Legal Research Databases: Summer 2023 and new grad access policies

Summer is almost here, and whether you’re about to graduate from HLS or embark on a summer job opportunity, there are online research resources available to you. Read on for information about access to your Bloomberg Law, Lexis, and Westlaw accounts, along with other library databases.


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

NEW GRADUATES: All graduates have continuous access for six months following graduation, so Spring 2023 graduates will have access through November 30, 2023. This access is automatic (no registration required) and is unlimited and unrestricted.

For assistance using Bloomberg Law, students and graduates continue to have free access to the 24/7 Help Desk at (888) 560-2529 or [email protected]. You may also reach out to our Bloomberg Law account representative at HLS, Miche Jean.


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 for client work).

NEW GRADUATES:  After graduation, you have automatic extended access to your HLS Lexis+ account for six months, through December 31, 2023. No registration is required; just sign into your account as usual and your ID will change over to a graduate ID on July 10, 2023 and the home page will switch to a graduate view. 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 (excluding public records, Law360, Practical Guidance and Lexis for Microsoft Office). Take note: you have until June 30, 2023 to redeem your LexisNexis Rewards points!

Also, if you’re engaged in non-profit work, the ASPIRE Program may be for you. It provides 12 months of free access to federal and state cases, regulations, law reviews, Shepard’s, and Matthew Bender treatises to graduates who are engaged in verifiable 501(c)(3) public interest work.  For more details, check out this webpage.

If you have any questions, please contact our Lexis representative at HLS, Adam Masarek.


RETURNING STUDENTS’ SUMMER USE: 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 (or go to; log in, and use the drop-down menu by your name to go to Grad Elite Status). “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 Westlaw representative at HLS, Mark Frongillo.

Continuing students have full access over the summer to most other online library resources at Harvard simply by using your Harvard Key. 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, which a great source for information and data on government and politics. Visit 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. We hope you’ll keep in touch!

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