Georgetown Law
Georgetown Law Library

Introduction to U.S. Legal Research

This guide collects research resources of particular use to new researchers of U.S. law.

Contents

Key to Icons

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

Welcome!

This guide includes resources, such as video tutorials and research guides, to help new legal researchers. 

Reference librarians are available to provide additional research help. Contact us by Chatting with a Librarian or emailing the Reference Desk, or schedule a research consultation with a librarian to meet on-on-one or in small groups.

2021 Prepare to Practice Series

Summer interns and recent law grads are often assigned to research legislative history to help with statutory interpretation questions, or to conduct research on administrative law issues while working for administrative agencies or firms engaged in regulatory work. If these are unfamiliar research areas for you, the Law Library’s 2021 Prepare to Practice Series can help you learn (or refresh) these skills:

  • Legislative History Research 
  • Administrative Law Research 
  • Researching in the Workplace 

For each session, in addition to the video lecture recording, included for your convenience are PDFs of (1) the text of our instructor notes for the recording; (2) a copy of the presentation slides, including all links, used in the recording; and (3) any handouts. The materials will remain available through July 31, 2021. For any questions, please contact lawlibinstruction@georgetown.edu.

Westlaw, Lexis & Bloomberg Law

WestlawLexis & Bloomberg Law also offer a number of online tutorials to guide users.

Citation & Abbreviation

Research Strategies

Secondary Sources

Searching

Case Law

Statutes

Legislative History

Administrative Law

Additional Topics

Law Library Reference

Photo of Williams Law Library

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

Request a Research Consultation

 

Westlaw, Lexis & Bloomberg Law Access

New students will receive an email from the 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 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 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.

Study Aids and Treatises

Check out our Legal Research Treatises. Looking for more study aids or treatises? Try our Treatise Finders. The Library has also subscribed to West Academic Study Aids and Wolters Kluwer Online Study Aid Library for the 2020-2021 academic year.

CALI Lessons

You might find CALI lessons on legal research and writing (interactive legal instructional lessons) helpful for review or additional guidance. New students will receive an email from the 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.

Writing Center Resources

The Writing Center offers many guides and handouts on research, writing, and citation.

Video Tutorials

Want more video tutorials? See our complete list of tutorials.

Research Guides

Want more research guides? See our complete list of research guides.

Update History

Created 8/19 (JJ & CMC)
Updated 8/20 (CMC)
Updated 4/21 (CMC)