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Welcome LL.M. Class of 2021!

Welcome LL.M. Class of 2021!


Welcome to Harvard Law School!  We are really pleased that you have joined our community. We are not physically in the library right now, but we are working from home, and ready to help you make the most out of your experience as a Harvard Law student. The library's 70+ staff members, including 9 research librarians, look forward to getting to know you and learning about your research projects. We hope that you will take full advantage of our services.

The HOLLIS Library Catalog

To succeed in the LL.M. program, you must be able to use the library effectively.  To do this, as a first step, you need to learn about the HOLLIS online library catalog

We will offer HOLLIS training classes over Zoom for LLM students during the first week of September. You will receive an email from the Graduate Program with instructions for registering for a training class. BEFORE you attend this training, you must (a) watch the HOLLIS training video and (b) complete the HOLLIS e-Book search exercise below. Please do this by Monday, August 30.


HOLLIS Training Video


HOLLIS e-Book Search Exercise

After you have watched the HOLLIS training video, you are ready to try a HOLLIS search.  Follow the instructions below to look for for e-Books, published during the last three years, that discuss both human rights and international law.

To access a printable PDF version of the exercise instructions, click the PDF icon below.

Note that HOLLIS works best when viewed on a laptop screen or computer monitor, rather than on a mobile device.  If you are using a phone or a tablet to do this exercise, you may not see all the options described below properly.

1.  Go to and log in with your HarvardKey credentials.

2.  After you have logged in, click ADVANCED SEARCH at the top of the screen.

3.  At the top of the search box, click the circle next to Library Catalog.

4.  Set up your search terms like this:

Keywords Anywhere – Exact Phrase – Human Rights
AND Keywords Anywhere – Exact Phrase – International Law

5.  Under Resource Type (right side of the search box), select Books.

6.  When you have set up your search exactly as described above, click SEARCH.

You should see about 18,200 results.  If your number is really different, go back and repeat steps 2-6 above.  If your number is close to that, continue with step 7 below.

7.  On the right side of the screen, under Show Only, click Online.

8.  On the right side of the screen, under Date, enter 2017 in the From box.  Click Refine.

You should see 525 results. These are the e-Books that discuss both human rights and international law, published during the last three years, that you can access right now through our library.

9.  Somewhere in the first 10 results of this list should be a book called Research handbook on human rights and digital technology: global politics, law and international rights.  The title of the book should be a link.  Click it.  (Do not click the Online Access link yet, click the title of the book instead.)

What you are looking at now is called the catalog record for this book.  This provides information about the book, including author, title, publisher subjects, summary, ISBN, and more.  It also includes a list of the book’s chapters, next to Contents. 

10.  Now you are ready to look at the actual book.  Scroll down to the bottom of the record.  Under Online Access, you should see a link: Edward Elgar Law 2019.  Click that link.

A new screen should come up – it’s the electronic version of this book.  You can download each chapter as a PDF.  Try it!  Click a Download PDF link for one of the chapters in this book.  You should be able to view the chapter as a PDF on your computer.  

Starting Your Research

LL.M. Orientation

As part of LL.M. orientation, research librarians will meet with you over Zoom to talk about the library and its resources.  However, before that time, review the information below to learn about the library's offerings to support your research.

HOLLIS Library Catalog

HOLLIS ( is Harvard's electronic library catalog. This is what you use to find materials in all of the Harvard's libraries, including the law library.  

All incoming LL.M. students are required to watch the HOLLIS introduction video and complete the HOLLIS e-Book search exercise (shown earlier in this guide, scroll up to view it) by Monday, August 30.

Accessing Databases

To access Harvard's subscription databases, you will need to set up your HarvardKey user credentials. Instructions for doing this are at

You must also set up your HLS me credentials to access some databases that are only available to law students.  See for instructions.

American law has three major legal databases: Lexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg Law.  You must set up separate user accounts for each of these - your HarvardKey and HLS me credentials will not work to access them.  Look for an email from the library with instructions for doing this before the fall semester starts.

Finding Databases

View the subscription databases offered by the law library at

You can also search for a database in HOLLIS: go to

Finding a Topic for Your LLM Paper

Many LL.M. students get an initial idea about topics for their LL.M. papers by looking at blogs, legal news sites, and other current awareness sources.  For help on how to find and use these sources, visit

US Legal Citation: The Bluebook

undefinedAmerican legal citation is governed by the Bluebook legal citation system. Learning the Bluebook rules will help you understand citations in law review articles and other legal literature.  LL.M. students also use Bluebook citation rules in their LL.M. papers.

