Summer Survival Skills

Whether you are working, interning, or are a recent graduate, this page identifies the resources that will help you with your legal research needs this summer.

Reference Help

During the summer, the Reference Desk is staffed from 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM and 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM, Monday - Friday. If you are not on campus, you can contact us via telephone at (415) 565-4751, via email, or via chat.

Reference librarians are also available to meet one-on-one to help students prepare for summer or full time employment. To arrange for a consultation with a librarian, complete the online form

The law library also has a comprehensive set of legal research tutorials available here.

Computer and IT Issues

If you are a continuing student, you may access many of our online databases from off-campus. Just select the database from the Online Databases list and enter your U.C. Hastings Username and Password when prompted. If you encounter any problems, contact the IT Help Desk. If you are graduating student, you will no longer have off-campus access to our online databases after you graduate.  You will still be welcome to use any of our databases on campus, either through our public computer terminals in the library or by obtaining a WiFi password from the Alumni Office. 

Bloomberg, Lexis, and Westlaw Summer Access Policies


All students will have unlimited and unrestricted access over the summer to Bloomberg Law. There is no need to register for summer access. Students graduating this spring have unlimited and unrestricted access to Bloomberg Law for six months after graduation. If you cannot find or remember your password, please contact our Bloomberg representative, Tracey Broadhead-Frith.


Continuing students will have unlimited access to Lexis Advance all summer for educational and work purposes. Graduating students will have unlimited access to Lexis Advance through July 31st. You must be a registered Lexis Advance user to be able to access and Lexis Advance. If you haven't registered for Lexis Advance or for questions or assistance, please contact our LexisNexis representative, Alicia Luchetti


Westlaw allows non-graduating law students to extend their password for: summer law school classes, law review or law journal work, projects for professors, moot court, and for unpaid, nonprofit public interest internship/externship pro bono work required for graduation. You can register here to extend your Westlaw password for the summer.

Graduating student passwords will expire at the end of May 2013. Graduating students can extend their passwords for bar preparation and preparing to practice here. Graduates who extend their passwords will receive access to WestlawNext and Westlaw Classic through November 2013. 

If you have any questions about Westlaw summer access, please contact our Westlaw representative, Mark Cygnet.

Free Legal Research Resources

Case Law

FindLaw has opinions of the U.S. Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, some state supreme courts, and federal trial, courts, and boards. It includes California Supreme Court slip opinions issued since 1996.

Google Scholar provides access to federal and state cases.

Justia: Case law from the U.S. Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, District Courts and well as state court opinions. Justia also has Daily Newsletters of Opinion Summaries for the US Supreme Court, all US Federal Appellate Courts & the 50 US State Supreme Courts and Weekly Practice Area Opinion Summaries Newsletters.

U.S. Supreme Court website provides access to recent court opinions and some docket information.

The Public Library of Law contains cases from the U.S. Supreme Court and Courts of Appeals, as well as cases from all 50 states back to 1997.

LII Supreme Court provides access to current Supreme Court decisions and orders as well as archived decisions to 1990 and current awareness tools.

The California Courts official website has the Official Reports back to 1850, slip opinions, and recent unpublished opinions

Statutes and Regulations

Cornell's Legal Information Institute provides access to federal and state statutes and regulations. This resource is particularly useful for the "how current is this" link which provides information on modifications to the U.S. Code; the is CFR also available here.

FDsys provides free online access to official Federal Government publications ( U.S. Code, C.F.R., Federal Register, etc.)

Thomas provides public Laws, legislation and legislative history, and bill tracking information.

Findlaw's Cases and Codes section contains resources and links for both state and federal laws. This includes resources pertaining to constitutions, statutes, cases and more. Run a search for case summaries or select a jurisdiction to browse applicable laws.

Justia also provides access to state and federal codes.

The Public Library of Law has the statutory and regulatory codes for the federal government and all fifty states.  A list of agency databases by state here.

California Legislative Information has the current California codes, as well as chapter laws going back to 1993.  

Legislative and Regulatory History

The Library's Federal Legislative History and California Legislative History guides identify the sources to check and include links to those resources where available online. 

California Legislative Information has California bills going back to 1999, as well as other California legislative history documents.

Thomas and provide information on recent legislation. provides access to current C.F.R titles. provides online access to the daily journal of the United States government. includes comments as well as newer federal regulations, proposed rules and agency notices.

California Office of Administrative Law has current California regulations, as well as the Regulatory Notice Register since 2002.

Foreign Law Research (including national and regional databases and research guides)

For an overview of how to approach foreign legal research start with the Library's Foreign Law research guide. For international law research, consult our International and Comparative Law guide.

Other resources include:
WorldLII - list of links to primary law available on the web
GlobaLex- research guides for many foreign countries and international topics
World Law Guide - links to country legislation and case law
American Society of International Law's EISIL 

Remember, if you have any research-related questions, please feel free to contact us for help!