Westlaw is a legal database by Thomson Reuters with a focus on the United States, and a selection of international materials. It contains an extensive collection of American case law (on federal and state level) and a large quantity of secondary sources on more than 30 subjects. The international materials pertain to the European Union and a number of common law countries like Canada and Australia: journals, cases, legislation, etc.


Using the search bar at the top, you can enter keywords to begin searching Westlaw. When doing so, make sure you search the correct sources. Via 'All Content' you search the US sources, via 'International Materials' you search the other international sources. If you search within US sources, you can choose to search everything ('All State & Federal' to the right of the search bar) or make a specific selection of states or federal sources.
When entering keywords in the search bar, Westlaw will automatically suggest any sources with that name or frequently accessed results.

The 'Overview' of results you get after searching a keyword is a selection of 10 sources. Filter on the left by source type or 'All results' for more search results. Once you've done that, you can filter further (e.g., by jurisdiction, publication name, etc.) or search using keywords in your search results.

Another way to find specific search results is to first navigate to the (type of) source you are interested in and then search via the search bar. To get to the navigation within US sources, click 'Westlaw Classic' in the upper left corner.


  • On Westlaw, you will not find texts in pdf that follow the layout of the original print edition. The pages are indicated (in html and the pdf you can download), but the pdf is not the original printed work.
  • More information about how to use Westlaw.

More tips

Translated tip

Last modified Jan. 31, 2024, 3:42 p.m.