Legal Research & Research Skills •

Check Out Our Latest Research Guides

The librarians at the Harvard Law School Library are always working to create new guides to help you with your research and technology needs and we have recently debuted several new guides:

SJD Guide to Law Library Services & SJD Research Classes

Please see our brand new SJD Guide to Law Library Services.  You can find out about FRIDA, the contact information of your personal librarian, and many other services for our SJDs.

We are also offering for the first time ever research classes to our SJDs!!! Here’s the fall lineup:

Tue, 9/24 – Bibliography Tools

Mon, 11/4 & 6 – Multidisciplinary Research

Wed, 11/13 – Current Awareness Tools

Thu, 12/5 – Finding, Making and Using Data

Wed, 12/11 – Publishing

For more information about the sessions and to sign up, visit our, Research Training Calendar.

App of the Month: HeinOnline

Do you use HeinOnline all the time? Do you find yourself wishing that you could even access it on your commute? Have you ever been out and about and had a burning question that could only be answered by turning to the Pentagon Papers?

Ok, maybe not, but if you have ever wished you could turn your bus ride to school into productive time or if you ever wanted to look up one last thing as you rushed to class, you may be interested to know that HeinOnline has a mobile app! With their app, users can access all the same materials that they access through the full database on their iPhone or iPad (currently the app is only available for iOS devices). From the app, you can review the same full text PDF of the item that you would find on HeinOnline itself and you can download the document for later review.

Once you download the app, all you need to do is login for the first time while on the Harvard University IP range. After that, you will have access anywhere for 30 days before you will have to re-authenticate while on campus. HeinOnline offers a complete User Guide to help you get started with the app and if you run into any troubles, you can also always ask a librarian. Looking for more mobile app recommendations? Check out our guide to mobile apps!

This screenshot shows the app in action.

Check Out Our New Guide to the Law of the People’s Republic of China

If you are interested in the law of the People’s Republic of China, you are in luck! The library recently published our latest research guide, which covers many aspects of the law of the People’s Republic of China. This guide offers access to materials in both Chinese and in translation. It includes primary law and secondary resources and we plan to continue to update it with additional materials in the future. Whether you are already familiar with this area of research or if you are new to it, you will be sure to find helpful resources for your work.

Love Animals? Check out our new research guide on Animal Law!


Tookie - currently available for adoption through the ARL of Boston, and being fostered by Terri Saint-Amour, ARL Volunteer and Law Librarian

Tookie is available for adoption through the Animal Rescue League of Boston. He is being fostered by Terri Saint-Amour.

Just take a look at the sweet, adorable face to the left and fall in love. That’s what Terri Saint-Amour, law librarian at Harvard Law Library has done, by agreeing to foster him on behalf of the Animal Rescue League of Boston.  Being an avid animal lover and a volunteer with the Animal Rescue League, she decided to put together a legal research guide on Animal Law. Included in the guide are links to state and national organizations dedicated to advancing the law as it pertains to animals, as well as state and federal laws, international agreements, GAO reports and more! There are even a few cute videos in case you are a law student reading this post, and need some stress relief.

By the way, in case you have also fallen in love with the gorgeous cat known as Tookie, here’s more information about him, written by another volunteer from the Animal Rescue League.  If you ask any of her fellow reference colleagues, they’ll tell you how happy she is to talk about him, or any of the other animals she works with on a weekly basis. For more information on adopting an animal from the Animal Rescue League, please see their website, and Like them on Facebook! They have additional locations in Dedham, MA, and Brewster, MA.




Register for Summer Success!

Photo by marcomagrini

Photo by marcomagrini. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Our annual Summer Success program will be held from 3pm to 5pm on Thursday, April 4th.

Find out how to hit the ground running as you begin your summer or permanent job. Whether you are entering the public or private sector, employers are operating with fewer resources than ever with a constant eye on results. This program will help you prepare for the types of assignments you will receive as you begin to apply what you have learned in law school to your new job.

Select up to two sessions offering practical tips on efficient legal research strategies in a variety of areas as well as concrete strategies for success on the job, including how to tackle a new assignment, interact with supervisors, obtain constructive feedback, and gain the most from your job opportunity.

For registration and other information, visit:

Cosponsored by the HLS Library and the Program on the Legal Profession. Kindle door prizes provided by LexisNexis and Bloomberg Law. Please contact George Taoultsides,, with questions.

