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Westlaw: Home

A guide to using Westlaw for Law Students, faculty, and staff


Westlaw a subscription based online legal research service owned by Thomson Reuters. Westlaw allows for users to quickly search the various databases of Westlaw (over 40,000) with simple text searches or more advanced terms and connectors. The system also allows for a user to further filter results by a number of different criteria, such as jurisdiction or document type. Users have access to a wide swath of primary and secondary sources depending on the type of subscription the user has with Westlaw.

A subscription is required to access Westlaw

Click here to jump to lawschool.westlaw (sign-in required).

Once you have logged in you will be in the lawschool.westlaw homepage for Texas Tech School of Law. This site gives you access to WestlawNext user guides and trainings, WestlawNext, The West Education Network (TWEN), and an electronic store (eProducts) for West products.

The user guides and trainings explain how to use the various aspects of WestlawNext, such as the "Getting Started Reasearch Guide," or "ten-minute excercises to improve your skills."

TWEN is where some professors will post class documents or require assignments to be turned in, through TWEN's dropbox system. Some student organizations will have a TWEN page that members can access documents posted by the organization.

Store gives you access to West Academic's online store page.

Westlaw will give you access to the search database (login required).

There is a certification program that teachs how to use the platform.

Click here to jump to WestlawNext (login required).

Once you login, you will be at the homepage for WestlawNext. The homepage gives you access to the Westlaw databases and a number of way to search.

The search bar allows for searching that can be narrowed by jurisdiction or with advanced terms and connectors.

  • You can begin the search with basic terms and narrow the results into the categories you are interested in.
  • Using advance search terms will narrow the results and give more useful results
  • Using the citation for a case or law journal will jump to the relevant document if it is in the database.
  • If you type the name of a collection, such as the United States Code (U.S.C.) a box will open under the search bar and allow you to choose the U.S.C.A. (West's publication of the U.S.C.) with a mouse-click and that will narrow the search results to only the U.S.C.A.

The browse box allows for you to narrow the database before beginning your search.

  • If you click on secondary sources that will limit the search results to only secondary sources.
  • You can then enter your search terms, or continue to narrow the database by selecting type, State, or topic.
  • This system allows for you to drill down to the appropriate database before beginning your search allowing for more relevant search results.

This quick guide series explains these systems in-depth.