W&L Law Library Databases and Online Resources

Washington and Lee University Law Library

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Law Library
Sydney Lewis Hall
Lexington, VA 24450
(540) 458-8552

The databases and online resources below contain information of interest to researchers of law and related subjects. Email lawref@wlu.edu with questions about access or use of these resources. For a more comprehensive listing of interdisciplinary databases available to the W&L community, please visit the University Library A-Z Databases list.

University-Wide Law Only Open Web

Resource Name & Link Description Access
America's Historical Newspapers Search and browse American newspapers published across three centuries. Includes thousands of titles from all 50 states. Chronicles the evolution of American culture and daily life from 1690 to the recent past. Provided by Readex/Newsbank.
Annual Reviews Comprising nearly 50 disciplines, the Annual Review publications transfer expert knowledge from the expanding corpus of academic literature to scholars and society. Please note that content coverage for the Reviews may currently only be through 2016 on the sites linked here. Annual Reviews of interest to legal researchers include:
Avalon Project The Avalon Project offers digitized transcriptions of documents relevant to the fields of law, history, economics, politics, diplomacy and government. Provided by Yale Law School.
Barron’s Online Access to Barron's financial and investment news website, including content and commentary from Barron's magazine and original online-only materials. Courtesy of Tommy McBride '88 and McBride & Associates. W&L community members may register for a complimentary account via the link at left. (A valid and active wlu.edu email address is required to register.)
Biographical Directory of Federal Judges Provided by the Federal Judicial Center, the directory includes the biographies of judges presidentially appointed to serve during good behavior since 1789 on the U.S. district courts, U.S. courts of appeals, U.S. Supreme Court, and U.S. Court of International Trade, as well as the former U.S. circuit courts, Court of Claims, U.S. Customs Court, and U.S. Court of Customs and Patent Appeals.
Biographical Directory of the United States Congress Official biographical directory of the United States Congress, 1774 to present.
Bloomberg Law Comprehensive legal research platform, providing national and state-level primary and secondary U.S. legal materials. Includes judicial decisions, statutes, dockets, books and treatises, journals, company and market information, news, and biographical directories. (Law School access only; account/password required.)
Bloomberg Law Dockets This platform is to be used in place of PACER for the Law School community. Access federal court filings and selected state court filings via Bloomberg Law. Includes both dockets and electronically available filings. Use the docket template to search by jurisdiction, docket number, date, party name, etc. (Law School access only; account/password required.)
Bloomberg Law Practice Centers Formerly BNA Resource Centers, these practice-area-specific platforms are now within Bloomberg Law (Law School access only; account/password required). Each Center provides authoritative, in-depth, and practice-oriented news, plus insights and analysis from respected practitioners on developments in their fields of law. The topical Practice Centers include:
CALI Free online access to over 1,000 interactive tutorials, study aids, and ebooks on 40+ legal subject areas. (Law School access only; account/password required.)
Cambridge Core Formerly Cambridge Journals. Provides full-text access to academic content from Cambridge University Press, including over 1.6 million journal articles and 36,000+ books, browsable by topic or searchable by keyword. Often of interest to legal researchers are the following subject areas:
Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations Provided by Cardiff University, this database allows you to search for the meaning of abbreviations used in legal publications, including U.S., British Isles, and Commonwealth sources. Many international, comparative, and major foreign language law publications are also included.

Century of Law Making U.S. Congressional documents and debates (1774-1875) from the Library of Congress American Memory Project.
Chronicle of Higher Education Current and archived issues and online content of the Chronicle of Higher Education via the publication's website.
Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) From the U.S. GPO website, the official annual codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the departments and agencies of the federal government. Includes the annual CFR from 1996 to present.
Congress.gov The Library of Congress' official platform for information from and about the U.S. Congress. Coverage begins with 1994-95. Includes access to the Congressional Record, bills and resolutions, committee reports, and more. Replaced the previous THOMAS website.
Constitute Project Database of constitutions of the countries of the world, translated into English. Developed by the Comparative Constitutions Project at the University of Texas at Austin.
CQ Magazine A weekly non-partisan magazine covering the U.S. Congress, providing news and expert analysis of all aspects of legislative activity and politics. 
