1. This is the search box. You can run a simple search by entering terms, or you can click on "Advanced" (located to the right of the search box) to run a guided Boolean search.
2. This is the database you're searching. Westlaw defaults to All Federal. Click on "All Federal" to change your search to something else.
3. These are the different information areas and databases you can search. Click on the different tabs to see what's there. Clicking on these links(for example, Statutes & Court Rules) will search that specific database.
Remember that the system defaults to "All Federal," so change this if you're searching a specific database.
Use Boolean operators for a more targeted search.
|""||"res ipsa loquitur"||Putting words in quotation marks will search for the specific phrase|
|!||object!||Finds words with different endings, such as object, objective, objection, etc.|
|*||wom*n||Finds words with different spellings; for example, woman, women|
|/p||protest /p rights||The search terms must appear in the same paragraph|
|+p||women +p workforce||The first term must precede the second term in the same paragraph|
|/s||design /s defect||The search terms must appear in the same sentence|
|+s||attorney +s fee||The first search term must precede the second term in the same sentence|
|/n||personal /3 rights||Search terms must appear within n terms of each other. N is a number from 1 to 255|
|+n||capital +3 gain||The first search term must precede the second term by n terms. N is a number from 1 to 255|
|AND (&)||contempt & subpoena||Retrieves documents that contain the terms anywhere in the document|
|OR (space)||teen teenager adolescent juvenile||Finds documents with all the listed terms|
|BUT NOT (%)||death % penalty||Excludes the term after the %|
|atleastx||atleast6 licensure||The search term must appear in the results at least x number of times|
You can search Westlaw using case or journal article citations. The citations need to be in the Bluebook style.
Example: Case citation
Example: Law journal article citation
Westlaw's KeyCite is a citator, that is, a tool that allows a researcher to verify whether a case, statute, regulation, or administrative decision is still good law, determine if a patent or trademark is still valid, and find citing references to support a legal argument.
When you pull up a case in Westlaw, you may see a status flag next to the title. See the example below.
The flag indicates there are negative treatments affecting this case. This means that since the case was originally decided, there have been decisions that negatively impact the case. You can see the main negative treatment listed, including what it is, what case contains that treatment, and the date it was decided. You can also see more negative treatments by clicking on the tab labeled "Negative Treatment."
Here are the status flags you may see next to a case.
Here is what each status flag means.