Georgetown Law
Georgetown Law Library

Looseleaf Services, Using

Quick guide to the what, why and how of looseleaf services.

Tips for using looseleaf services in print

  • The best way to identify a looseleaf on a particular topic is to use Legal Looseleafs in Print, available in most law libraries. Another good way to identify a looseleaf is to ask someone in your practice area or to ask your librarian. As a last resort, try browsing the shelves where other materials on your subject are located.
  • Read the directions in the front of the first volume. Don't expect to be able to just "dive in" to a new looseleaf: their comprehensiveness and currency (two advantages) result in a complex organizational scheme (a disadvantage). Five minutes spent reading will save mistakes and wasted time later.
  • For known documents, use the finding list and case tables. These provide the most efficient access to regulations, laws or decisions.
  • When you don't have a known document, but just a topic, use an index. Remember that looseleafs often have a variety of indexes, so take the time to identify which one will be most useful for your research.
  • Remember that the indexes of interfiled looseleafs refer you to paragraph or section numbers rather than page numbers.
  • Remember that both primary and secondary materials are found side by side in looseleaf services. Be aware of which type you are dealing with, and if unsure, ask.
  • Consult with a reference librarian if you are have questions about finding or using looseleaf services.