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.
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.
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.
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 (https://hollis.harvard.edu) 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.
To access Harvard's subscription databases, you will need to set up your HarvardKey user credentials. Instructions for doing this are at https://key.harvard.edu/.
You must also set up your HLS me credentials to access some databases that are only available to law students. See https://hls.harvard.edu/dept/its/its-services/hls-me-account-ldap/ 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.
View the subscription databases offered by the law library at https://hls.harvard.edu/library/research/find-a-database/.
You can also search for a database in HOLLIS: go to https://databases.hollis.harvard.edu/.
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 https://guides.library.harvard.edu/findingapapertopic.
American 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 https://www.legalbluebook.com/ 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 https://guides.library.harvard.edu/LLM-Bluebook.
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 (https://www.zotero.org).
For more information about Zotero, see the law library's Zotero Training Guide: https://guides.library.harvard.edu/LLMSJD-ZoteroTraining.
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 https://libcal.law.harvard.edu/calendar/researchtraining.
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 (https://hls.harvard.edu/library/about-the-library/staff-directory/).
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.
Librarian for Foreign,
Comparative, and International Law
Harvard Administrative Fellows Scholar &
ACRL Diversity Resident 2019-2021
Research Librarian &
Library Instruction Coordinator
Research & Reference Services
& Data Librarian
Librarian for Foreign,
Comparative, and International Law
The 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 https://hls.harvard.edu/library/forms-and-services/ to learn more.
They also manage the library's on-site collection and take great care of the books on the shelves.
Our colleagues in Historical and Special Collections (https://hls.harvard.edu/library/historical-special-collections/), led by Karen Beck, acquire, catalog, preserve, and make available materials that document the history of the law.
Chat with us! Chat with a librarian (HLS only)
Contact Historical & Special Collections at email@example.com
Meet with Us Schedule an online consult with a Librarian
Hours Library Hours
Text Ask a Librarian, 617-702-2728