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 a free alumni card from the DukeCard Office. Recent graduates who plan to remain in the Triangle area for bar exam study may e-mail the alumni card number to the Law School's Building Manager, Catherine Hall, in order to reactivate 24-hour library swipe card access, which will continue until August 15.

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.

Back to top

Borrowing Library Materials

Borrowing privileges for Law Library materials generally expire very shortly after graduation, although exceptions can be made for continuing academic work and/or bar exam study. Law Library circulation staff can extend the expiration date for your borrowing privileges to August 15. (Note that we are unable to offer interlibrary loan services to recent graduates.)

For fuller borrowing privileges across all Duke campus libraries, Law School alumni may purchase a Campus Borrower's Card at the discounted price of $75/year.

Back to top

Online Databases

LexisNexis and Westlaw

Under the terms of our contracts with LexisNexis and Westlaw, individual user passwords to these services may be provided only to current Law School students, faculty and staff. Recent graduates may extend their LexisNexis and Westlaw passwords over the summer for the purposes of bar study. To extend passwords, log into the sites and look for the link on the welcome screen. Westlaw allows recent graduates to have extended password access through July; Lexis Advance is available to graduated students through December 31, 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, LexisNexis 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.

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

Some alternative legal research services which are available to current Law School students can continue for up to 6 months after graduation.

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 these 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 Academic Search Premier and ABI/Inform) to registered members of the Duke Alumni Association (details).

Back to top


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 research resources, including LexisNexis and Westlaw, may be directed to the Reference Desk at (919) 613-7121 or

Back to top