Current Index to Legal Periodicals (CILP) Weekly survey of 650 legal publications that organizes new articles under 104 different subject headings. Where available, article titles link through to the full text on HeinOnline. Personalized CILP alerts for particular topics or journal titles are available through creating a SmartCILP profile.
Data.gov The home of the U.S. Government’s open data. Includes data sets, tools, and resources to conduct research, develop web and mobile applications, design data visualizations, and more.
Docket Navigator Docket Navigator provides daily reports on current patent cases; IP case dockets; patent, judge, court, and case profiles; and analytical searching to compare judges, courts, and cases. To request access, email contact@docketnavigator.com using your W&L email and include information about which content you want to use. Access is at no charge for current W&L Law students, staff, and faculty.
EBSCO Academic Search Complete Multidisciplinary collection of journal and periodical databases from EBSCOhost, with extensive full-text availability. Databases of interest to legal researchers include:
Election Law Journal Election Law Journal: Rules, Politics, and Policy provides global, interdisciplinary coverage of election law, policy, and administration. Access is limited to the current year and the 5 preceding years. Older issues are available in HeinOnline.
ElgarOnline Ebook Collection This collection includes eBook versions of Edward Elgar titles currently held in print by the W&L Law Library. Also in the collection are open-access titles, available to all users of the ElgarOnline platform.
Factiva Global news database of over 30,000 sources including newspapers, licensed publications, influential websites, blogs, images and videos. 74% of Factiva’s premium news sources are not available on the free web and thousands more are available via Factiva on or before the date of publication by the source. Provided by Dow Jones.
Federal Sentencing Guide Access to every federal sentencing guideline case published since the guidelines became effective in November 1987. Additional access to a bi-weekly newsletter and digest of recent federal sentencing cases.
Federal Sentencing Reporter Federal Sentencing Reporter explores the complex area of sentencing law, practice and theory. Along with the presentation of new ideas and viewpoints on existing legislation and sentencing guidelines, the journal examines questions of sentencing policy and the practical application of modern sentencing reforms. Published by University of California Press.
FederalRegister.gov Official website for the Federal Register, the daily journal of the U.S. Government. Includes administrative regulations, proposed rules, and notices of Federal executive agencies and organizations from 1994 to present.
Financial Times (FT.com) FT.com includes news, analysis, and commentary from the print version of FT, plus online-only content from the leading UK-based global business publication. For articles from Financial Times, email LawRef@wlu.edu.
FindLaw Free legal resources online for the general public including substantive state and federal materials, informational articles, attorney directories, and legal forums.
FindLaw for Legal Professionals Free legal resources online for legal professionals, including case law and statutory codes, legal news, and career resources.
FirstSearch Over 40 million records of any type of material cataloged by OCLC member libraries. Useful for law review and journal cite checking to search for books at other libraries.
Foreign Law Guide Database offering information on sources of foreign law, including bibliographic citations to legislation, the existence of English translations, and selected references to secondary sources. Approximately 190 jurisdictions are covered and updated by a global team of experts.
Google Scholar Google Scholar searches scholarly literature and periodicals on the web, including case law and patents, and links to full text articles where available through W&L subscriptions or on the open web.
GovInfo.gov Govinfo.gov is a service of the U.S. Government Publishing Office. It provides free public access to official publications from all three branches of the Federal Government, including the U.S. Code, Federal Register, Congressional documents, executive agency publications, and select federal court opinions. GovInfo.gov replaced FDsys.gov as the official GPO online publication portal in December 2018.
HathiTrust HathiTrust is a digital library platform, providing long-term preservation and access for public domain and in-copyright content from a variety of sources, including major research libraries, Google, the Internet Archive, Microsoft, and in-house partner institution initiatives. It includes collections of digitized print materials from over 140 member institutions worldwide and contains over 17 million volumes, over 6 million of which are in the public domain.
HeinOnline Full-text PDF archive of law reviews and journals, Congressional documents, treaties, historical state and federal statutes, legal classics, appellate briefs, and other legal documents. Popular collections include: W&L Law and University alumni may access the Law Library Journal collection and Fastcase primary law content through Hein's Alumni Access Program. Visit the W&L Friends of the Library page for more information.
