Westlaw provides online access to U.S. federal and state law sources as well as sources of international law and the laws of a growing number of other jurisdictions. Sources vary by jurisdiction, but may include constitutions, legislation, legislative history, statutory codes, regulations, regulatory materials, cases, case digests, citators, public records, law reviews, treatises, and general and legal news.
The Westlaw Database Directory provides detailed, current information on databases offered by Westlaw. Please note: many but not all Westlaw databases are available under our academic account.
WestCheck is a web-based, automated citation-checking service which automatically extracts citations from documents and verifies them using the KeyCite citator service.
Requesting a Westlaw Account
The HLS contract with Westlaw allows us to create accounts for law school faculty including visiting faculty, law school staff, and law school students currently enrolled in either law school classes or in an HLS-sponsored Harvard joint-degree program only. At its discretion, Westlaw allows exceptions for HLS visitors including visiting scholars, researchers and fellows of the law school and for cross-enrolled students taking a law school class. Exceptions are also usually made for law school faculty research assistants who are not law school students or staff. If you are not a member of the law school community, you will most likely be denied access.
Student accounts. Westlaw accounts are distributed to new students at the beginning of the fall semester. Returning students should continue using their Westlaw accounts from last year. Please stop by the Reference Desk located just off the reading room on the fourth floor of Langdell Hall if you have not received your account.
Faculty, Visiting Faculty & Staff accounts. Law school faculty including visiting faculty and law school staff may request a Westlaw account by emailing the Reference Desk using their HLS email account. Please include your full name and position in the text of your message.
Visitor accounts. At its discretion, Westlaw allows exceptions for HLS visitors including visiting scholars, researchers and fellows of the law school and for cross-enrolled students taking a law school class. Exceptions are also usually made for law school faculty research assistants who are not law school students or staff. HLS visitors, cross-enrolled students and faculty research assistants who are not law school students or staff must email their account request directly to Westlaw. Please include the following information:
- Name, Harvard ID, campus or home mail address, telephone number, HLS email address (if you do not have an HLS email account, please explain why)
- Position at HLS (Visiting Scholar, Visiting Researcher, Fellow, Cross-enrolled Student, Faculty Research Assistant, etc.)
- Dates you will be at HLS including start and end dates (month/year)
- If you are a research assistant for an HLS faculty member but you are not an HLS student, which HLS faculty member is employing you? If you are a cross-enrolled student, what HLS course are you taking?
Registering and Creating Your OnePass Account
Please be sure to register your new Westlaw account. During registration you will have the opportunity to create your Westlaw OnePass account.
The Library sponsors Westlaw introductory, refresher and advanced training sessions throughout the academic year for students who would like hands-on instruction. The sessions are taught by our Westlaw account representatives. All sessions are held in the Langdell Computer Classroom (L233) located on two north. Session dates, times and sign-ups are available at the HLS Library Legal Research Training Calendar.
Westlaw customer support is available at: 1-800-937-8529
Our Westlaw account representative is: Kimberly Kenneally, firstname.lastname@example.org
Help with Westlaw
The Westlaw home page offers a number of useful materials and services including reference literature, research guides, tutorials, product tours, study aids and outlines.
Please contact the Reference Desk, 617-495-4516, located just off the reading room on the fourth floor of Langdell Hall with any questions.