Case Law Research Guide

This guide details how to read a case citation and sets out the print and online sources for finding cases.


Key to Icons

  • Georgetown only
  • On Westlaw
  • On Lexis
  • On Bloomberg
  • PDF
  • More Info (hover)
  • Preeminent Treatise
  • Study Aid

Basic Search Connectors

Basic Connectors on Westlaw and Lexis
Concept Westlaw Lexis Use
and and, & and, & cat and dog
or or or dog or canine
same sentence /s /s cat /s dog
same paragraph /p /p cat /p dog
within "n" number
n = number
/n /n cat /5 dog
phrase " " " " "sheep dog"
root expander ! !, * shep! = shepherd, shepherding, etc.
universal character (wildcard) * ? wom*n (Westlaw) and wom?n (Lexis) = woman, women
processing order ( ) ( ) ((dog or canine) /s cat) /p (liv! /s together)
at least (there must be at least "n" appearances of a word) ATLEASTn ATLEASTn ATLEAST10(dog)

For advanced connectors, see “Advanced Search” on Westlaw and Lexis.

Bloomberg Law also has connectors; they are found by clicking the ? next to Keywords in the search box.

Terms and Connectors (Boolean) Searching Tutorial