This page was created to help Hastings students with their research needs in the Hastings Law Library. The procedures for requesting and locating materials may be new to you. The links below will help you access the materials you need.
Hastings Library Catalogs

Encore Search - this user-friendly tool offers a quick keyword search to find books, journals and many articles available at Hastings. The advanced search feature allows more complex title, author and subject searching.

Classic Catalog - this library catalog helps you find books on your topic. Use keyword searches for broad topics. Once you have narrowed down to a Subject Heading, use subject searches to find all materials under that subject. A few suggestions for searching:

  • Click on the call number to browse titles shelved nearby.  If you are on campus, browsing the shelves can help find useful books.
  • Many research guides contain suggested subject headings, and these will point you to areas of the library to begin searching.
  • You can combine Subject search terms in an Advanced Search.
Using First Search
If the book you want is not in the Hastings Law Library, or you would like to locate other books on your topic, use FirstSearch , a database containing information about books from most of the libraries in the English-speaking world. When you find a book you want, click on the ILL icon at the top, and request the book.
Finding Journal Articles

Lexis and Westlaw

Finding a journal article discussing the area of law about which you plan to write is a great way to start your research or to solidify an important point in your paper. Search both Lexis full-text law reviews and Westlaw full-text law reviews to find articles written since the mid-1990s. Although there is significant overlap, you may find unique articles by searching both databases.

WestlawNext Secondary Sources - Law Reviews and Journals
Click on Advanced Search to preform a more focused search on your key terms.

Lexis Advance -Secondary Sources
Use Lexis Connectors to do a focused search on your key terms.


Unlike Lexis and Westlaw full-text law review databases, legal periodical indexes include almost every U.S. law review article from 1980 to present. One advantage to searching these indexes is that it allows you to search more journal articles. Another is that legal periodical indexes allow you to find articles by subjects or topics within subjects. When using full-text databases, you are generally trying to find relevant documents by searching for language that might appear in the article. Indexes differ in that articles are read by professionals who assign subjects, cross-references and other finding tools to help researchers find relevant materials. Hastings has provides access to several legal periodical indexes.

Index to Legal Periodicals and Books
Full text and citations from legal periodicals and books. Periodical coverage includes law reviews, bar association journals, university publications, yearbooks, institutes, and government publications. Coverage: 1981 - present; Retrospective Coverage: 1908-1981. Links to full text for most citations.

LegalTrac is a database for finding articles in all major law reviews, law journals, specialty law and bar association journals, and legal newspapers on Federal and State Cases, Laws and Government Regulations, Legal Practice, and legal subjects.

Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals
Index of articles and book reviews from more than 450 legal periodicals, including journals, essay collections, festschrifts, and congress reports. Coverage includes international law (public and private), comparative law, and municipal law of countries other than the United States, British Isles, and British Commonwealth. Updated quarterly. Coverage: 1985 - present

Google Scholar
Google Scholar searches multiple academic databases simultaneously.  Search results include a citator to rank the influence of each article.


If you have a citation to n law review article that is not available on Lexis, Westlaw or another full-text database, you may be able to print a PDF version of it on the HeinOnline Law Journal Library . HeinOnline contains more than 1,620 law and law-related periodicals. Coverage is from the first issue published for all periodicals and goes through the most-currently published issues allowed based on contracts with publishers. Search by article title, author, subject, state or country published, full text, and narrow by date.

Legal Scholarship Network

, better known as SSRN, is a searchable database of abstracts of working papers, unpublished research and recently published articles. SSRN includes many full-text articles not available elsewhere. The goal of SSRN is to facilitate the quick distribution of scholarly information related to law. 

What to Do After Finding an Article in an Index Or Bibliography

If you have found a citation to an article in an index or mentioned in a bibliography and are unsure of where to find a full-text version of it, you may be able to locate the periodical by searching for it in the Hastings Law Library's e-journal finder.


San Francisco Public Library

If an article you have found is not in a law-related journal, and not in one of the non-law online resources at Hastings, you may want to search the online databases collection at the San Francisco Public Library. You can check to see if the journal issue you want is accessible from one of the databases provided by the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL), by searching their Periodical Finder. Or you can search through the various SFPL journal indexes. Any resident of California may apply for a SFPL Library card to get online full-text access.

Subject Specialist
Picture: Hilary Hardcastle

Hilary Hardcastle
Head of Reference Services
Tel: 565-4792

Picture: Chuck Marcus

Chuck Marcus
Faculty Services Librarian
Tel: 565-4838

Encore Catalog Search

The Hastings Encore Catalog is our search engine to find books and journals in the Hastings Law Library; articles and journals on HeinOnline, ProQuest Central, Oxford Journals Online and PubMed Central; as well as materials found in libraries around the world via Worldcat.