Georgetown Law
Georgetown Law Library

For New Students

Helpful resources for new students at Georgetown Law, including 1L, LLM, and transfer students, and others new to campus.


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Law Library Reference

Photo of Williams Law Library

Reference Desk:
Atrium, 2nd (Main) Floor
(202) 662-9140

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Welcome to Georgetown! This guide includes information about getting ready for class, where to study, library locations to know, and practical tips to make your life easier. We're here to help, so please ask if you have any questions!

New students will receive an email from the library with registration information for legal research platforms WestlawLexis Advance, and Bloomberg Law.  First year J.D. students will need these before the first Legal Practice: Writing & Analysis class. The email from the library will be sent to your Georgetown email address. If you do not see the email, please try keyword searching your email and/or checking your spam folder.  If you did not receive an email, contact the library's Reference Desk either in-person or via chat or email

During Orientation we will also be offering library tours for new students.  Sign up for a library tour here!

Class Assignments

Course Management Systems

Get Ready for Class

Study Aids in Print and on CD/DVD

A wide selection of current-edition hornbooks, nutshells, and other study aids is available in Reading Room Reserve on the second floor of the Library. Because they are so popular, these books must be used in the Reading Room. Look in the library catalog for older editions that can be checked out.

Sum & Substance is an audio/visual CD/DVD series of lectures on fundamental legal topics, delivered by top law professors. The Library has lectures covering most first-year courses. These are available at the Circulation Desk, and may be borrowed for for a period of three hours.

Past Exams

The Library maintains electronic and print collections of past Law Center exams. Exams from 1998 to present are available online (NetID required).  Exams from 1977 to 2012 are available in print in the Reading Room.

​CALI Lessons and e-Books

CALI provides hundreds of interactive legal instructional lessons on topics from contracts to torts. Get a registration code by picking up a CALI card at the display at the Circulation Desk, or by asking the Reference Desk via chat, in-person, or email.

Library Locations To Know

The main floor of the library, where you enter the building, is the Second Floor, pictured above.  Here are some key locations to know on that floor:

  1. Circulation Desk - This is where you check out materials (including Course Reserve materials), pick up books placed on hold or books received via interlibrary loan, and borrow "Cool Stuff" (like chargers, umbrellas, USB drives, etc.).
  2. Reference Desk - This is where you can get substantive research guidance from a librarian.  You can also get in touch with our reference desk via chat or email.
  3. Popular Reading and Study Aids - Current editions of study aids (e.g. Nutshells, Examples & Explanations, Emanuel Law Outlines, and more) are available here.  They may be used in the Reading Room only.  Across the aisle from the study aids we have a collection of popular reading materials that you can check out.
  4. Printers, Scanners, Copiers - We have printers, scanners and copiers in this area, in addition to a collection of TV shows and movies on DVD that you can check out.  Learn about our printing, scanning, and copying policies here.  There are also printers and copiers on other floors.
  5. Computer Learning Center (the "CLC") -  This is the library's computer lab, where research classes taught by the library may be held.  Students are welcome to use the CLC computers whenever classes are not in session.  (No food or drink, please.)  There are more computers available for use in the "Computer Lab" area through the West doors on the Third Floor, as well as scattered throughout the library.

Other library locations to know include...

  • Legal Eats - A self-serve cafe with food, beverages, and coffee, located on the first floor of the library.  A mini-fridge, microwave, hot water tap, and sink are also available.
  • "Hydration Stations" - These provide cold, filtered water for re-filling water bottles.  There is one on the ground floor just outside Legal Eats, one towards the east end of the Reading Room (around the corner from the CLC), and you can also find them on the Fifth Floor.  Regular drinking fountains are also available throughout the library.
  • The Lexis/Westlaw/Bloomberg Room - Located on the Fourth Floor, this is also where the free Lexis printing is located.

You can find a complete map of each floor of the library here.  You can also sign up for one of our tours during Orientation.

Where to Study

Quiet Study

The Reading Room is a popular place to study. In general, the quietest places in the library are on the 1st, 3rd, and 4th floors.

Group Study Rooms

Group Study Rooms may be reserved by two or more students up to one week in advance for a period of three hours per group, per day.

Lounge Areas

The Loewinger Lounge (on the Second Floor at the west end of the Reading Room) and the Fifth Floor Atrium Lounge have comfortable, plush chairs and ottomans. Consult the library map for their specific locations.