Circuit Court – 17th Judicial Circuit

Walter T. McCarthy Law Library


Public Access to Legal Resources for the Arlington Community

 Location:       Arlington County Courthouse:
                       1425 N. Courthouse Road, Suite 1700
                       Arlington, VA 22201
                       Phone (703) 228-7005
                       Fax (703) 228-7360

Hours:            Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.


The Walter T. McCarthy Law Library is a public law library and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.  It is a valuable legal resource for the entire Arlington Community.  Its mission is to provide access to the law for all members of the community.  The location of the Library on the first floor of the Courthouse provides optimal access to legal information for pro se litigants, as well as County residents, businesses, and others who are involved with the judicial system and legal matters.

The Library has existed for more than 40 years as a legal research library with a particular emphasis on Virginia materials. In 1970, it was named for an Arlington Circuit Court Judge, the Honorable Walter T. McCarthy “…for his outstanding service to the Bar Association and the public.” It is one of the few legal resources available to the general public in Arlington which provides free access to local, state and federal materials through commercial legal databases and the services of a professional law librarian. The Library operations are funded by a combination of authorized state court fees, County funds, contributions from the local bar association and fundraising activities.

The Mission of the Law Library is to provide access to legal and law-related information for research and the practice of law, with quality customer service for the benefit of the Arlington community, which includes the general public, the judiciary, members of the legal profession, government employees and the business community.

The Library Collection contains a strong Virginia-specific book collection of primary and secondary legal materials, including form books and other references that provide examples of legal documents.  The collection also includes Federal case law and statutory materials.  The materials in the Library are for reference only and do not circulate.

Electronic Resources include free access to LexisNexis and Westlaw Patron Access. There is also access to the internet and Microsoft Word at two public workstations.  Printing is available and costs 20 cents per page. Payment is by cash or check.

*** PLEASE NOTE: The Law Library staff may not provide legal opinions, interpret  the law or legal materials. They may only assist patrons with access to and use of resources in the collections. It is recommended that questions regarding interpretation of the law or legal materials should be directed to an attorney licensed in Virginia.

COURTHOUSE SECURITY -- NO CELL PHONES:  Everyone entering the Courthouse building is required to pass through a metal detector. Cell phones, cameras, and other electronic devices are not allowed in the building, unless you are a Virginia licensed, practicing attorney with a valid bar card and photo i.d.  Laptop computers without camera capability are permitted.  Small lockers are available for a fee across the courtyard in the Detention Facility lobby at 1435 N. Courthouse Rd.


Arlington County Code
Virginia Official Website
Virginia Administrative Code
Virginia Code
Alexandria Law Library
Fairfax Law Library

Last Modified: March 15, 2010
2100 Clarendon Blvd. Arlington, VA 22201 Tel: 703-228-3000 TTY: 703-228-4611