The Leon E. Bloch Law Library is not only a place to study, but a laboratory for students to master legal research skills, both in traditional print and electronic media. In fall 2011, a newly renovated library space opened. The space is designed to focus on first year legal research and writing and it provides a new collaborative technology learning lab to facilitate mastery of on-line legal research skills. In 2010, space in the first floor of the library was converted to provide three additional study rooms for students and a student lounge.
The library serves as a forum for self-directed learning; a place students take control of their educational experience through researching selected paper topics and their own law review notes.
The library contains holdings in major areas of legal scholarship and practice. It is home to rare, early seventeenth century editions of Sir Edward Coke's treatises and case reports. It also preserves the Charles D. Gould Jr. Collection, consisting of photographs and memorabilia from the Nuremburg trials. The collection focuses on trial advocacy, urban law, family law, small business entrepreneurship, and tax law. The library's foreign law holdings are targeted for expansion and access to historical materials have dramatically expanded. What is not held in print in the library, or in its many database services, is conveniently available through the library's online catalog request and delivery service. This service provides access to seventy Missouri libraries and about 18 million items. The service includes access to the holdings of the three other law school libraries in Missouri. Additional hard to locate items can usually be retrieved through other specialized interlibrary loan services. Besides its collections, the UMKC's law library is especially strong with respect to the expertise of its librarians, most of whom teach courses in legal research and have practiced law for many years or worked as paralegals.
Technology has reshaped legal publishing in ways that will forever alter how attorneys and judges approach their work. The information professionals of the Leon E. Bloch Law Library have embraced this transformation in a variety of ways. The new Courtney Turner Trust Collaborative Technology Classroom allows for creative use of technology using laptops and cutting-edge software in both a classroom setting and for student group study. Stand-alone computers that allow access for research on the Internet, printing, and numerous database services are available as well. A fee is charged for some law student printing and for all other patron printing. The Library also provides a scanner and a dedicated workstation for the visually impaired. In addition, each law student receives a password free of charge for accessing law school and university databases from home or at other locations on campus. Wireless access to the Internet is provided to students throughout the law school and library. Perhaps, unique among law schools, the newly renovated lower level of the Library hosts a free laptop clinic, where law students can go with computer and technology problems, many of which can be fixed at the clinic. In Spring 2012, the Library installed state of the art book scanners on all three library floors. The scanners will provide digitization workflow solutions for library business processes, student needs, and other law school business processes. The scanners can create PDFs, OCR documents, as well as audio files for the visually impaired.