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Westlaw: How to use Westlaw

How to access the Westlaw database service and use it to find: case law, legislation, journal articles and more. This also includes information about how to access international materials on Westlaw.

Westlaw UK - more search options

More options’ allows you to specify further details in your search such as where in a document a term occurs or a date range. Select ‘More options’ from any of the Cases, Legislation, Journals, etc. search screens.

Westlaw Terms and Connectors

Westlaw offers a range of connectors and truncation which can be used in searches. These include:

  • AND (&) – finds records that contain all terms, e.g. adoption & children
  • OR – finds records that contain either term, use this to list alternatives, e.g. lawyer OR solicitor
  • But not (%) – excludes a term from the search, e.g. accident % damage
  • “ ” – use quotation marks round terms to look for them as a phrase e.g. “loss of earnings”
  • /p – finds terms occurring in the same paragraph e.g. torture /p iraq
  • /s – finds terms occurring in the same sentence e.g. animals /s cruelty
  • /n –  finds terms occurring within a given number of words of each other e.g. snail /5 bottle will find these terms occurring within 5 words of each other.
  • ! (truncation symbol) – use the exclamation mark to find variations on a common root e.g. advert! finds advert, advertises, advertised, etc. Use this with care.
  • * (universal character) – use the asterisk to replace characters anywhere in a word, except the first character, e.g. wom*n finds woman and women.

Further information can be found by following the ‘Terms and Connectors’ link on any of the search screens.

Delivery options on Westlaw UK

In the results list check/tick the relevant recors and then select the delivery method (email, print, download save to folder, create link or create alert) from the options above the results list. Search results delivery options buttons.

From individual documents select delivery options from the bar to the right of the document.

Logging out from Westlaw

Under 'Account' at the top right of the screen, select 'Sign out'.

(in Westlaw's International  or European Union screens select ‘Sign Off’).

Westlaw and Practical Law (Thomson Reuters) Training Webinars

Westlaw UK - training videos and user guides



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