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Pritzker Legal Research Center

Standout Summer Research Resources

A Guide to Prepare for Summer Associateships and Beyond

Training Session - April 15 @ noon

The Pritzker Legal Research Center invites all Northwestern Law students to join us for our Standout Summer Research Training on Monday, April 15 at noon in MC 371.  Lunch will be provided!  The research librarians will discuss 50 state surveys, researching dockets and court records, as well as specialized practice tools for litigation and transactional practice.


This guide is designed to give you an overview of different areas of research for your summer associateship or employment.

If there are topics with which you need help but aren't covered here or in any of our other research guides, please feel free to email or chat with us for help.

Advice for Summer Associates

Advice from law firm librarians:

Don't be afraid to ask for help.  Firm librarians can help direct you to the best resources and develop a research strategy. 

Be mindful of the cost of online expenses. Unlike the unlimited access to research databases that you are familiar with at Northwestern, there are costs associated with using these resources at firms. Firms may have flat rate contracts with Lexis or Westlaw, but they will still track research charges in order to bill them back to the client. 

But that doesn't mean you should waste precious time trying to find an answer on Google.  Your time is valuable.  Firms pay for the databases, so there is an expectation that you will use them.  Just make sure you use them wisely.   When in doubt, ask for help.

Additionally, consider this advice collected from our colleagues in firm and court libraries.

Prepare to Practice Training Certifications from Vendors

Bloomberg Law, Lexis and Westlaw provide a wide range of training videos, tutorials and certifications to help you brush up on your research skills before you begin your summer job or before you graduate.

Bloomberg Law Certifications

  • Introduction to Bloomberg Law
  • Fundamentals - Primary Law
  • Fundamentals - Secondary Sources
  • Litigation
  • Transactional Practice
  • Federal Tax Research
  • State Tax Research

Lexis Practice-Ready Certification


Westlaw Certifications

  • Basic Certification
  • Intermediate Certification
  • Advanced Certification
  • LRW Certification
  • Foundations of Legal Research Certification
  • Litigation Research Certification
  • Transactional Law Certification
  • Prepare to Practice Certification