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The Law Library provides access to specialized legal databases, along with subject specific non-legal databases. Below you will find information about each resource, along with access information. Note that each logo is a link to the resource described. Additional specialized, non-legal databases are available through the Howard University Libraries Databases.

  • Bloomberg BNA Resources
  • Search BNA legal, regulatory, economic, and international information online.
  • Sign up for e-mail updates on case law and legal news by topic.
  • Access Information:
    • Campus access from networked computers.
    • Remote access with BNA username and password.

  • Bloomberg Law is a subscription-based service for online legal research.
  • Fully integrated legal and business intelligence research tool, that combines trusted news and expert analysis with comprehensive market data and cutting-edge technology.
  • Access Information:
    • Register for an account using your law school email address at:


  • Center for Computer Assisted Legal Instruction
  • Non-profit consortium of mostly U.S. law schools that publishes web-based tutorials on a variety of legal subjects.
  • Access Information:
    • Access with CALI username and password.


  • Checkpoint by Thomson Reuters Tax and accounting platform that provides comprehensive and up-to-date information on tax laws and issues
  • Access Information:
    • Campus access from networked computers.
    • Logins provided to students enrolled in Tax related courses
    • Contact Jason Happ, Access Services Librarian, for more information.



  • DOAJ is an online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals.
  • Access Information:
    • This is an open access, free database.

  • This very informative collection of research guides, created by the Government Printing Office with assistance from Librarians around the country, includes information on using government documents to conduct research on a wide-range of subjects including substance abuse and addiction, Presidential documents, and military and veteran resources. It also includes the Community Guides section which links to additional guides from libraries across the nation on topics such as the “Freedman’s Savings Bank” and how to use government census data effectively. This resource is designed for use by all-levels of researchers and everything within them are freely available to the public.
  • Access Information:
    • This is an open access, free database.

FoundersFounders' Library Databases

  • Founders’ Library offers a wide range of online databases to guide and help you conduct research in virtually any subject.
  • Access Information:
    • Use your Law Campus log-in credentials.
    • To access the Library’s databases: under resources, click "research databases".

Archives Unbound

  • GALE - Archives Unbound
  • Access Information:
    • ​On-Campus access when connected to public WiFi.
    • Off-Campus, use your network log-in credentials.

U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO)

  • The GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDSYS) is the Federal Government’s official, digital, secure resource for producing, procuring, cataloging, indexing, authenticating, disseminating, and preserving the official information products of the U.S. Government.
  • The GPO is responsible for the production and distribution of information products and services for all three branches of the Federal Government.
  • The GPO released a beta website,, that will eventually replace the Federal Digital System (FDsys) public website. Being in beta means this site is a work in progress that is being shared to get feedback.
  • Access Information:
    • This is an open access, free database.


  • Full text law journals in their original page-image (PDF) format. Also includes Treaties and Agreements, Federal Legislative History, U.S. Statutes at Large, Federal Register, U.S. Supreme Court and Phillip C. Jessup Library.
  • Access Information:
    • Campus access from networked computers.
    • Remote access with HeinOnline username and password.


  • Searchable database of investment treaty cases up to May 2010.
  • Access Information:
    • This is an open access database, and can be used to research on investment arbitration.



  • Comprehensive legal database.
  • Lexis offers certification training on cases, statutes and secondary sources.  Certification is highly regarded by potential employers. 
  • Training Information:
    • Certification is also a component of the Howard Law Journal and Advanced Legal Research classes. 
    • The law librarians schedule training sessions for HUSL students, faculty, and staff.  Access the calendar of training sessions.
  • Access Information:
    • Access with LexisNexis username and password.


Nexis Uni

  • New and improved public access platform by Lexis Nexis offering legal information resources including cases, statutes, regulations, and news.  
  • Access Information:
    • ​On-Campus access when connected to public WiFi.


  • The Official Document System (ODS) is an online database of UN documents that was first launched in 1993 and updated in 2016. ODS has full-text, born-digital UN documents published from 1993 onward, including documents of the Security Council, the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and their subsidiaries, as well as administrative issuances and other documents.
  • Access Information:
    • This is an open access, free online database.



Shepard's, via LexisNexis Universe

  • Retrieve prior and subsequent case history, and all citing references.
  • Access Information:
    • Campus access from networked computers.
    • Remote access with LexisNexis username and password.

SSRN: Tomorrow's Research Today

  • The Howard University School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper Series contains publications uploaded to the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) by HUSL faculty members.

