Boston College's Law Library subscribes to over 200 legal databases, providing a wide variety of resources. These databases can be accessed from this A-Z List. Law students also have access to all of the University’s databases, which can be filtered by subject (e.g., biology, social work, gender studies) or database type (e.g., data/statistics, newspapers, market research/industry reports. On this page, you can find information regarding legal research, study aids, and recommended databases.
The Teaching & Research librarians are always happy to consult with you to determine the best databases for your specific research project. Connect with us here:
Email us your research questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get back to you by the next business. You also can call us at 617-552-2971 during our scheduled reference hours.
Request a Research Consultation
You can request an online or in-person appointment with a research librarian. We can help you get started with a research project or paper, train you on legal databases, give you tips on navigating the Bluebook, or help you locate specific sources. You can choose a specific librarian or the first available.
Chat with a Librarian
To get live help with a research question, you can request to chat with a research librarian during our scheduled reference hours.
Summer interns/associates and new associates often are tasked with finding the laws on a certain topic across all 50 states (or some subset thereof). An already-compiled survey can be a huge time-saver for this type of project, and the Law Library subscribes to multiple databases that can help:
- National Survey of State Laws (HeinOnline)
- Subject Compilation of State Laws (HeinOnline)
- Westlaw 50 State Statutory & Regulatory Surveys
- Lexis 50-State Surveys: Statutes & Regulations
- Bloomberg Law Chart Builders
- VitalLaw Smart Charts
For more help, see our BC Law Library Research Guide on Statutory Research.
Another common assignment in practice is to find the legislative history of a statute in order to discern the intent of the legislature. The legislative history of a law consists of the various documents produced by Congress as a bill moves through the legislative process. Documents include committee reports, debate transcripts, hearings, versions of bills, and more.
- Westlaw Legislative History
- ProQuest Legislative Insight
- HeinOnline’s Federal Legislative History Library Use to search for bill or public law number to see associated documents
- Congress.gov Best when you have a citation to a specific document, eg. committee report
- Guide to Compiling a Massachusetts Legislative History
For more help, see our BC Law Library Research Guide on Federal Legislative History Materials.
Drafting documents is an important part of legal practice, whether it’s drafting motions, complaints, and briefs as a litigator or contracts and other agreements as a transactional attorney. Knowing where to find good sample documents can help you save time and improve your drafting skills.
- Westlaw Practical Law Standard documents, clauses, etc. by Practice Area
- Lexis Practical Guidance Includes templates and clauses by Practice Area
- Bloomberg Law Dockets Search dockets for similar cases to find real-life litigation examples!
- Bloomberg Law Transactional Intelligence Center Includes drafting tools, sample agreements, and other practical guidance
- Westlaw Drafting Assistant Locate additional authority and check citations
- Westlaw Quick Check
- Lexis Brief Analysis
- Bloomberg Law Draft Analyzer
For more help, see our BC Law Library Research Guides on Brief Analysis Tools and Transactional Law Resources.
For litigators, analytics data such case timing, resolutions, damages, remedies, and judicial findings/rulings can aid in decision-making and strategy. For transactional attorneys, looking at the data points on similar deals and agreements can help in negotiations and provide insights on current market practice.
- Lex Machina Data analytics for ERIA and civil rights litigation
- Bloomberg Law Litigation Analytics
- Bloomberg Law Deal Analytics
- Westlaw Litigation Analytics
- Trellis State trial court docket info and analytics
For more help, contact the Teaching & Research Librarians.
Law school tends to focus on tasks related to litigation practice. The Law Library has a number of resources that can assist you in understanding and completing tasks encountered in transactional practice, including due diligence, compliance, drafting, or corporate formation.
- HotShot M&A Basics, Commercial Lending, Securities Offerings, and more
- Intelligize SEC Filings, Agreements, M&A data, and more
- RBSource SEC statutes, rules, regulations and administrative guidance along with SEC filings
- Lexis Practical Guidance Practice notes, forms, checklists, and more in a variety of Practice Areas
- Westlaw Practical Law Practice notes, forms, checklists, and more in a variety of Practice Areas
For more help, see our BC Law Library Research Guide on Transactional Law Resources.
The Law Library subscribes to multiple sources of study aids for class and exam prep. Before buying an expensive study aid, check out the resources available to you for free! For more help, see our BC Law Library Research Guide on Study Aids and Exam Preparation Resources.
Bloomberg Law: Law School Course Resources
Features course-specific resources, including advanced courses, as well as class prep & stress management resources.
West Academic Study Aids
Includes hornbooks, legal outlines, case briefs and exam prep materials and more!
The Center for Computer Assisted Legal Instruction: Ask for Registration Code at the Information Desk in the Law Library.
Aspen Learning Library
Includes Examples & Explanations, Glannon Guides, Emanuel Outlines, and more!
Each year one of the "Students' Favorites" is selected to be featured as a top resource. Check back to see if your recommendation is selected next year!
U.S. Code from the House of Representatives’ Office of Law Revision Counsel
“I found this free database to be a convenient and easy way to easily search through statutes by their popular names or by their Public Law/Statutes at Large numbers. After learning about it, I have made heavy use of it for Law Review work and some other assignments as well. It has made life infinitely easier when dealing with current and no-longer-in-force statutes.”