Legal Research Databases: Summer 2021 and new grad access policies

You’ve come a long way, and summer is finally in sight! Whether you’re preparing for a summer job or you’re about to graduate from HLS, there are online research resources available to you. Read on for information about access to your Bloomberg Law, Lexis, and Westlaw accounts, and more.


RETURNING STUDENTS’ SUMMER USE: You may use your HLS Bloomberg Law account for any purpose, including research for employers. If you haven’t already signed up for a Bloomberg Law account, go to (use your Harvard email. No activation code is necessary).

NEW GRADUATES:  You may continue to use your HLS Bloomberg Law account for six months after graduation. 

If you have any questions, please contact our representative, Warda Khan.


RETURNING STUDENTS’ SUMMER USE: You will automatically have free unlimited use of your law school Lexis+ ID this summer. This includes workplace related research (but check with your employer first; many firms prefer summer associates use a firm-issued Lexis ID). No registration is required for summer access; just sign in as usual.

You can also take advantage of Lexis’s on-demand Prepare to Practice Resources:

NEW GRADUATES:     After graduation, you have automatic extended access to your HLS Lexis+ account for six months, through December 31, 2021. No registration is required; just sign into your account as usual. Whether you are preparing for the bar or conducting a legal job search, you can enjoy access to the same content you had in law school, (with the exception of public records).

If you have any questions, please contact our representative, Stacy Sanchez.


RETURNING STUDENTS: You can use Thomson Reuters products, including Westlaw®, Practical Law, and the Practice Ready solutions, over the summer for non-commercial research. You can turn to these resources to gain understanding and build confidence in your research skills, but you cannot use them in situations where you are billing a client. Examples of permissible uses for your academic password include the following:

  • Summer coursework
  • Research assistant assignments
  • Law Review or Journal research
  • Moot Court research
  • Non-Profit work (either required for graduation or as part of a class)
  • Clinical work
  • Externship sponsored by the school

You do not have to do anything to gain access to these tools over the summer.

NEW GRADUATES: You have access to Thomson Reuters products, including Westlaw and Practical Law, for six months after graduation by registering for “Grad Elite” access here. “Grad Elite” access gives you 60-hours of usage on these products per month to gain understanding and build confidence in your research skills. While you cannot use it in situations where you are billing a client, Thomson Reuters encourages you to use these tools to build your knowledge of the law and prepare for your bar exam. 

If you have any questions, please contact our representative, Mark Frongillo.

Continuing students have full access over the summer to most other online library resources at Harvard simply by using your HUIDs and PINs. So if you need JSTOR, HeinOnline, Academic Search Premier or most other databases, you’re all set!

New alumni continue to have access to some databases, including HeinOnline’s Law Journal Library and the CQ Press Library, a great source for information and data on government and politics. Click through to our guide to Library Services for HLS Alumni for information about how to claim your Harvard Key and get access, plus learn about other resources for alumni and how to stay connected from afar.

Don’t hesitate to ask. Feel free to contact us with any questions about summer access, alumni access, or any research-related questions over the summer and beyond. Current contact information is available at Ask a Librarian.

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