Congressional Publications

  • ProQuest Congressional 
  • Retrieve congressional materials and legislative histories by searching abstracts, titles, indexing information, and other bibliographic data.
  • Access Information:
    • Campus access from networked computers.
    • Contact Victoria Capatosto, Research and Instruction Librarian, or Jason Happ, Access Services Librarian, for remote access.


Statistical Insight

  • Statistical Insight
  • Search and sort statistical data by geographic, demographic, and economic fields.
  • Access Information:
    • Campus access from networked computers.
    • Contact Victoria Capatosto, Research and Instruction Librarian, or Jason Happ, Access Services Librarian, for remote access.

Supreme Court Database

  • Definitive source for researchers, students, journalists, and citizens interested in the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • The Database contains over two hundred pieces of information about each case decided by the Court between the 1946 and 2014 terms.
  • Access Information:
    • This is an open access, free online database.

  • is the Next Generation version of
  • Presented by the Library of Congress, is the official website for U.S. federal legislative information.
  • Access Information:
    • This is an open access, free online database.


  • United Nations Bibliographic Information System
  • Catalogue of United Nations(UN) documents and publications indexed by the UN Dag Hammarskjöld Library and the Library of the UN Office at Geneva.
  • Access Information:
    • This is an open access, free online database.

UN Treaty Collection

  • This online database provides the most detailed information on the status of over 560 major multilateral instruments deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations (as of 1 June 2014) and covers a range of subject matter such as Human Rights, Disarmament, Commodities, Refugees, the Environment and the Law of the Sea.
  • Access Information:
    • This is an open access, free online database.


  • Comprehensive legal database.
  • Westlaw offers certification training on cases, statutes, and secondary sources. Certification is highly regarded by potential employers.
  • Training Information:
  • Access Information:
    • Access with Westlaw username and password.
    • Contact Richard Akers for assistance accessing or setting up TWEN pages. 


  • Collections and services of over 10,000 libraries worldwide.
  • WorldCat is the world's largest network of library content and services. WorldCat libraries are dedicated to providing access to their resources on the Web, where most people start their search for information.
  • Access Information:
    • This is an open access, free online catalog.


Research Guides

The following guides provide specialized subject, collection, and bar information. Submit your suggestions for additional topics to Reference at
  • This guide covers:
    • Navigating the multitude of steps necessary for applying to practice in any jurisdiction.
    • Preparing to meet all the requirements of the bar admission process to ensure that you will be qualified to sit for the bar exam.
    • Updated March 2019.
  • This guide covers:
    • Accessing the Archives.
    • Using the collection, which includes:
      • Manuscripts, printed materials, and visual materials.
      • Interviews of alumni, former deans and faculty, and civil rights activists.
      • Materials relating to civil rights litigation and legislation.
      • Howard University School of Law history.

Researching Across Disciplines

  • This guide covers:
    • Resources available to all Howard University students, with a special focus on resources that may be useful to law students conducting multidisciplinary research for their seminar papers, with a special focus on social science resources relevant to the topic Gender, Sex, and Sexuality.
    • Updated February 2019.

Federal Legislative Information Source & Coverage Chart

  • This guide includes:
    • Coverage information for various legislative document types housed on free and commercial platforms, in the form of a chart.

Legal Resources Quick Guide for Public Patrons

  • This guide covers:
    • A limited selection of local law libraries open to the public, free government resources, and free academic institution legal information projects.
    • Updated December 2019.

Shine this Summer - Guide for Summer Associates, Clerks, and Interns

  • This guide covers:
    • Information presented to 1Ls, 2Ls, and 3Ls by the HUSL Librarians at the Pathways Program "SHINE this summer! Ensuring Summer Success, Part 2: Perfecting Research Skills".  Access the PowerPoint
    • Updated April 2019.

Judicial Clerkship Research Resources

  • This guide recommends:
    • Resources to support your research when applying for a judicial clerkship. It includes print directories and their locations in the Law Library, as well as useful internet sites with information about courts, judges, procedures and tips from judicial clerks.
    • Updated October 2019.


The library is generally open 105 hours per week, but this changes depending on the time of year.  

Please call 202.806.8045 to confirm library hours of service before traveling to the West campus.  Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates and changes to the library schedule.

SpringSemester Hours:

Monday - Friday
7:00 am - 11:00 pm
9:00 am to 10:00 pm
11:00 am to 11:00 pm


Federal Holiday and Howard University-wide CLOSINGS:

Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Monday, January 20, 2020
President's Day
Monday, February 17, 2020
   NOTE:  The Law Library is open from 9:00 am - 6:00 pm on President's Day.
Memorial Day
Monday, May 25, 2020
Independence Day
Friday, July 3, 2020 (Observed)
Labor Day
Monday, September 7, 2020 

Veterans Day
            Wednesday, November 11, 2020
            NOTE:  The Law Library is open from 9:00 am - 6:00 pm on Veterans Day.

