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Legal Research FAQs: Home

About This Guide

This Guide is intended to provide basic answers on how to find certain types of resources in the Law Library's print and electronic collections. For more in-depth research questions, we encourage you to contact one of our Reference Librarians by email at or by phone at 312-915-7205. Our current Law Library reference hours are:

  • Sundays - closed
  • Mondays, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Fridays, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Saturdays, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Although we are happy to assist you with reference questions, please remember that our reference librarians will not answer questions that require performing research for you, providing legal advice, or assisting with legal procedures. For details about available reference services, see About Loyola Law Library Reference Services.

Post-Graduation and Summer Access: Bloomberg Law, Lexis, & Westlaw

Continuing Student Summer Access and Graduating Student Access (Updated March 2023)

Bloomberg Law Access

There are no academic restrictions on your Loyola-issued Bloomberg Law account. Graduating students will continue to have full access to the platform for six months following their graduation. Continuing students can use their academic accounts during their summer employment/activities for ANY purpose.

If you have questions, please contact Stefanie Schuette ( or Debra Ngcobo (

Lexis Access

Summer Access terms:  LexisNexis is available to all law students once classes end for the semester/academic year, for the summer months of May, June, July and August. LexisNexis believes a student's participation in a summer associate, internship or clerkship program is a valuable part of your legal education. For that reason, during this period the permissible uses of their LexisNexis law school educational ID are expanded to include use at any law firm, government agency, court or other legal position, internship, externship or clerkship.

Graduate Access: In addition to summer access for 1Ls and 2Ls, spring graduates have continued access to Lexis upon graduation to keep their skills up to date and use for job and interview preparation. The Graduate Program gives extended access to Lexis+ to spring graduates via their law school IDs through December 31, 2023. Spring graduates have access to most of the same content and features available during law school. In addition, they also gain access to the Graduate Home Page and a graduate gift which they can redeem via the Graduate Home Page. The transition from a regular law school ID to a graduate ID happens on July 10, 2023.

In addition, spring graduates who are engaged in verifiable 501(c)(3) public interest work can apply for a Lexis ASPIRE ID. Graduates who qualify for a Lexis ASPIRE ID will receive 12 months of free access to federal and state court cases, statutes, regulations, law journals, Shepard's, and Matthew Bender sources through Lexis. The application for an ASPIRE ID is available at

If you have any questions, please contact Tianna Gadbaw (

Westlaw Access

Non-Graduating Students (Summer Access)

You can use Thomson Reuters products, including Westlaw and Practical Law, 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
  • Clinical work
  • Externship sponsored by the school

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

Graduating Students

You have access to Thomson Reuters products, including Westlaw and Practical Law, for six months after graduation by registering for “Grad Elite.” “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.

1. Go to; log in; use the drop-down menu by your name to go to Grad Elite Status
2. Or Click on this link:

If you have any questions, please contact Elan Kleis (

About Loyola Law Library Reference Services

Reference librarians at the Law Library provide assistance with selecting and using resources for legal research. Our primary patrons are: current law students, law faculty, and law staff. If time and resources permit, we also provide reference services to: Loyola University Chicago non-law students, faculty, and staff; Loyola law alumni; and Illinois attorneys. We also assist those seeking access to federal depository materials.

For reference services for law faculty, see the Faculty Services Guide.
For reference services for law students, see the Law Library Student Services Guide.
For resources for alumni, see the Law Library Alumni Services Guide.
For access to federal depository materials, please contact

What kinds of questions may I ask the reference librarians?

Although we are happy to assist people doing legal research, the reference librarians may only provide help with selecting and using library materials and online resources. For example, we can:

  • Recommend sources to begin your research.
  • Explain how to use legal research tools.
  • Assist you in using our collection, including how to find materials in the Law Library.
  • Explain how to use the electronic resources available in the Law Library.
  • Help you locate a particular legal source with a specific reference or citation.

Reference librarians will not conduct legal research for patrons, give legal advice, or answer specific questions about interpreting the law.  For example, librarians will not:

  • Interpret the meaning of statutes, regulations, or court opinions,
  • Advise on legal procedures;
  • Provide assistance with legal procedures, filling out forms, or creating legal forms or documents;
  • Review and/or edit documents;
  • Summarize content from legal resources;
  • Advise on proper citation format;
  • Read text over the phone or send it in an email or text message;
  • Confirm whether a resource is on the shelf; or
  • Recommend attorneys.

Examples of acceptable questions:

  • Does the Law Library have legal forms?
  • What resources are available for researching Illinois child support law?
  • What is the URL for the Illinois Secretary of State's website?
  • What databases should I use to find journal articles on a legal topic?

Examples of unacceptable questions:

  • Which form do I use and how do I fill it out?
  • I need to write a complaint to sue someone for not paying child support. Can you help me do that?
  • Is it better to set up my business as a corporation or as a limited liability company?
  • I found this case in an article I was reading. What do you think this case means?

Resources for finding legal advice

People seeking legal advice should visit the Web sites of institutions that specialize in helping people find legal representation, such as the Illinois State Bar Association or the Chicago Bar Association, or consult with Illinois Legal Aid Online.

Books on Legal Research

Selected books on legal research in the Law Library collection. Unless otherwise indicated, these books are located in the Law Library Main Stacks. You can search our Library Catalog to find more books about Legal Research in our collection.

Law Library


Loyola University Chicago
School of Law Library 
Philip H. Corboy Law Center
25 E. Pearson Street
Chicago, IL 60611


Access and borrowing questions:
Research questions:

Phone Numbers

Main:  312.915.7200
Circulation:  312.915.6986
Reference:  312.915.7205
Interlibrary Loan:  312.915.7202
Fax:  312.915.6797

Web Resources on Legal Research

The resources listed below are compiled and published by professional associations for Law Librarians. While they are intended for use by non-lawyers, they contain tips on conducting legal research that can be of value to any researcher.