The Bluebook is available as both a print book and an electronic database.  The library does not provide access to this database, so students must buy their own subscription.  Visit for more information.

The 21st edition of the Bluebook was released during the summer of 2020.  Most rules did not change a lot, and our Bluebook training materials from last year are still useful.  These materials, which include videos, class slides, and a FAQ, are available at

Citation Management

A citation management system can help you organize all of the books, journal articles, and other research materials use will cite in your LL.M. paper.  Harvard students have free access to and unlimited cloud storage on the Zotero citation management system (  

For more information about Zotero, see the law library's Zotero Training Guide:

Research Training Classes

The law library will offer research classes over Zoom throughout the year for the tools and topics described above. Check out our research training calendar at

Law Library Staff and Departments

Law Library Staff and Departments

The departments you will likely work with most frequently are described below.  To learn more about all of the law library's 70+ staff members, visit our online staff directory (

Research Services

The library's nine research librarians provide legal research instruction for members of the HLS community, including LL.M. students. We offer individual research consultations and group research classes. We also staff a Zoom reference desk during business hours.

To contact us, visit the law library's Ask a Librarian page (  

Jennifer Allison
Librarian for Foreign,
Comparative, and International Law
Deanna Barmakian
Research Librarian
Maya Bergamasco
Research Librarian,
Harvard Administrative Fellows Scholar &
ACRL Diversity Resident 2019-2021
Catherine Biondo
Research Librarian
AJ Blechner
Research Librarian &
Library Instruction Coordinator
Mindy Kent
Research & Reference Services
Michelle Pearse
Senior Research
& Data Librarian

Lisa Lilliott Rydin
Research Librarian

Stephen Wiles
Librarian for Foreign,
Comparative, and International Law

Access Services / Circulation

undefinedThe law library's Access Services / Circulation Department, managed by Brian Sutton, has all the information you need about the law library's policies, including checking out and returning library materials.

Visit to learn more. 

They also manage the library's on-site collection and take great care of the books on the shelves. 

Historical and Special Collections (HSC)

Our colleagues in Historical and Special Collections (, led by Karen Beck, acquire, catalog, preserve, and make available materials that document the history of the law.

HSC also manages our collection of digitized rare materials (

Photo Gallery: Members of the Law Library Team

Brian and Alethea

Brian Sutton and Alethea Jones in Access Services / Circulation have their hands full!


A Zoom meeting of members of the research services and faculty support team.


Stephen Wiles, Research Librarian

Nongji and Mariko

Nongji Zhang, Bibliographer for East Asian Law, and Mariko Honshuku, Librarian for Japanese Law.


Jocelyn Kennedy, Executive Director of the Law Library


Research Librarian Deanna Barkamian meets with a law student.


Catherine Biondo, Research Librarian.

Geri and Ella

Collection Management Specialist Ella Galinovsky and Financial Assistant Geri Fennelly welcome visitors during "Love Your Library Fest."

Ed Moloy, Curator of Modern Manuscripts, Historical and Special Collections.


Anna Martin, Research Services Assistant


Research Services Manager Mindy Kent meets with a law student.

Lori S.

Lori Schulsinger, Collection Development Coordinator

AJ, Caroline, and Gail

AJ Blechner (Research Librarian), Caroline Walters (Collection Development Librarian), and Gail Harris (Project Manager) at 2018 Service Day


Ben Steinberg, DevOps Engineer, Library Innovation Lab


Vice Dean of Library And Information Resources Jonathan Zittrain meets with a law student.

Lisa and AJ

Research Librarians Lisa Lilliott Rydin and AJ Blechner


Lesley Schoenfeld, Public Services & Visual Collections Administrator, Historical and Special Collections

Lori and Jen

Technical Services Library Assistants Lori Rocha and Jennifer Burton


Karen Beck, Head of Historical and Special Collections.

Michelle and Student

Research Librarian Michelle Pearse meets with a law student.


Andy Silva, Web Developer, Library Innovation Lab

AJ and Jennifer

Jennifer Allison and AJ Blechner, Research Librarians.


Terri Messina, Library Assistant (Preservation)


Patty Sutton, Technical Services Library Assistant (Acquisitions)

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