Skip to Main Content
Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Logo

Pritzker Legal Research Center

MacArthur Justice Center (MJC) Research Guide

Policy on Bloomberg Law Docket Usage

All NLaw Bloomberg Law users are subject to the Policy on Bloomberg Law Dockets Charges by Academic Users. Contact Lisa Winkler, Clinical Services Librarian, if you have any questions about the policy.


Accessing State Court Dockets

The process is the same for accessing both federal and state dockets on Bloomberg Law, Westlaw, and Lexis+.  However, it is important to note that the actual court filings are only sporadically available for state court cases on each of these services.


If the dockets and/or filings are not electronically available for your case on Bloomberg Law, Westlaw, or Lexis+, the next best option is to visit the court’s website.  In addition to locating your court’s website via Google, ( is a helpful, well-maintained resource.


Finally, if the above-discussed strategies prove unsuccessful, a visit to the Clerk’s office for your court, either personally or via a courier service, is likely necessary.  Make sure to contact the Clerk’s office in advance to learn of any fees or other logistical considerations before your visit.


Lexis has been building their collection of state court dockets and offers both searching and document retrieval through CourtLink. To get to CourtLink, login to Lexis+ > click the cube menu > CourtLink.


Cook County Docket Research

The Clerk of the Cook County Circuit Court provides electronic dockets for cases filed in its Civil, Law, Chancery, and Domestic Relations divisions.  To search these dockets, visit for more information.

Accessing Bloomberg Law's Dockets

After visiting and entering your log-in credentials, select “Dockets” beneath the “Popular Links” header. 



Alternatively, visit and enter your log-in credentials.

Searching Bloomberg Law's Dockets

First, select the court where the case was filed.  You can do so by selecting “Browse Full List” and then drilling down through the options until you find the court you need.  Alternatively, you can begin typing the name of the court in the “Courts” box, at which point the system will provide you with one or more courts matching your entry.  Note: using either method, you can select multiple courts to search at once.


Once you’ve selected your court(s), you can enter identifying information in one or more of the following fields:


  • Keywords (e.g., complaint, transcript, “motion to dismiss,” etc.)

    • Click for an explanation of Bloomberg Law’s required Boolean search operators

  • One or more parties to the case, along with their role

  • Judge

  • Docket Number

    • Click for help formatting your docket number search.

  • Date Range

  • Attorney or Firm

  • Case Name

  • Cause of Action (e.g. Breach of Contract)

  • Type (Civil or Criminal)


Note: in addition to being useful for locating specific case dockets and/or filings, Bloomberg Law’s Dockets can be helpful for determining how a particular judge has ruled on a particular type of case or motion.  For example, by selecting “U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois” in the “Courts” field, entering “Castillo” in the “Judge” field, and “28:1402 Medical Malpractice” in the “Cause of Action” field, we can learn more about medical malpractice actions heard by Chief Judge Ruben Castillo.

Ensuring a Docket is Up-to-Date

When viewing a particular docket on Bloomberg Law, make sure to click "Update Docket" beneath the "Current As Of" header on the right-hand side of the page.  After a few moments, you will receive a notification that the docket has been updated and the "Current As Of" date above the "Update Docket" link will reflect the current date.  Bloomberg Law only updates individual dockets on a periodic basis, so clicking this link will ensure you are viewing the most up-to-date version of the docket.

Viewing Case Filings

When viewing federal case dockets on Bloomberg Law, most filed documents are available for download.  If you need to review a particular document, click the link to either "View" or "Request" that document beneath the "Action" column.  Requesting a document incurs a charge for commercial Bloomberg Law accounts.  However, for academic accounts, up to $1,500 in charges are waived per calendar year.  When a document has become available for viewing, it will appear in your "Downloads" section and you will also receive an email notification.