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Zief Research Help

Find out how we can help with your research projects, and all the ways to get in touch with us.

Live Help - Chat/Instant Message

USF faculty, students, and staff can receive research help through our live chat service Monday through Friday, 10 am to 2 pm (summer term reference hours). 

  • We are closed for the following summer holidays: June 19 (Juneteenth); July 4 (Independence Day)
  • Occasionally, other chat closures may occur with short notice. For the most up-to-date notice of scheduling changes, refer to the ZiefBrief Blog

Chat/IM is best for relatively discrete, straightforward questions. If you have a complicated question or project, the librarian on duty may ask you to make an appointment for a virtual research consultation. If you have reached us during our off hours, please consider submitting your question through our secure Ask the Zief Librarians page

This service is only for members of the USF community.



Contact Us

We are available to assist you with your legal research questions. Here are all the ways you can get in touch with us —

  1. Chat with us/Instant message us
    We're available via live chat. And if you have a particularly challenging question or project, you can schedule a research consultation meeting with a librarian--our contact info appears on this page. We are happy to set up a Zoom meeting and share our screens to teach you research skills!
  2. Submit a question via our Ask the Zief Librarians page

    Members of the USF community can send a question via the Ask the Zief Librarians page, and we'll email you a response. 

  3. Make an appointment for a research consultation

    We offer virtual research consultation appointments to USF students. Email the research librarian team at:

  4. Contact a specific research librarian

    Our contact information is in the profile boxes on the left-hand side of this page.

How we can help

We are legal research experts with advanced degrees in both law and information studies. We support your research by: advising you on strategy; suggesting sources; helping you track down elusive facts or data; and showing you the best ways to complete your research quickly and effectively, no matter what your issue or what type of materials you are using.

Our research advice/reference services are primarily for members of the USF community. As research librarians, we will do our best to help you find the law, but we cannot interpret the law or offer legal advice. For details, see our full Legal Reference Service Policy.

Research Consultations

If you're a currently enrolled USF student (law or non-law), you can contact any of the research librarians to make a one-on-one appointment for research help or advice. Follow these links to request a research appointment.

Zief Virtual Research Help Hours

Our research support operates virtually, although you may also reach out to us to book an in-person appointment.

Virtual Reference (Summer term): Monday through Friday, 10 am to 2 pm. 

We conduct research consultations by appointment via Zoom or in person for USF faculty, students, and staff.

For updates on Zief operations, check our blog, ZiefBrief.

School of Law | 2130 Fulton Street | San Francisco, CA 94117-1080 | (415) 422-6307