Services for Law Alumni

The Goodson Law Library welcomes our recent Duke Law graduates and our alumni. This page answers some common questions about alumni use of the library and its resources.


Building Access

Although law student ID cards (which provide 24-hour access to the Law School and Goodson Law Library) are automatically deactivated shortly after graduation, Law School graduates are eligible for extended summer building access with their DukeCards. Recent graduates who plan to remain in the Triangle area for bar exam study may e-mail their NetID to the Law School's Building Manager, Kenneth Dodson, in order to reactivate 24-hour library swipe card access for the summer.

Alumni are always welcome to visit and use the Goodson Law Library during our public access hours, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. With the exception of special events, Law School entrances are generally locked after 5:00 p.m. and on the weekends.

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Borrowing Library Materials

All Duke alumni, including Duke Law alumni, may continue to have borrowing privileges at Goodson Law Library, as well as Perkins, Lilly, Music, and Divinity libraries. Show your Duke Alumni Association card or virtual Alumni Association card at the Circulation/Reserve Desk for activation to serve as a library card. You must register for an Alumni account prior to borrowing library materials. Up to 10 books total may be checked out (from all campus libraries) with the alumni card.  Note that we are unable to offer interlibrary loan services to alumni.

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Online Databases

Bloomberg Law, LexisNexis and Westlaw

Under the terms of our contracts with Bloomberg Law, Lexis and Westlaw, individual user passwords to these services may be provided only to current Duke Law School students, faculty and staff.

Bloomberg Law accounts continue automatically for 6 months after graduation. Recent graduates may also request extensions to their Lexis and Westlaw passwords for the purposes of bar study. To extend passwords, log into the sites and look for the link on the welcome screen. Lexis is available to graduated students through December, through the Grad Access program. For graduates who are temporarily deferred from a law firm job or are working in a documented public interest position, Lexis also offers the ASPIRE program, which provides "free access to federal and state cases, codes, regulations, law reviews, Shepard’s® Citation Service and Matthew Bender® treatises" to qualifying alumni. Applicants must supply verification of the employment. Westlaw's "Grad Elite" program provides all recent Duke Law graduates with access to Westlaw and other Thomson Reuters products (Westlaw, Practical Law, Practical Point, Drafting Assistant Essential, Doc and Form Builder) for 18 months after graduation, with 60 hours of usage per month.

In addition, alumni who are conducting an employment search may contact the Career Center for an ID which provides access to career-related material on

Other Legal Research Services

The Reference Services department can also recommend other free or low-cost research resources for those who are no longer eligible for password access to the premium legal research services. Our guide to Legal Research on the Web is a helpful starting place.

Other Library Databases

Other library databases (such as HeinOnline and LegalTrac) require a current Duke University NetID and password for off-campus access. Off-campus NetID access to subscription databases expires shortly after graduation. However, alumni may use Law Library and campus library databases on-site at the library's public computer workstations.

The Duke University Libraries offer remote access to selected databases (including ABI/Inform and JSTOR) to registered members of the Duke Alumni Association (details).

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Questions or issues related to the borrowing or return of library materials may be directed to the Circulation Desk at (919) 613-7128 or Questions about legal research resources, including Bloomberg, LexisNexis, and Westlaw, may be directed to the Reference Desk at (919) 613-7121 or

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