Search & Browse Overview

The Search and Browse menu is where you can access all the legal source materials and related search tools available on Bloomberg Law. Here you can:

  1. Explore All Legal Sources, which provides the broadest search range.
  2. Easily access any of the Specialized Search tools that support precision searching for specific content sets.
  3. Use the Quick Sources feature to save a source as one of your Favorites and also track Recently Used sources.
  4. Browse specific sources such as BNA Manuals, Books and Treatises, Federal Law and State Law.

The Bloomberg Law Search Bar is the primary tool to search legal content and navigate the features of the site. It allows you to run searches from anywhere in Bloomberg Law so you can quickly get to the information you want. Use the Search Bar to find case law, news, company information and more.

To search all legal content on Bloomberg Law, enter your search terms into the Search Bar. You can enter keywords in natural language or with terms and connectors.

As you enter your keywords, suggestions drop down under the Search Bar to provide quick links to content related to your keywords, including commonly-cited court opinions and company and people profiles.

Search Bar 1

Click on any of the suggestions to view the suggested content, or [Enter] to run your keyword search across all legal content.

To limit your search to specific sources, click the Select Sources button on the right side of the Search Bar.

Search Bar 2

Search By Citation and Title

To search for a document by citation, enter your citation into the Search Bar, and click the link the drops down.

Search Bar 3

To search for a book or treatise, enter the title into the Search Bar and select the book/treatise from the drop-down menu.

Change Your Search Context

When you visit certain pages on Bloomberg Law, such as practice centers, your search context will automatically change to limit your searches to content relevant to that Practice Center. The pull-down menu on the left side of the Search Bar will identify the context for your search.

Search Bar 4

To change the search context, click on the pulldown menu on the left side of the Search Bar and click on your desired context.

Search Bar 5

Use the Search Bar for Navigation

The Search Bar can also be used as a navigation tool to find specific features, content and resources on Bloomberg Law.

For example, to find a specific practice center, start typing the name of the practice center you need into the Search Bar, and click it from the drop-down list.

Search Bar 6

Search & Browse Basics

How to Browse a Table of Contents

Bloomberg Law enables you to both search and browse a variety of content sets, both primary and secondary. Browsable content is indicated in the source tree by a grey box marked TOC. To browse the table of contents of any such content, click this grey TOC box.

Table of Contents

The following content sets are among those that are both browseable and searchable:

  • U.S. Constitution
  • U.S. Code
  • Code of Federal Regulations
  • U.S. Supreme Court Rules
  • Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure
  • Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
  • Federal Rules of Evidence
  • Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure
  • Federal Sentencing Guidelines Manual
  • BNA Manuals
  • BNA Portfolios
  • BNA Books & Treatises

Natural Language and Terms and Connectors

Bloomberg Law's Legal Search works with both natural language queries and terms and connectors.

Natural Language

If you do not use terms and connectors, Bloomberg Law automatically treat your query as a natural language search, and retrieves documents that best fit your query with an option to re-run as terms and connectors; unless you change your settings to default to terms and connections (see below).

Terms and Connectors

If you use terms and connectors, the search will run as a terms and connectors search.

Settings: Search Type Detection

To set your default search to terms and connectors:

  1. Hover over your name at the upper right of any page
  2. Select Settings from the drop-down menu
  3. Select Always run searches as a Terms and Connectors search
  4. Click Save

Basics Always Run

Bloomberg Law's Legal Search is powered by a full range of Boolean operators and connectors that allow you to construct search strings to locate documents of interest.

Legal Search Operators

News Search Operators

Bloomberg Law’s News Search is powered by a full range of Boolean operators that allow you to construct search strings to locate news stories of interest.

News Search Operators

General Guidance

  • Keywords are automatically joined with an AND in searches without operators.
  • Misspellings and common errors like missing parentheses are corrected (note: three characters or less in length will not be corrected for misspellings, and words in all capital letters are not corrected).
  • Unquoted keywords that are abbreviations or common agency acronyms are automatically expanded.
  • Legal searches on Bloomberg Law ignore common words, such as "of," be," "and," or "the." To search for a
  • phrase containing such terms, place the phrase in quotation marks

Example: How to Search the U.S. Code Using the Table of Contents Browser

  • You can go straight to the U.S. Code from the Homepage by clicking Select Sources in the Search Bar, and opening the source tree by clicking Select Options.
  • Navigate to and expand the U.S. Legislative section.
  • Click the grey TOC button to the right of the U.S. Code entry.
  • Click the + icon to expand any section and the - icon to collapse it again

All Legal Content

Note: A Search button will display when you mouse over a section title.

TOC Browser

Find & Select Sources

To search selected sources only, click the Select Sources button on the right of the search bar.

Search Bar 2

Either type the name of your source into the SOURCES search field and select it from the drop-down list. Multiple sources can be selected.

Sources 1

Alternatively drill down through the list of sources using the arrows to the left of the source titles, and select the source(s) to be searched.

Sources 2

Filter Search Results

Bloomberg Law's filters enable you to narrow your Search Results by criteria that are specific to the selected content sets.

