Library Facts

SMU’s Underwood Law Library is the largest private academic law library west of the Mississippi River. Its collections include approximately 673,361 law-related volumes and equivalents, ranking the library among the top 20% of law libraries in the United States. Combined with the resources of SMU’s other libraries, more than 4 million volumes are available to our faculty and students, comprising the largest private research library collection in Texas and ranking third in the state in total volumes, after the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University.
The Underwood Law Library subscribes to hundreds of databases, including Lexis, Westlaw, Bloomberg BNA, Bloomberg Law, HeinOnline, ProQuest Congressional, Checkpoint, Making of Modern Law (Gale), and Tax Analysts. The other SMU libraries’ databases are also available to law school faculty and students. All databases are accessible from any location with a computer and Internet connection.
The subject area strengths of the Underwood Law Library’s collections correspond to the Law School’s curricular strengths:  taxation, securities, corporate law, air and space law, commercial and banking law, constitutional law, law and medicine, and international law.

  • Number of volumes and volume equivalents: 673,361 (as of 5-31-17)
  • Overall material expenditures: $1,340,267 (2016-2017)
  • Expenditures for electronic materials: $332,651 (2016-2017)
  • Oldest book in the library: Jodocus Erfordensis, Vocabularius Utriusque Iuris (Basel, Michael Wennsler 1474)
  • Square feet: 97,859
  • Seating: 703
  • Shelving: 81,258 linear feet (15.4 miles)
  • Hours open each week when classes are in session: 104
  • Student computers in library: 44(40 lab computers, plus 4 notebook computers)
  • Full-time library employees: 14 (includes director, excludes IT staff)
  • Librarians with a law degree, library degree, and bachelor’s degree: 5