Historical Statistics of the United States Database of over 37,000 data series (statistical categories) from U.S. and Colonial history. Also contains extensive essays on the measurements of U.S. history. Data are available as published tables, Excel spreadsheets, PDF documents, and graphs or charts.
JSTOR JSTOR provides access to more than 12 million academic journal articles, books, and primary sources in 75 disciplines. Articles are downloadable in PDF.
Law.com Law.com provides in-depth coverage of issues important to private practitioners, judges, corporate lawyers, government attorneys and other members of the legal community. The platform provides access to publications by ALM including: Access to Law.com is available to current W&L Law faculty, students, and staff only. To access Law.com off campus and receive newsletters and alerts by email, W&L Law community members may register for an account using a valid and active wlu.edu email address. You must use @wlu.edu as your email extension, not @law.wlu.edu, if you are a student. Notifications and alerts from Law.com will still be sent to your email inbox.
Law360 Law360 is a legal news platform with more than 50 practice area, industry, and state sections that cover litigation, legislation and regulation, corporate deals, major personnel moves, and legal industry news and trends. Provided by LexisNexis.
Legal Information Institute The LII publishes open-access online versions of core materials in numerous areas of the law, including the U.S. Constitution, U.S. Code, U.S. Supreme Court decisions, Code of Federal Regulations, and Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Bankruptcy Procedure, and Criminal Procedure. Also links to authoritative state legal resources. Provided by Cornell Law School.
Lexis+ The premier LexisNexis legal research platform, providing full text of U.S. and international primary and secondary legal materials and the Shepard's citator, plus a wide range of news, company, biographical, and public records information. (Law School access only; account/password required.)
LexisNexis CourtLink LexisNexis CourtLink provides access to millions of dockets and documents from state and federal courts. Federal docket content is drawn directly from PACER, and coverage for courts in all 50 states is also available. Set alerts to monitor developments in specific cases. Accessible through the Lexis+ research tools menu. (Law School access only; account/password required.)
LexisNexis Digital Library Ebook collection of primary and secondary legal materials, plus a range of study aids for law school subjects from LexisNexis. Contains over 700 titles on 60+ legal topics, including the Code of Virginia, United States Code Service (USCS), Michie's Jurisprudence of Virginia and West Virginia, and the Understanding, Skills & Values, and Questions & Answers study aids series.
Making of Modern Law The collections of The Making of Modern Law (MOML) from Gale cover nearly every aspect of American and British law and dig deep into the legal traditions of Europe, Latin America, Asia, and other jurisdictions. Covering a range of primary materials and analytical literature, the databases include digitized books, records, and writings from influential legal writers throughout history. Collections include:
Martindale.com Online replacement of the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, providing professional, biographical, and contact information on attorneys in the U.S. and worldwide.
National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) National Criminal Justice Reference Service database, providing U.S. Department of Justice publications in abstract and full-text.
National Journal Online access to the National Journal, Poll Track, and other Congressional news. Includes the National Journal Almanac of members of Congress and the federal executive agencies.
New York Times Online access to the New York Times newspaper via the publication's website. W&L community members may register for a complimentary digital subscription via the link at left. (A valid and active wlu.edu email address is required to register.)
NewsBank - Access World News Full-text current and historical news from over 600 U.S. and over 700 international sources, including national and local newspapers as well as newswires, blogs, web-only content, videos, journals, magazines, and transcripts.
Newspapers.com Newspapers.com is the online home of 700+ million pages of historical newspapers from 5,700+ newspapers from around the United States and beyond.
Newsweek Newsweek.com includes news, analysis, and commentary from the weekly print version of the magazine, plus online-only content. For articles from Newsweek, email LawRef@wlu.edu.
Oxford English Dictionary Online access to the complete and authoritative Oxford English Dictionary via Oxford University Press.
Oxford Journals Full-text online access to dozens of journals published by Oxford University Press, searchable by keyword or browsable by title or subject. Categories of interest to researchers of law and related areas include:
Oxford Reference Online full-text collection of dictionaries, topical guides, companions, and encyclopedic works from Oxford University Press.
Oyez Oyez, a multimedia archive devoted to making the U.S. Supreme Court accessible, is the most complete and authoritative source for all of the Court’s audio since recording began in 1955. Oyez offers transcript-synchronized and searchable audio, plain-English case summaries, illustrated decision information, and full-text Supreme Court opinions. Provided by Cornell’s Legal Information Institute (LII), Justia, and Chicago-Kent College of Law.
