently, the Shelby County Law Library was featured as a location in the Memphis based legal drama, Bluff City Law. Thank you to the production crew for making a memorable experience for us.

More News & Events

Hours & Access

The Library is open Monday through Friday from 8am to 4:30pm. We are closed on the weekends and for State and Federal Holidays. Attorneys who need after-hours access can contact Dept. of Homeland Security as below.

After Hours Access

History of the Library

In 1874, the Memphis Bar Association established the Shelby County Law Library, which has been continuously running ever since. First, in the previous courthouse on Poplar, and it came to its present location in 1910.

In 1970, it became a separate entity in-and-of-itself. At the time, the Shelby County Governmental Library Commission was tasked with the establishment, maintenance and operation of the facility. Materials are acquired for the express purpose of “research or use in the preparation, trial or decisions of any matter that comes or may come before the courts of said County and State, or of use by said Public Officials or the public, on questions of law or government.”

Shelby County Law Library

Library Administration

Gary Johnson Headshot

Gary Johnson, MLS

Gary Johnson received his Masters of Library Science from the University of Alabama and worked extensively in the Birmingham public library system prior to coming to Memphis. He has been the director of the Law Library since 2003. He is a longtime member of the American Library Association, as well as the American Law Library Association.

As Mr. Johnson has served the legal field during its transition to mostly digital resources, he is well versed in traditional print research methods along with today’s technology heavy search techniques. While he continues to curate an extensive collection of necessary print resources, he also focuses on providing attorneys and the public with a research space that fits their current methods.

Library Resources

The Library has an extensive collection of resources from Federal Reporters to Tennessee specific General Sessions Court Manuals. We have over 12 public computers loaded with Microsoft Office 365, Adobe Acrobat Reader, and other document creation software. Each of our computers has free access to Westlaw, and can be used to download, and edit Legal Forms from our collection or online.

We have multiple color printers and copiers for use along with scanners, and fax machines. Although scanning is free of charge, we charge $0.25 per page for printed documents, copies, and faxes. At this time, we don’t accept cards, so please be sure to bring cash for your purchases.

Library Catalog

Print Resources

  • South West Reporter – Complete Collection
  • Shelby County Ordinances
  • Memphis City Ordinances
  • Tennessee Practice Series – With Forms

Digital Resources

  • Free Public WiFi
  • Westlaw Access
  • Digital TN Practice Series Forms
  • Divorce Forms (*we cannot advise how to use them)

Visit Us:

The Law Library is free and open to the public weekdays from 8:00AM to 4:30PM. We are closed on most State and Federal Holidays.

Currently, we are closed until June 15th, due to COVID-19.

140 Adams Ave.
Third Floor
Memphis, TN 38103


140 Adams Ave., Memphis, TN 38103