Thanksgiving Break
            Wednesday, November 25, 2020
            NOTE: The Law Library is open from 7:00 am - 12:00 pm on the day before Thanksgiving.
            Thursday, November 26, 2020
            Friday, November 27, 2020

Washington Research Library Consortium Libraries (WRLC)

You are welcome to visit the other libraries in our consortium.  The information collected at the above webpage is intended for Howard Law Students only, access policies may be different for other Howard Students and members of the public.   We recommend before going to visit, call ahead and confirm current library hours and access policies.

Study Rooms

The Law Library offers access to study rooms for use by current Howard Law students only.



Circulation Desk
  • To contact the Circulation Desk, call 202.806.8045.
  • For questions concerning Access Services, and the Circulation Desk policies and procedures contact Jason Happ, Access Services Librarian.
  • The Circulation Desk is located at the entrance to the library on the first floor.
  • The Circulation Desk is staffed all the hours that the library is open.
  • Circulation employees can help you with borrowing, study rooms, photocopiers, and printers.
  • Transactions completed at the Circulation Desk:
    • Borrowing and returning materials.
    • Checking out and returning study room keys.
  • Closing Policies:
    • All circulation transactions, including returning study room keys and reserve materials, must be completed 15 minutes prior to the library closing.
    • Any Circulation transactions not completed by closing will be credited to the next business day and fines may accrue.

Reference Desk
  • To contact the Reference Desk, email
  • The Reference Desk is located on the second floor, at the top of the main staircase.
  • Desk Coverage:
    • Check the desk for posted hours.
    • Follow the library’s Twitter account @HUSLLibrary for up to date Reference Desk schedules.
  • To set up a meeting with a Reference Librarian contact Eileen Santos at 202.806.8301, or Victoria Capatosto at 202.806.8175.

  • Howard law students must be registered in the library's Circulation system to check out materials.
  • Registration requires name, address, phone, Capstone ID number, e-mail address, and a signed acknowledgement that you are responsible for all materials checked out in your name.
  • To register for borrowing privileges, students must have a validated Capstone ID.
  • Students must make sure that their IDs are validated each semester, and that they update their library patron registration each semester.

The Howard University Law Library is the research library of the Howard University School of Law. 
  • The majority of the collection does not circulate.
  • Items that are part of a series or multi-volume set, or that are supplemented with pocket parts, looseleaf pages, or bound supplements, may not be checked out.
  • Only single volume monographs, reserve, and A/V items circulate.

Public Patrons
  • Public visitors may not check out materials, but may use them within the library.
  • Our staff is happy to assist with searching our online catalog and locating materials on the shelves.

Interlibrary Loan 
The Law Library maintains formal agreements with libraries worldwide to share materials with, or provide photocopies to, other libraries. This service is available to Howard Law School students, faculty and staff only.
  • Requests are processed Monday - Friday, except holidays.
  • Photocopies are delivered within 3-5 business days.
  • Books are delivered within 10-14 business days.
  • Please be aware that delivery can take significantly longer, depending on the availability of the materials and the response time of lending libraries.
  • Please contact Jason Happ or Zachary Knatt for more information.
Materials not loaned:
  • An entire volume of a journal, periodical, reporter, code or digest.
  • Rare books; loose-leaf volumes; volumes from a multi-volume set, or reference material.

  • The reserve collection is located in the Reserve Reading Room adjacent to Circulation.
  • The reserve collection includes textbooks for first-year courses, hornbooks, nutshells, legal dictionaries, and selected local materials.
  • Course reserve materials requested by faculty are located behind the Circulation Desk, and are searchable in the library's catalog, WRLC, by course or professor's name.
  • Using Reserve Materials:
    • Reserve Materials can be used in the Reserve Reading Room.
    • Students and faculty can check out Reserve Materials for 3 hours at a time, but must use Reserve Materials within the library.
    • Reserve materials not returned promptly are subject to a $1.00/hour fine.
    • A photocopier is located in the Reserve Reading Room for your convenience.

HUSL Past Exams
  • Exams are kept on a TWEN site named Howard Law School Past Exams.
  • Only Howard University School of Law students, faculty and staff have access to these exams.
  • Exams are organized by course title, professor, and date.
  • Exam selection is the decision of the faculty member teaching the course. To inquire about the availability of past exams that are not included, contact the professor directly.
  • Professors retain all intellectual property rights to their written exams.
  • Questions about past exam collection should be directed to:



Special Collections and Archives

The Archives' goal is to acquire, and make available for public use, manuscripts, printed materials, and visual materials that document the history of the law in general and that of the Howard University School of Law in particular. Specifically, the Archives collect materials relating to civil rights litigation and legislation.

