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 10:00 AM 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

          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, Sharon Pate.


          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 November 2017. You'll also have access to exclusive resources related to the transition from law school to employment and a Graduate Rewards Program.See the Lexis Law School Graduate Program for more information. Graduates conducting verifiable 501(c)(3) public interest work may instead sign up for the Lexis ASPIRE Program, which will permit job-related access to Lexis Advance for the duration of the public interest work, even if beyond December. For questions or assistance, please contact our LexisNexis representative, Teal Taylor


          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.

          GGraduating students can extend access while studying for the bar. Registered graduates will retain access to Westlaw for 6 months following graduation through a program called Graduate Elite, which offers 60-hours of access for 6-months after graduation. All graduates will also automatically retain access to a number of job searching databases for 18-months following graduation for 1-hour a month.

          If you have any questions about Westlaw summer access, please contact our Westlaw representative, Stephanie Zoet.

          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.)

 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.

 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 international law research, consult our International Law guide.

          Other resources include:

          Foreign Law Guide
          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!