Upcoming Legal Research Classes

The Harvard Law School librarians will be offering several legal research classes on various topics throughout October and November. These classes are a great way to get started on a writing project or just develop your legal research skills for work on a journal, in a clinic, at a clerkship or at any new job. Signup information for all classes is available here:

Finding and Mining SEC docs for Transactional Work
Monday, October 22 from 5:00 to 5:30
Location: WCC 4061
Come learn how to find and mine SEC filings to commit acts of good and evil, whether helping take a company public (S-1), co-opting M&A agreements or finding other model forms.
Contact: Lisa Junghahn,

Getting Started with LinkedIn
Wednesday October 24th from 12:00 to 12:45
Location: Areeda 524
Are you interested in finding out what LinkedIn has to offer for your job search and networking efforts? This 45 minute session will walk you through the process of getting started with LinkedIn, while highlighting some of the service’s most popular features.
Contact: Carli Spina,

Getting Started with Evernote
Tuesday October 30th from 5:00 to 5:45
Location: Areeda 524
Evernote is a cloud-based service that makes it easy to share notes, documents and images across multiple devices. Combined with the many apps that have been created to enhance it, Evernote is a powerful tool for organizing, using and searching through your research, class notes and personal documents.
Contact: Carli Spina,

Finding court records & briefs
Wednesday October 31 from 12:00 to 12:45
Location: Areeda 524
Are you looking for court documents? This class will introduce you to techniques and resources for finding court documents from appellate briefs to trial transcripts.
Contact: Mindy Kent,

Criminal Justice Research Quickie
Friday, November 2 from 12:30 to 12:45
Location: Areeda 524
Interested in Criminal Justice? Attend a quickie training designed to help you find relevant books, articles, videos and other materials.
Contact: Michelle Pearse,

HBS Style Company & Industry Research
Friday, November 2 from 3:00 to 3:30
Location: WCC 4062
Come learn how to conduct a company and industry research, including resources for PE and VC deals.
Contact: Lisa Junghahn,

Administrative Law Research
Monday, November 5 from 12:15 to 12:45
Location: WCC 4061
Follow the agency rule promulgation process; find and update regulations; find administrative decisions; and navigate agency websites for links to the Code of Federal Regulation and Federal Register.
Contact: Lisa Junghahn,

Essential Employer Research: Researching Law Firms, Lawyers and Judges
Thursday November 8 from 12:00 to 12:45
Location: Areeda 524
Set yourself apart in your job search. Learn how to mine the Library’s resources for background information about potential employers to help target your applications and prepare you for your interviews.
Contact: Mindy Kent, or Carli Spina,

Apps for Law Students and Lawyers
Wednesday November 14th from 12-12:45
Location: Areeda 524
Come learn about mobile apps that will help you to use your mobile device to research on the go, increase your overall productivity and have fun!
Contact: Carli Spina,

Introducing the Beta Version of

Today the Library of Congress, the Government Printing Office, the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives came together to announce the launch of the beta version of This new site, which will eventually replace THOMAS, already offers access to information on the status and language of bills, video of the House and Senate floors, biographical information about individual members of Congress and videos explaining the legislative process, and more features from THOMAS will be added to the site over time. It is designed to be user-friendly, with a focus on improved search functionality, including the ability to narrow results with facets. The site also works on mobile devices so that you can continue your search on the go without installing a separate app. Check it out and let us know what you think!
Introducing CongressDotGov

New Guide to Free Legal Research Resources

Free! by klabusta

Creative Commons Photo by klabusta

While many legal researchers spend much of their time using expensive subscription databases, an ever increasing amount of legal research information is freely available online. This is particularly true for government documents as many governments around the world, including the U.S. government begin to place a higher priority on making legislative documents freely available to citizens. But, it is also true of secondary sources, local government documents, international law materials and data sets.

The Library has prepared a new research guide that highlights some of the best and most useful freely available resources in each of these areas. Whether you are a graduating student who is looking for free resources to continue your research at your new job or are just looking for government information from any source, this guide will show you where to find information without using an expensive database. Check back frequently, because we will add more resources on an ongoing basis to keep the guide up-to-date on the best free legal resources on the internet.

Interested in getting published?

Thinking about trying to publish in a law journal? Many law students have done it! Join the library in exploring the tools you can use to make the process of submitting an article for publication easier, including:

•how to identify potential journals and measure their impact/quality
•how to use ExpressO and other means to submit your manuscript
•how to assess publication agreements and your rights as an author

Sessions are available:
April 12th, noon-1:00pm
April 12th, 5:00-6:00pm

Register here.