In addition to its paper-based collections, the Archives has an active oral history program, and houses a growing digital collection of interviews of alumni, former deans and faculty, and civil rights activists.

Accessing the Archives:
  • The Archives is open Monday - Friday by appointment only.
  • For more information, or to make an appointment, please email a request to

  • There are three networked printers in the Law Library: two in the PC Computer Lab (LL102), and one in room 313.
  • HUSL Library has one Lexis printer in the PC Computer Lab (LL102), it can only be used for printing documents directly from Lexis Advance.
  • These are part of the Law School's network resources and are managed by the IT Department.
  • Direct any concerns regarding printer performance problems to Frank King at 202.806.8030.

Lost and Found
  • Lost and found items are centralized for the law school campus in the Office of Student Affairs on the 2nd floor of Houston Hall.
  • Items found in the library are sent to Student Affairs, with the exception of textbooks. These are held in the reserve reading room.

  • Library security officers are on duty twenty-four hours every day.
  • The officers check identification for everyone who enters the library.
  • Security patrols the library.
  • To gain access to the library, Howard law students, faculty and staff must show the officer on duty their Capstone ID card.
  • Students, faculty or staff who cannot present a Capstone ID upon entering the library must show another current photo ID and sign in at the security desk.
  • All public visitors must present a current photo ID and also sign in at the security desk.
  • Security is responsible for stopping library patrons when the security gate alarms sound as they enter or exit. If the gate alarms do trigger, the patron’s packages are subject to search.

The Law Library staff is pleased to welcome all visitors. We offer individual or group tours of our building and collections for visitors of all ages.
  • Tours can also be designed to meet any special interests, or focused on unique resources such as our Archives, which houses unique materials spanning the Civil War through Civil Rights eras.
  • To make arrangements for a tour, please contact Eileen Santos at 202.806.8301. Please submit your request at least a week in advance for a group tour.
  • Note that tours are not given during the Law School exam period.

U.S. Government Depository
HUSL Law Library was designated a selective U.S. Federal Depository Library in April 1998. The Law Library is committed to providing free public access to Government information for our primary patrons and for all public patrons.
  • As a selective depository, the Library receives approximately 7% of all government documents available through this program.
  • In accordance with the mission of the law library, most depository selections cover a broad range of law-related materials in many formats.
  • Note that public patrons are allowed in-house use of the collection only. Patrons may request assistance locating government depository resources from any librarian staffing the reference desk.



Kristina J. Alayan, J.D., M.L.I.S.
Law Library Director / Assistant Professor of Law
Eileen Santos, M.L.S.
Associate Director / Research Instructor
Archives & Special Collections

Work Request Form


Jerome Roberson, PhD
Facilities Manager
Public Services
HUSL Library Reference Desk
Victoria L. Capatosto, M.S.L.I.S.
Research and Instruction Librarian / Research Instructor
Jason Happ, J.D., M.L.S.
Access Services Librarian
Richard Akers
Library Technician
Account Password Coordinator
Zachary Knatt
Public and Technical Services Technician
Inter-Library Loan Facilitator
Technical Services
Head of Technical Services

Hakim Muhammad
Acquisitions Technician
Chiquita Ramsey-Roach
Cataloging and Serials Assistant


The Law Library is located on the West Campus, at 2929 Van Ness St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, and can be reached at 202.806.8045.

Traveling by Metrorail


Walking from Van Ness/UDC Metro Station 

  • It is about a 10 minute walk from metro station to the library.
  • At ground level, turn around and proceed across the street. Turn left at the next street, which is Van Ness Street.
  • Follow Van Ness to the end of the street. The Howard University Law School is at the end of the street. The Law Library is the building at the top of the rise, on the left. View walking routes.
  • Directly behind the Law School is a large parking lot. Parking on campus is by permit only. It is recommended that you take the Metro to the Law Library, since finding street parking in D.C. can be difficult.

Driving from Reagan National Airport

  • Follow signs to Washington. Take I-395 North/US-1 North. Follow signs to US-1 North. US-1 becomes 14th Street, NW. Go up 14th Street and turn left on K Street. Get in the right lane and go about 4 blocks to Connecticut Avenue. Turn right on Connecticut Avenue. Turn right on Van Ness Street. Howard University School of Law is at the end of the street.

