As the spring term winds down and you’re thinking ahead to summer, you may be wondering whether and/or how you can use those library databases you’ve enjoyed for your legal research.  Whether you’re about to graduate from HLS or you’re a continuing student looking forward to a summer job, there are online research resources available to you. Read on for information about access to your Bloomberg Law, Lexis, and Westlaw accounts, as well as other library databases.

Bloomberg Law

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 2024 graduates will have access through November 30, 2024. This access is automatic (no registration required) and is unlimited and unrestricted.

If you have any questions, please contact our Bloomberg Law representative at HLS, Miche Jean.

Lexis Nexis

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 that 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, 2024. No registration is required; just sign into your account as usual and your ID will change over to a graduate ID on July 1, 2024. This ID also grants you access to the Graduate Home Page and gives you a choice of graduation gift. Remember to redeem your LexisNexis Rewards points by June 30, 2024!

Also, if you’re going to be doing public interest work, the ASPIRE Program may be for you. It provides twelve 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.

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
  • Nonprofit 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 per month on these products per month to gain understanding, build confidence in your research skills, and prepare for the bar exam. You cannot use it in situations where you are billing a client.

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

Other Databases

Continuing students have full access over the summer to most other online library resources at Harvard– from HeinOnline to JSTOR – simply by using your Harvard Key.   

New alumni have access to some databases, including HeinOnline’s Law Journal Library and the CQ Press Library (a great source of information and data on government and politics).  Visit our Library Services for HLS Alumni research guide for information about how to claim your Harvard Key and get access, plus learn about other great resources to help you stay connected.


We’d love to hear from you.  Reach out with any questions about summer access, alumni access, or anything research-related over the summer and beyond.  Current contact information is available on our Ask a Librarian! page.

Filed in: Research Tips

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