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Research Guide for Foreign LL.M. Students and Visiting Scholars: Getting Started


This guide is designed to provide students in the LUC Law School's "U.S. Law for Foreign Lawyers" LL.M. program and visiting foreign scholars with a roadmap for their research.  Students in this program and visiting scholars may use the LUC Libraries, and they will also receive Westlaw, Lexis, and Bloomberg Law passwords.

Detailed information on the Law Library and its services is available on the Law Library's website. See the LUC Libraries' website for information on the Lewis Library, Cudahy Library, and Health Sciences Library. 

The Bluebook

The Bluebook is a style manual that contains the national citation rules most often used by U.S. law students, faculty, and federal courts. Originally published in 1926, the current edition is the 21st, which is updated periodically to reflect new types of citations. The popularity of The Bluebook among law students and legal professionals has resulted in the term Bluebooking. Bluebooking is the process of editing legal texts to ensure that assertions are supported by citations that conform to the rules in The Bluebook.

There are a number of copies of the current edition of The Bluebook on reserve in the Law Library for use in the Library.  The Law Library also owns a number of books that provide guidance on how to use The Bluebook

The Law Library currently has registration keys available for six-month individual online subscriptions. Please email if you would like a free registration key. 

Basic Legal Research Skills

The Law Library offers a detailed guide for first-year law students that foreign students and faculty will also find helpful.  See also the "Books" tab for introductory titles related to the U.S. legal system, legal research, and legal writing, as well as the "Web Resources" tab for other helpful information. 

If You Need Help....

There is a reference desk on the third floor of the Law Library where an assigned reference librarian assists our students, faculty, and visitors during most hours the Law Library is open. Our reference librarians all have U.S. law degrees, as well as graduate degrees in library science. The reference librarian is available to help with specific research questions that do not require lengthy consultations, as well as advice on document retrieval and minor technology issues. For more lengthy requests, including research guidance and individual tours, please ask to set up an appointment with a reference librarian.

Westlaw, LexisNexis, and Bloomberg Law

Westlaw (platform WestlawNext) and LexisNexis (platform Lexis+) are the two major commercial legal research databases utilized in the U.S. WestlawNext and Lexis+ offer the ability to search across multiple databases, similar to a Google search. 

Both Westlaw and LexisNexis offer a number of helpful user guides:

Westlaw User Guides

Lexis Support & Training

Both services also offer extensive interactive/video tutorials once a user is logged on to each service.  In Westlaw, click on the "Training" link. In LexisNexis, click on "Interactive Tutorials." There are also a number of YouTube videos that focus on Westlaw and LexisNexis training.  For example, see the LexisNexis YouTube Channel.

Bloomberg Law is a relatively new commercial legal research database that is gaining popularity. LUC law students and faculty without Bloomberg Law accounts may sign up under "Register for a Bloomberg Law Account," utilizing their LUC credentials.


CALI, the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction, is a non-profit consortium of U.S. law schools that offers nearly 1,000 online lessons on legal topics. The lessons are generally authored by law school faculty and law librarians. LUC Law School faculty and students may access CALI lessons with a password that is available at the Law Library's reference desk. There are also free downloadable eBooks now available through CALI's eLangdell® Press.

List of CALI lessons

Legal English

Legal vocabulary is highly specialized.  The books listed below are designed to help with legal vocabulary in English.  There are also videos available on YouTube that address the subject of "Legal English" (search with the term "Legal English").

ABA "Daily News" RSS Feed

The American Bar Association (ABA) is a national organization of attorneys headquartered in Chicago. This is the RSS feed for the ABA's "Daily News."

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Online Translators

Many online translators are available on the WWW, but these should be used with caution since web translators do not generally include specialized legal or commercial vocabulary.  Online translators, however, may be of some help in getting the general sense of a document or passage.  Examples of WWW translators are:


PowerPoint on Researching U.S. and Illinois Law