Research Guides

1L Research Guide

Offers a general strategy for approaching any legal research question; links to online resources for each step in the process; and tips applicable whether you are working on assignments in your Legal Research & Writing or Written & Oral Advocacy classes, matters for a clinical course or externship placement, or client research in a summer associate position.

2L/3L Guide

Some starting points to find law library resources that support your 2L/3L research, work, and development. Topics include research and writing for the JD Writing Requirement (aka "Option 1" and "Option 2"), or for a student Note for journal publication; upper level course prep, clinical/externship/field placement work, and journal editorial tasks; and career planning and interviewing skills.

American Indian Law

A guide to the law of the United States as it pertains to the American Indian. Includes print and microform resources held by the Law Library as well as online databases, texts, and web sites.

Armed Conflict and International Law

Designed to cover research on issues related to international humanitarian law, including law of war and law of armed conflict. Sections include locating international instruments, cases, national law, and more.

Basic & Background Sources for International & Foreign Legal Research

A research guide that focuses on basic and background sources for researching international, foreign, and comparative law topics. Sources include freely available websites as well as subscription databases. Research guides, encyclopedias, dictionaries, and more are suggested for any stage in the research process.

California Legislative History Research

A guide to doing a California legislative history at the Berkeley Law Library.

California Propositions Research

How to find text, analyses, arguments, status, history, and case law or secondary sources relating to California ballot initiatives, referenda, and recall elections, including information on attempted ballot measures that failed to qualify for the ballot.

Dockets, Briefs & Oral Argument

Tips for searching sponsored academic subscription services, as well as free online and fee-based or low-cost court-hosted resources, for viewing docket sheets, downloading filed documents, and finding oral argument transcripts and recordings. Covers federal and state courts.

Free & Low-Cost Legal Research

There are countless free (or low-cost) legal research resources available online. The trick is narrowing down the available information to find reliable and up-to-date information. This guide provides links and suggestions for free and low-cost legal research resources, including: free federal, California, and secondary resources; low-cost legal databases; and other resources and guides.

How to Get Published: A Guide to Human Rights and Social Justice Journals

This guide is aimed at undergraduate students, law and other graduate students, and recent alumni who wish to publish their research related to human rights and social justice. The guide provides information on preemption checking, picking a publication, the mechanics of the submission process, and more information.

International Business Transactions

This IBT guide covers researching national laws related to international business transactions.  It covers specific topics: arbitration, commercial law, competition/antitrust, labor, securities regulation, and more.

International Commercial Arbitration

The guide includes information on locating treaties, awards, national laws, and other information.  Includes both print and electronic sources, including databases like KluwerArbitration.

International Human Rights

This guide to international human rights research covers strategy and sources, both print and electronic.

International Organizations

Guide to researching international organizations, including the UN, EU, ILO and more.

JD Writing Requirement

This guide provides students with resources and information that support them in completing the Berkeley Law writing requirement.

Legal Advice and Referrals

Suggestions for self help services, finding a lawyer, and locating organizations that provide specialized legal help.

Lexis & Westlaw Search Tips & Tricks

For all you need to know to start using smart, logical, sophisticated Terms & Connectors on the major legal research services. Includes examples with a comparison of results.

LLM Survival Guide

Library resources and good starting points for basic legal research and writing skills, geared to LLM candidates at Berkeley Law.

Local Government Legal Resources

Suggested sources of information pertaining to municipal or county legal research, with a special emphasis on California local government.


This guide is designed to assist the scholar or student seeking access to subscription news sources for current and historical news.

Open Source & Low Cost Law Textbooks: OER Tools

Guide for faculty wishing to use or create their own Open Educational Resources (OERs).

Preemption Checking: Checklist

A guide for student authors to make sure the paper you’re writing hasn’t been written by someone else.

Prep for Your Clerkship InterviewUCB only

Resources and tips for finding out about biographical and career history, caseload and docket profiles, and jurisdictional facts about a specific judge.

Prep for Your Law Firm Interview

A selection of library and other research resources to help you get an overview of a law firm, attorney, or judge's organization and practice, in preparation for interviewing for a summer associate, intern/extern, or entry-level position.

Refugee & Asylum Law

This guide covers researching refugee and asylum law around the world. It includes sections on researching U.S. immigration law, how to find how to find foreign asylum law, how to research country conditions and country of origin (COI), IGO and NGO reports, and current awareness.

Source Collection 1-2-3

Covers the basics of sorting through and tracking down a list of sources you are assigned to collect for a journal's cite-checking project. Tips on understanding what kind of source you are looking for, and how to collect the copies you need from books, articles, and primary sources (cases, constitutions, statutes, etc.).

Student Computing Guide

A guide to computing at Berkeley Law. Covers laptops, the lab, printing, scanning, and other miscellaneous computer-related concerns.

Study Aids

Study aids, including Nutshells, Examples & Explanations, Understanding Series and Outlines are introductory texts that help you prepare for class and exams. They complement your own reading, class preparation and outlining, explaining various topics of law in a straightforward, narrative manner.

Tools for Legal Practice

Law students working as summer associates, as judicial externs, and in clinical and other field placements have access to a broad variety of databases and services offering practical tools and guidance. This guide points to resources for document drafting, researching law and policy issues, and other practical tasks typical of litigation and court practice, transactional and business law practice, or government and public interest law practice.