Practical Law Practical Law helps bridge the gap between academia and real-life practice. Includes model documents with drafting and negotiating tips, step-by-step checklists, timelines and flowcharts, overviews of practice areas, and updates on the latest legal and market developments. (Accessible via Thomson Reuters/Westlaw - Law School access only; account/password required.)
Procertas Self-guided online assessment and training for proficiency in office technology and software necessary for the modern practice of law. Complete modules to earn certifications of competency that are recognized industry wide. Subjects include Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), PDF software, and The Bluebook. Access is available to current W&L Law students, staff, and faculty only. Please email lawacqs@wlu.edu to request an account.
ProQuest A collection of ProQuest databases, selected for their usefulness to researchers of law, legislative history, statistics, politics, and related topics. Available databases include:
ProQuest Ebook Central Previously known as Ebrary, ProQuest Ebook Central is an online ebook platform containing over one million authoritative titles from 750+ leading publishers, as well as a wide selection of focused and multidisciplinary ebooks including over 2,000 titles on law.
ProQuest Historical Newspapers Includes past issues of the following major U.S. papers in searchable, full-text PDF with images of original print pages:
Public Legal A categorized index of more than 4,000 select web sites in 238 nations, islands, and territories, as well as thousands of locally stored web pages, legal forms, and downloadable files. Provided by Internet Legal Research Group.
Quimbee Study Aids Quimbee Study Aids includes hundreds of video lessons covering dozens of law school courses, transcripts of these lessons, and thousands of practice questions with explanations to supplement other study methods. Complimentary access to Quimbee Study Aids is provided to all W&L Law students through the Law Library. At the beginning of each academic year, all newly enrolled students will receive an email with instructions on how to activate their account, which will remain active for all three years of law school. For support or questions, email LawRef@wlu.edu.
Regulations.gov Official U.S. Government source for information on the development of federal regulations and other related documents. Through the site, you can find, read, and comment on regulatory issues, and explore the rulemaking process and regulatory agenda of federal executive branch agencies.
Science Direct Online full-text access to thousands of academic journals and books, focusing on scientific, technical, and medical research, but also including some law-related materials. Often of interest to legal researchers are the following subject areas:
SSRN SSRN (Social Science Research Network) is a worldwide collaborative of over 350,000 authors and more than 2 million users. It is composed of numerous subject-specific research networks, with indexed repositories of published and forthcoming scholarship across more than 1,000 subject areas and academic disciplines. Content includes both downloadable full text (PDF) and abstracts.
Statista Statista is one of the world's largest statistics portals, providing data compiled from 18,000 private and public sources aggregated from North American, Europe, and Asia. All statistics and forecasts can be directly downloaded in PNG/PDF, Excel, and PowerPoint formats.
Supreme Court Database Contains over 200 pieces of information about each case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court from 1953 to present, such as the court whose decision was reviewed, the parties to the suit, the legal provisions considered in the case, and the votes of the Justices. Provided by the Washington University in St. Louis School of Law.
Tax Notes Tax Notes is a collection of publications by Tax Analysts, a non-profit tax publisher. Tax Notes’ news publications provide comprehensive but impartial coverage of tax news, while Tax Notes’ commentary publications contribute spirited and personable voices to the conversation and debate around the understanding and application of tax policy. NOTE: An individual account is required for access, registered on campus using a W&L network/IP address.
The Atlantic TheAtlantic.com includes content from the print version of the magazine, plus online-only content. For articles from The Atlantic.com, email LawRef@wlu.edu.
The Economist Economist.com includes news, analysis, and commentary from the print version of The Economist, plus online-only content from the leading global news and business publication. For articles from economist.com, email LawRef@wlu.edu.
Thomson Reuters ProView The ProView ebooks platform includes treatises and analytical publications, court rules, topical codes, practice guides, and more. Many jurisdictional and practice area-specific titles are also available. Materials are presented as paginated reproductions of print versions, and can be highlighted, annotated, bookmarked, and downloaded in PDF for offline use. W&L Law community members with Westlaw access may log in using their Thomson Reuters OnePass ID. Non-law W&L community members should use the link at left for access.
