Looking for a law or court case? Use Westlaw Campus.

Westlaw Campus is the main database that’s used to do legal research. This includes
  • Federal laws (the United States Code)
  • State laws
  • Case law (U.S. Supreme Court, federal circuit courts, state courts)
  • Law journal articles
Today we’ll focus on looking up articles in law journals. If you do a search in Multidatabase Search or Google Scholar, you won’t get many full-text results, but this is deceiving. Westlaw’s immense collection of full-text scholarly law journal articles is invisible to those search tools. You have to actually log into Westlaw to find the articles. Here’s how:
First, go to All Databases By Title, scroll down, click Westlaw Campus, log in, and click through the intro page. Now you’re on the main search page, which looks like this:

There’s going to be a set of search boxes, and underneath that are a lot of check-boxes. Click the third one down in the first set of check-boxes: Journals and Law Reviews. Then use the pull-down menu next to it to select “All Journals And Law Reviews.”
Next, search your keywords in the search boxes above. But don’t use the Search button next to the search boxes. Instead use the Search button at the very bottom of the window. (Don’t ask me why it’s this complicated…)
A search result will look something like this:


18. 71 Ala. Law. 146
Alabama Lawyer March, 2010 WHAT’S THE SCOOP? BACKGROUND CHECKS AND THE FAIR CREDIT REPORTING ACT C. Paige Goldman

The header is a standardized abbreviation for the citation, and it’s a clickable link to the full-text article, which you can then e-mail to yourself, download or print. Law articles tend to be very long, so you might want to avoid printing an article until you’ve skimmed its contents to see if it’s what you need.
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