Driving from the south: refer to I-395 directions above


Driving from Dulles International Airport

Take the Toll Road to 66 east. Once on 66 east take 495 north/east (towards Baltimore). Once on 495 east, take the Connecticut Avenue exit (Exit 31). Turn right and go south on Connecticut Avenue for about three miles. Turn left on Van Ness Street. Howard University School of Law is at the end of the street.


Driving from Baltimore-Washington International Airport

Take I-95 south to I-495 west. Once on I-495 west, take I-495 to Connecticut Avenue (Exit 31). Turn left and go south on Connecticut Avenue for about 3 miles. Turn left on Van Ness Street. Howard University School of Law is at the end of the street.


Driving from the north: refer to I-495 directions above




Welcome to the Howard University School of Law Library. We provide access to and maintain a collection of information resources that support law school programs, legal research, and the needs of all library users. The Law Library selects, organizes, preserves, and provides access to all of its resources as a way to assist those in their pursuit of justice.

The Law Library has a collection of approximately 225,000 volumes and is open 105 hours per week. Three librarians, one archivist, and five staff members provide excellent service for those who need legal research assistance. Our building is a 76,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art facility. With wireless access throughout, as well as oak tables equipped with data jacks and electrical outlets, computers for accessing the online catalog on each floor and a 52-seat computer training room, the Law Library is on the cutting edge of technology. Of course, the Law Library also has print resources. On the fourth floor is the Special Collections area, which houses the papers of such civil rights giants as Charles Hamilton Houston, Spottswood Robinson, and Phineas Indritz (a prominent Washington lawyer who helped desegregate the D.C. bar).

So, whether you visit the Law Library in person or via the Internet, we welcome the opportunity to assist you.


Kristina Alayan

Kristina J. Alayan
Director & Assistant Professor of Law


The Mission of the Howard University Law Library is to provide a quality, complete collection of legal materials for the Howard University School of Law faculty and students. Recognizing that the legal system extends beyond the Howard University School of Law community, the Law Library also provides access to legal materials for the practicing attorney, as well as people of all races, creeds, and colors.





As repositories of knowledge and as places to learn, libraries are central to a university’s mission. In May 2001, Howard University School of Law Library moved into its state-of-the-art facility at 2929 Van Ness Street, N.W., Washington D.C. 20009. The four-story, 76,000 square foot building provides space for a book collection of up to 670,000 volumes; can seat more than 295 students (more than 70 percent of the student population), including 90 open carrels; enlarged microfilm and audio-visual facilities; three distinctive rooms of wood and brick for special collections, newspaper and periodical reading, and a rare book collection.


View of HUSL Library from the third floor.



The library is organized around the second-floor, triple-height Reading Room, which has wireless access to the Internet and faces the new courtyard and Holy Cross Hall to the south. The tall windows of this 4,000-square-foot space give views onto the landscaped courtyard and celebrate the display of readers and books to the campus. Table and lounge seating for 80 students is provided in this great room, which is home to the 2,000-volume reference collection.

The book collection and individual student carrels are distributed equally on the second, third, and fourth floors that open directly to the Reading Room. A wood-paneled lobby on the first floor connects the building entrances from the courtyard to the south and the parking areas to the north, and functionally separates the Law Library from the Smart classroom and student computer lab.

Framing the interior entrance to the library are display cases that inform visitors about the law faculty and the library. The west wing of the library provides a total of five private study rooms and six group study rooms that serve from two-to-eight students each and are on the second and third floors. Crowning the west wing and surrounded by a roof terrace is the Special Collections Rare Book Reading Room.

To get a better sense of the beautiful space that is HUSL Library, view our self-guided tour.



As members of the Howard Law family, we welcome the opportunity to assist you. Our mission is to provide a quality, complete collection of legal materials. The Law Library has a collection of approximately 225,000 volumes and is open 105 hours per week. Our building is a 76,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art facility with wireless Internet access throughout.

Our librarians, archivist, and staff provide excellent service for those who need legal research assistance. On the fourth floor is the Archives area, which houses the papers of such civil rights giants as Charles Hamilton Houston, Spottswood Robinson, and Phineas Indritz. Whether you visit the Law Library in person or via the Internet, we welcome the opportunity to assist you.


HUSL Library Internship Program

Opportunities for LIS Graduate Students

Internship hours are flexible and can be arranged to fit your schedule. You will be a member of the small, dynamic team and will be able to make an enormous contribution to the work we do at HUSL Library.

These are wonderful opportunities to gain specialized academic backend library services experience, public-facing information services experience, or a combination of both, at one of Washington, D.C.’s highly regarded law schools!



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