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The San Mateo County Law Library was established in 1916 with the help of the San Mateo County Bar Association. At the time, the Law Library consisted of a small room containing a few hundred law books in the County Courthouse. There was no librarian, the room was locked and each member of the County Bar Association was given a key for access.

Since that time, the Law Library has grown considerably. In 1986, the Law Library moved into its own location on Hamilton Street in downtown Redwood City, an old Wells Fargo Bank building. Today, the Law Library is staffed by two full-time and three part-time employees, holds over 36,000 volumes, and offers patrons the latest legal electronic resources.

The San Mateo County Law Library is governed by a Board of Trustees and is one of 58 county law libraries in the State of California.  Despite the large population of San Mateo County, the Law Library is classified as a “smaller” size law library, especially as compared to the county law libraries of Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, Sacramento, Alameda, San Francisco, and Santa Clara for example.  The most similarly sized law libraries to San Mateo County Law Library are those of smaller counties: Ventura, Contra Costa, and Fresno.

The Law Library is open to all members of the public, free of charge, and is funded almost exclusively from court filing fees.

Read here to find out more about the history of law libraries.

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710 Hamilton Street
Redwood City, CA 94063
(650) 363.4913