U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics The BJS mission is "to collect, analyze, publish, and disseminate information on crime, criminal offenders, victims of crime, and the operation of justice systems at all levels of government. These data are critical to federal, state, and local policymakers in combating crime and ensuring that justice is both efficient and evenhanded." The website provides annual data and reports on various statistical programs of the U.S. Department of Justice.
U.S. News and World Report Grad Compass Online access to the full U.S. News and World Report college, graduate, and law school rankings. For access, email LawRef@wlu.edu.
United Nations Digital Library UN documents and publications indexed by the UN Dag Hammarskjöld Library and the Library of the UN Office at Geneva.
United Nations Documentation Centre Portal to the UN Official Documents System (ODS), plus tools for setting alerts for new publications.
United Nations Treaty Collection This database provides information on the status of over 500 major multilateral instruments deposited with the Secretary-General of the UN (including the texts of reservations, declarations and objections) and covers a range of subject matter such as Human Rights, Disarmament, Commodities, Refugees, the Environment and the Law of the Sea.
United States Law Week United States Law Week (U.S. Law Week) provides authoritative information and commentary on significant cases and key legal developments across the country and across all areas of the law. Access via Bloomberg Law. (Law School access only; account/password required.)
USA.gov Official U.S. Government portal for online information about the entities of all three branches of the federal government, including websites, leadership, and contact information.
Virginia Lawyers Weekly Online access to the weekly news publication, focusing on legal issues and developments of interest to lawyers across the Commonwealth.
W&L Law Journal Rankings Extensive list of law reviews and journals (U.S. and foreign), with citation rankings, homepage links, editorial contact info, and author submission process. Maintained by Washington and Lee University School of Law Library.
Wall Street Journal Online access to the Wall Street Journal newspaper via the publication's website. W&L community members may register for a complimentary digital subscription via the link at left. (A valid and active wlu.edu email address is required to register.)
Washington Post Online access to the Washington Post newspaper via the publication's website. For articles from washingtonpost.com, email LawRef@wlu.edu.
West Academic Study Aids Offers easy online access to the full text of hundreds of study aids, treatises, and audio lectures to help you succeed in law school, including hornbooks, nutshells, Sum and Substance audio, Gilbert guides, Black Letter Outlines, and more.
Westlaw Campus Research The undergraduate-focused version of the Westlaw legal research platform, providing full text of U.S. federal and state court cases, statutes and regulations, plus a wide range of law reviews, periodicals, news, and business information.
Westlaw Edge UK Westlaw Edge UK is a premier legal research platform for United Kingdom materials. Content includes case law, statutes and legislation, newspapers, court dockets, treatises, and secondary materials. Tools and enhancements include Case Analytics, Legislation Compare, UK-EU Divergence Tracker, and Legislation Alerts. (Law School access only; account/password required.)
Westlaw Precision The premier legal research platform from Thomson Reuters, providing full text of U.S. and international primary and secondary legal materials and the KeyCite citator, plus a wide range of news, company, biographical, and public records information. (Law School access only; account/password required.)
Wired Wired.com includes news, analysis, and commentary from the print version of Wired magazine, plus online-only content from the leading technology news publication. For articles from wired.com, email LawRef@wlu.edu.
Wolters Kluwer VitalLaw W&L Law Library provides access to several leading treatises exclusively on the Wolters Kluwer VitalLaw platform (formerly Cheetah), including:
WorldCat Discovery Search the Washington and Lee Library catalogs and beyond. Database consisting of the records of hundreds of library catalogs, including records and location information for about 1.5 billion books, theses and dissertations, video and sound recordings, and other materials. (Multiple records may exist for any one title.)
Zero-L Created by Harvard Law School, Zero-L includes a dozen hours of lively video lectures and intermittent comprehension checks to give incoming law students a common baseline of knowledge to get off to a great start when classes begin. Includes overviews of the U.S. legal system, the vocabulary of law school, and what it means to be a law student, plus practical tips such as how to read and brief a case effectively, and short modules on core 1L course topics. Accessible on the Canvas platform. First-year students receive an email at their WLU address with registration and access information; contact Professor David Eggert at eggertd@wlu.edu with any questions.