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.


Key to Icons

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


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.

Prepare to Practice Series - Spring 2021

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 Prepare to Practice Series can help you learn (or refresh) skills in legislative history or administrative law research before you get your first assignment. Our Prepare to Practice Series can also help with tips to transition to researching in the workplace.

  • Legislative History Research - Friday, March 26 at 11am ET
  • Administrative Law Research - Friday, April 9 at 11am ET (Date changed from April 23)
  • Researching in the Workplace - Friday, April 30 at 11am ET

Register to attend one or more sessions in our Prepare to Practice Series. Each session will be recorded. For any questions or more information, please contact

Westlaw, Lexis & Bloomberg Law

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

Citation & Abbreviation

Research Strategies

Secondary Sources


Case Law


Legislative History

Administrative Law

Additional Topics

Law Library Reference

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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 Law Library during the week of January 11 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. This 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 us via Chat with a Librarian or email the Reference Desk.

Returning students with questions about their WestlawLexis, and Bloomberg Law accounts should contact us via Chat with a Librarian or email the Reference Desk

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)