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IALS Admissions Desk located at the Library entrance

Joining the Library

IALS Library welcomes applications from scholars, legal professionals and researchers worldwide.

PhD and MPhil students along with academic staff from any university in the UK or around the world are welcome to join the Library and admission is completely free. Other postgraduate students may also be eligible to join. Check eligibility below before you apply online.

Legal practitioners may use the Library on payment of a fee. Specialist document supply services are available for law firms, barristers' chambers and independent lawyers.
See more information below...

How to join IALS Library

Access for Academic Users

To apply for membership you just need to complete and submit our online application form and supply proof of your current academic status and registration. You are required to upload a photograph or scan of your university photo ID directly to the form.
(IALS and the School of Advanced Study's own students, staff and fellows can apply for a SAS/ID card).

Current academic staff and postgraduate research students (PhD, MPhil, MRes) from any university* can join the IALS Library free of charge.

The Institute is not in a position to be able to assist with visa sponsorship for library users, nor are we able to offer temporary PhD supervision.

Postgraduate taught-course students (e.g. LLM students) are not normally admitted, except those registered at the following University of London Colleges under a current arrangement with IALS: Birkbeck College, King’s College London, London School of Economics, Queen Mary University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies, University College London.

Non-University researchers may be admitted on payment of a fee. 

Students taking professional / vocational examinations are not admitted.

Please email if you need any further information.

* A recognised university, UK college of higher education or academic research institute should be a “not for profit” institution.

Access for Individual Fee Payers

Individuals wishing to use the IALS Library (other than undergraduate students and students preparing for a professional examination), may be admitted, at the discretion of the Director, on payment of a fee. Access is to print collections only.

Fees for individual users (includes barristers, solicitors, legal researchers):

3 months £100.00 (inclusive of VAT)
12 months £320.00 (inclusive of VAT)

To apply please email

One-day pass £20.00 (inclusive of VAT)

Please apply for a One-day pass at the Library Admissions Desk during staffed hours.

Current fees apply from 1st October 2017 onwards. Fees are normally reviewed annually.

An institutional subscription scheme is available to:

  • Law firms
  • Sets of barristers' chambers
  • Legal departments of commercial organisations
  • Government departments
  • Other institutional users

Subscribers who have taken out an annual subscription gain access to:

  • Our document delivery service
  • Personal access to one of the largest legal research libraries in Europe
  • Access to world class collections of foreign and international legal collections
  • Professional and expert reference staff
  • Award-winning customer service

New Customers

If you would like to join the Document Supply Service, please fill in the membership form and return it to us.  As soon as the form is received and processed, you can start using the service.  Details of the service can be found on our Document Delivery for Subscribing Practitioners page.

Returning customers

If you have been a member of the Document Supply Service in the past, or if you are a current member and would like to renew your membership, please complete a membership renewal form.

Terms and Conditions

Alternatively, one-day or period membership is available for individual lawyers requiring personal access to the library only. See Access for Individual Fee Payers above.


As a member-library of the University of London Senate House Libraries, the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Library participates in the SCONUL Access Scheme.

What is the SCONUL Access Scheme?

Full details explaining how this national reciprocal access and borrowing scheme works are available on the SCONUL Access website at:

Who can be admitted to IALS Library under this scheme?

As University of London Senate House Libraries have joined the scheme under "Band A", the following groups of users can join IALS Library, using SCONUL Access documentation:

A permanent member of staff or a member of staff on a fixed term contract
A postgraduate research student registered for a PhD or MPhil degree

How to apply?

  • a) Complete the SCONUL Access application form online:
  • b) Once your application is approved by your own university library, please upload your confirmation email together with your student ID to our online application form.
  • c) You will need to bring your student ID when you come to collect your card.

A full list of member libraries participating in the SCONUL Access Scheme is available at:

Further Information

Researchers with SCONUL Access documentation wanting access and borrowing at IALS Library should contact:

Library Administrative Office
Tel: +020 7862 5777

Further information for SAS registered research students wanting access and borrowing at other member libraries of the SCONUL Access scheme is available at: