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.

Contents

Quick Links

Today's Hours

Law Library Reference

Photo of Williams Law Library

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

Request a Research Consultation

 

Student Testimonial: Working with Librarians

Get more advice from fellow students and recent grads here!

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Welcome!

Welcome to Georgetown Law! 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 can't wait to help you with using library services. We're here to help, so please ask if you have any questions!

Westlaw, Lexis & Bloomberg Law

New students will receive an email from the Law Library during Orientation with registration information for legal research platforms WestlawLexis, and Bloomberg Law

Please register immediately for all three services and always use your Georgetown email as the contact email. First year J.D. students will need these before the first Legal Practice: Writing & Analysis class. The email from the Law Library will be sent to your Georgetown email address. If you do not see the email in your inbox or spam folder, please contact the Law Library's Reference Desk in-person, or by Chatting with a Librarianemailing the Reference Desk, or calling the Reference Desk (202.662.9140).

For more information about use policies for the platforms during the school year or over the summer, please see our Lexis, Westlaw & Bloomberg Law webpage.

Class Assignments

To find the books your professors have adopted for your classes, check the Law Center's Curriculum Guide. Search for a course, and click the "Buy Books" button. This will send you to the Georgetown Law Bookstore website, where you can view the book(s) your professor has selected. You can buy the books directly from that site, or you can use the ISBN listed to find the exact same edition at any online bookseller or ebook vendor. 

Course Management Systems

For assistance with Canvas, please contact the Technology Service Desk at lawhelp@georgetown.edu. For assistance with TWEN, please call the TWEN Support Line at 1-800-850-9378.

Get Ready for Class

Study Aids 

Electronic. The Law Library has subscribed to West Academic Study Aids for the 2021-2022 academic year. The West Academic study aids platform includes Nutshells, Concepts & Insights, the Law Stories series, Hornbooks, Gilbert Law Summaries, Sum & Substance, and several others. For a step-by-step instructional video for accessing the platform, please view Electronic Study Aids

There are two ways to access this platform:

  • Option 1 – Go to West Academic through the Law Library’s catalog. You will be prompted to sign-in with your Georgetown NetID and password. If you would like to take notes, highlight, and download titles for offline access, you will need to sign-in using a West Academic account (Option 2).
  • Option 2 – Login with a West Academic account. To create or use an existing West Academic account, please do the following:
    • Go to West Academic.
    • Click ‘Create an Account’ in the upper right-hand corner and follow the prompts. Be sure to verify your Georgetown email address from the confirmation email that West Academic sends to you.  OR  If you already have a West Academic account, click ‘Sign-in’ and verify your Georgetown email address.

Print. A wide selection of current-edition hornbooks, nutshells, and other study aids is available in the Reading Room Study Aids collection on the 2nd Floor of the Law Library. Because they are so popular, these books must be used in the Reading Room. Search the Law Library's catalog for older editions that can be checked out.

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

Past Exams

The Law Library maintains electronic and print collections of past Law Center exams. Exams from 1998 to present are available in the Past Exams database (NetID required). Exams from 1977 to 2010 are available in print on the West side of the Reading Room on the 2nd Floor.

​CALI Lessons 

CALI provides hundreds of interactive legal instructional lessons on topics from contracts to torts. New students will receive an email from the Law Library during Orientation with a registration code. Students who do not receive a code or need a new one should go to CALI Lessons for Students.

Library Locations To Know

Map of Williams Law Library's second floor

The main floor of the Law Library, where you enter the building, is the 2nd 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.). If you would like to check out materials from the stacks, you can also use our self-checkout kiosk located across from the Reference Desk (see Self-Checkout How-to Video).
  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 by Chatting with a Librarianemailing the Reference Desk, or calling the Reference Desk (202.662.9140). For foreign and international law assistance, ask a librarian by emailing the Foreign and International Law department or calling (202.662.4195).
  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 is our collection of popular reading materials that you can check out.
  4. Printers/Copiers and Scanners - We have printer/copier stations and scanners in this area, in addition to a collection of TV shows and movies on DVD that you can check out. There are also printer/copier stations on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Floors. For more information on printer/copier services provided by the University's Auxiliary Business Services, see Georgetown University Student Printing.
  5. Computer Learning Center ("CLC") - This is 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 3rd Floor, as well as on the 4th and 5th Floors of the Law Library.

Other library locations to know include...

  • Legal Eats - A self-serve cafe with food, beverages, and coffee, located on the 1st Floor of the Law Library.  A mini-fridge, microwave, hot water tap, and sink are also available.
  • Hydration Stations - Eight hydration stations provide cold, filtered water for re-filling water bottles. Regular drinking fountains are also available throughout the Law Library.
  • The Lexis/Westlaw/Bloomberg Workroom - This is located in Room 435 on the 4th Floor. LexisNexis provides free printing from Lexis to dedicated printers in Room 435 (as well as on the 1st Floor of the Hotung building).

View a complete map of each floor of the Law Library.

Where to Study

For an overview of the Quiet Zones, Community Zones, and Collaborative Zones in the Law Library, see Noise Zones.

Quiet Study

The Reading Room is a popular place to study and is a designated Quiet Zone. The Reading Room Mezzanine on the 3rd Floor is also a Quiet Zone. 

Group Study Rooms

Group Study Rooms on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Floors may be booked through the Study Space Booking System. Reservations for larger rooms may be made by three or more students for a period of three hours per group, per day. For smaller Zoom Rooms (Scholar Studies), reservations may be made by one or two students for a period of two hours per day. Reservations for Group Study Rooms may be made up to one week in advance while Zoom Rooms may be reserved up to two days in advance.

Open Collaborative Area

An Open Collaborative Area located on the 1st Floor, which includes a mix of tables, standing desks, soft seating, and rolling whiteboards. No advance registration is needed to use the Open Collaborative Area.

Lounge Areas

The Loewinger Lounge (on the 2nd Floor at the West end of the Reading Room) and the Atrium Lounge on the 5th Floor have comfortable, plush chairs and ottomans. Consult the Law Library floor maps for their specific locations.

Research Help

Books & Articles

Georgetown Law Library Book Use the "Place hold for pickup" option in the Law Library's catalog after signing into your library account. You can also retrieve books from the stacks and use the self-checkout kiosk.
Book from a Local Academic Library (including Lauinger Library on the main campus) Use the "Request book from a Local Academic Library" option in the Law Library's catalog after signing into your library account (remember to change the search scope to "Georgetown Univ. + Local Academic Libraries"). 
Books, chapters, and articles not owned by or accessible at Georgetown Law Library For materials you are unable to find through the Law Library's catalog, submit an Interlibrary Loan request. Please note that we are not able to borrow casebooks, textbooks, or study aids for required course readings through Interlibrary Loan.

Databases

See a list of frequently used databases or search the full collection of databases available to you through the Law Library. For database-related issues, refer to our guide to troubleshooting database connection problems and send us details of problems you cannot resolve.

Treatise Finders

Find a list of treatises and study aids organized by legal subject area.

Research Guides

Start with our research guides to identify resources by topic or jurisdiction.

New researchers of U.S. law may be interested in our Introduction to U.S. Legal Research guide and Bluebook guide.

Research Consultations

Schedule an individual research consultation with a librarian for help with your papers or other research projects. A librarian will contact you within two business days of receiving your request to set up a meeting and will prepare for your topic. Consultations are generally scheduled Monday through Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm, but we are happy to make special arrangements if you let us know.