5th Floor, Onondaga County Courthouse
401 Montgomery Street
Syracuse, NY 13202
Phone (315) 671-1150
Fax (315) 671-1160
Reference Desk (315) 671-1151
Principal Law Librarian
Erin J. Kovalsky
Law Librarian Assistants
Monday-Friday 8:30am - 4:30pm
(Closed State & Federal holidays)
A Public Access Law Library of the NYS Unified Court System, 5th Judicial District, the Supreme Court Library at Syracuse is a member of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), the Association of Law Libraries of Upstate New York (ALLUNY), the Central NY Libraries Resources Council (CLRC) and the NYS Unified Court Law Libraries Association (ProSe).
Location & Directions
The Courthouse is located in downtown Syracuse next to the Mulroy Civic Center, with its public entrance facing Montgomery Street. Please take the stairs or one of the Montgomery Street side elevators to the Fifth Floor. From the Thruway, take Exit 36 (Route 81) to Harrison Street, bearing right as you exit. Turn right onto Townsend Street, at the light turn left onto Genesee Street. At the next light cross State Street and proceed on Onondaga Street and merge left onto Montgomery Street. The Courthouse is on your left. Parking is available on the surrounding streets and in nearby parking lots.
History & Management
Created by the New York State Legislature in 1849 as a public law library from books left by the former Court of Chancery, the library’s first home was the Empire House alongside the Erie Canal in Clinton Square. For many years called the Court of Appeals Library and managed by the County of Onondaga, the Supreme Court Library at Syracuse today continues as one of the largest law libraries within the NYS Unified Court System.
Collections & Services
Well-known for the depth and breadth of its collections, offering current and archival NY legal research resources, the Library is now managed by the NYS Unified Court System in its Onondaga County Courthouse fourth location, the historic Onondaga County Courthouse (opened in 1907). Our holdings are included in the LION online catalog.
Laws, rules and regulations, texts and treatises, formbooks, administrative orders and decisions, appellate court records and more are available in print and digital formats, with some items on microfiche and microfilm. Significant archives of historic law reports and texts, superseded NY statutes and regulations, and an Early American Law Books collection interest legal scholars and school tours. Additional digital materials including English reports are available from Hein Online at the Reference Desk.
Law library services include legal research assistance, basic training in the use of online legal research tools such as Lexis.com, Loislaw.com, and Westlaw.com, interlibrary loan, and circulation. Most law library books, tapes, videos, and CD-ROM's may be borrowed. Document delivery is available.
Some materials are only available in microfiche or microform. The Library has two reader/printers. A vendor-supplied self-service copy machine is also located in the library (15 cents per photocopy, 10 cents with a copy card, $1.00 to purchase the card ).
Legal Reference service is provided by the Law Library staff and includes reference assistance, as well as bibliographic instruction and general information on the law. Public access to Lexis, Loislaw and Westlaw is available for online legal research and the Library is WiFi accessible. There are presently three Public Access computers available. Library Staff will provide instruction on the use of the legal databases to facilitate independent research. Although staff are unable to provide legal advice or counsel, we are happy to assist you in using the Law Library to research the areas and topics necessary to answer your questions, and to refer you to other organizations as appropriate.
Any Attorney who has properly registered at any of the NYS Court Law Libraries may borrow circulating materials from the Syracuse Supreme Court Law Library subject to compliance with the Circulation Policy of this library.
All borrowers must be registered. Proper identification must be presented in order to borrow any materials. A photo ID is required for registration. At least one form of identification (including but not limited to a valid NYS driver's license, Sheriff's ID, Attorney Registration) AND proof of current home and business address, must be presented in person.
First time borrowers are restricted to borrowing only two items and may not check out additional items until the first books are returned.
Material not available at this Library can be obtained through our interlibrary loan service. Most interlibrary loans can be obtained at no cost but when the supplying Library requires a fee, borrowers will be notified and have the option of refusing the offer. Materials are generally available within a week to ten days, often sooner.