Filters for Search Results with Multiple Content Types

When your Search Results include multiple content types (for example a search in both court opinions and secondary sources), filters to the left of your Search Results list will include Practice Area, Markets & News Results, Content Type and Date. For all criteria except date, click on the desired filter to narrow your results. For Date, click on the drop-down menu and select your desired option.

Filter Results

Filters for Search Results with a Single Content Type

  • Accessible from the left side of the Search Results page.
  • Provide content-specific filters that enable you to filter dockets by Nature of Suit, EDGAR filings by form type, and Law Firm Research by firm, as examples.
  • You can filter Court Opinions by criteria including Jurisdiction, Court, Topic, and Judge.
  • Each filter is pre-populated with the top five matches and includes the number of relevant hits based on the search.
  • Click Select More to explore or potentially select additional matching filters.
  • Narrow your results by selecting multiple filter types. For Example:
  • When you filter court opinions to a particular court, topic and judge, your results are only opinions from that court, with the chosen topic and judge.
  • When you select multiple entries under a single filter type, the selections expand the results. For instance, when searching court opinions, if you select two different courts your results will contain opinions from both or either of the courts.

Filter Results Court

Research Trail

Bloomberg Law's Research Trail lists the searches run and documents opened over the past 6 months. With filters such as Search, Document, Person Bio, Company Info and Client Matter, Research Trail makes it easy for you to view recent work on Bloomberg Law.

How to Access the Research Trail

Click the My Work History link, and then click Research Trail from the drop-down list. Recent items in the Research Trail appear in the box to the right. The full Research Trail can be found by clicking the View All Research Trail link at the bottom of the recent items.

Research Trail A

Items on the Research Trail can be searched using the Find text box, located by date, and sorted by Type.

To Print/Download, Email or Add to Workspace, select the item(s) and click the appropriate button.

To view the item, search, etc. click the title.

Research Trail 2

Saved Searches & Alerts

For any search you run, you can create customized notifications of updated results for your search criteria. Read your Alerts through e-mail or visit the Alerts Inbox.Saved Searches & Alerts makes it easy to find what you need with filters and the ability to add tags.

The difference between a saved search and an alert is that a saved search has an alert frequency set to none while an alert has a frequency that is set to as available, hourly, daily or weekly. You also can visit the Management tab to edit your saved searches including, changing the frequency of alerts.

How To Save a Search and/or Create an Alert

  1. Craft and run your desired search.
  2. Click the Create Search Alert link above your results list. The Create Search Alert pop-up appears.
  3. In the Title field, input the name for the Saved Search/Alert. This will be the subject line for any e-mails that are triggered by the alert.
  4. From the Frequency drop-down menu, select your desired frequency.
  5. (Optional) Enter desired Tags for organization and/or a Description of the search.
  6. Docket Alerts set from the Specialized Docket Search Page contain the additional options for Format, Sort, Show Parties in Report, and Distributed To.
  7. Click Save.
  • You receive an e-mail when new documents are added to Bloomberg Law that meet your search criteria. The notifications are also stored in your Alerts Inbox.\
  • If you want to set the Alert more quickly, the Create Search Alert button is also available on all search screens.

Setting a Citation Alert

  1. View a court opinion. Example: Palsgraf v. Long Is. R.R., 248 N.Y. 339 (1928).
  2. Click the Citing Documents link.
  3. Click Create Citation Alert.
  4. The Citation Alert pop-up appears.
  5. The citation for your opinion is automatically entered in the Title field; you can edit it, however for your needs.
  6. Click Save.
  • You will receive an e-mail with your chosen title as the subject line when other opinions reference your case.

Marking as Read or Delete an Alert

  1. At the top of the screen, click My Work History and then Alerts. Next click View All at the bottom of the list to the right.
  2. Select the checkboxes for Alerts you want to mark as read or delete.
  3. Click the Mark as Read or Delete link.

Searching, Filtering and Sorting in Your Alerts Inbox

You can browse and locate your saved searches and alerts by sorting, searching, or filtering. To Find, Filter and Sort:

  1. In the top menu bar, click My Work History then Alerts and then Manage Your Alerts.
  2. Select Alerts Inbox.
  • After clicking on Alerts Inbox, you have an option of Inputing a term in the Find box and press GO filter by date range, filter by read/unread.

Change the Frequency of an Alert

  1. At the top of the screen, click My Work History and then Alerts. Next click View All at the bottom of the list to the right.
  2. Select the Management tab.
  3. Use the filters or Find to locate the Alert you want to modify. Only a single alert can be edited at a time.
  4. Click the Edit link.
  5. Select the desired frequency.
  6. Click Save Changes.

Set Alerts Management Notifications

  1. At the top of the screen, click My Work History and then Alerts. Next click View All at the bottom of the list to the right.
  2. Select the Settings tab.
  3. Under “Receive e-mail notifications”, click the Yes option.
  4. Under “Select updates to be part of e-mail notifications”, check the boxes for the notifications you want.
  5. Click Save Changes.
  • When you modify alerts, you will receive an e-mail notification of the changes you have made.