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 explore all legal content, which provides the broadest search range, or access specific content sets and sources, such as Practice Centers, Laws & Regulations, and Secondary Sources.

navigation menu

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 [Go] 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 from the drop-down menu.

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 buttons underneath the Search Bar will identify the context for your search. To change the search context, click the desired button.

Search Bar 4

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

Natural Language and Terms and Connectors

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

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 home page by clicking Select Sources in the Search Bar.
  • From the source tree, 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 arrow next to an entry to expand/collapse it.

Natural Language

If you do not use terms and connectors, Bloomberg Law automatically treats 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. Under Search Type Detection, 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.

All Legal Content

Note: A magnifying glass 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

Type name of your source in the Sources field and then select it from the dropdown list of suggestions. (Abbreviations are accepted.) 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, filters to the left of your search results list will include Date, Content Types and Practice Areas. 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 within a Single Content Type

  • Accessible after clicking a specific Content Type from the left side of the search results page.
  • Provide content-specific filters that offer ability to tailor results (i.e. to filter dockets by Nature of Suit, EDGAR filings by form type, and Law Firm Research by firm)
  • For example, as shown in the screenshot below, you can filter Court Opinions by such criteria as Jurisdiction, State, Court, Topic, Judge, and more.
  • With the exception of Date and Jurisdiction, 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 even further by selecting multiple filter types.

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 My Work History at the top of any page, and then select Research Trail from the drop-down list. The most recent items in your Research Trail will appear in a box to the right. The full Research Trail can be accessing by clicking View All in the top corner of the box.

Research Trail A

Items in the Research Trail can be searched using the Find and/or Date options, as well as filtered by Type.

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

To view an item in the Research Trail, 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 and alerts make it easy to find what you need with filters and the ability to add tags. You can visit the Alerts Management page to edit your saved searches including changing the frequency of alerts. Type Alerts Management in the Search Bar or select it from the Popular Links table on the Bloomberg Law home page. (Note: This Popular Links table option does NOT apply for law school or court subscribers).

How To Save a Search and/or Create an Alert

Craft and run your desired search.

Click the Create Alert link above your results list. The Create Alert pop-up appears.

Create Alert

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.

From the Frequency drop-down menu, select your desired frequency. (Note: 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.

All other fields are optional. Use the Distributed To option to share a saved search/alert with other Bloomberg Law users in your organization.

Docket Alerts set from the specialized Docket Search Page will contain the additional options for Format, Sort, and Show Parties in Report.

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.

Setting a Citation Alert

View a court opinion. Example: Palsgraf v. Long Is. R.R., 248 N.Y. 339 (1928).

In the right rail of the opinion, click the BCITE Analysis icon. Select the Citing Documents link.

Citation Alert

From the resulting page, click Create Citation Alert, located just under the Filters on the left.

Citation Alert POP Up

The Create Citation Alert pop-up appears.

The citation for your opinion is automatically entered in the Title field; you can edit it, if desired.

Click Save.

You will receive an e-mail with your chosen title as the subject line when other opinions reference your case.

Managing Alerts

You can quickly and easily modify your alerts without having to re-run a search, thus saving time and adding efficiency.

There are 3 easy ways to access the Alerts Management page:

  1. Type Alerts in the Search Bar and select Alerts Management from the dropdown list of suggestions.
  2. Select Alerts Management from the Popular Links table on the home page. (Note: This option does NOT apply for law school or court subscribers).
  3. From the My Work History option at the top of any page, select Alerts and then the Manage Alerts link in the corner of the menu screen.

From the Alerts Management page, you will see the title of your saved alerts, as well as the type of search, the date the alert was created, and when the alert was last modified. The last column of the table displays editing options.

Alerts Management

Select Edit Alert to modify the title, description, and frequency of the alert, as well as to add/remove tags and adjust recipients with whom the alerts should be shared. You can also delete an alert by selecting the Delete Alert option at the bottom of the Edit Alert modal window display.

Alerts Management POP Up

Select Edit Search to adjust the actual search criteria, such as modifying keywords, adding filters, sources and/or other search parameters. Once the search has been appropriately modified, simply click "Save Search to Alert" to overwrite the previous Alert. (Note: The Edit Search functionality is applicable for all alert types that search over multiple documents, except patent searches.)

Citation Alert POP Up