Practical law

Practical Law is a Thomson Reuters database of practice notes, legal updates, articles, precedents, checklists, specialist tools and more. It is primarily designed for practitioners, but also has a Law School Resource Centre.

The main focus of the Practical Law service is on UK and EU law, but it also covers cross-border legal topics and provides guides to the law of foreign jurisdictions.

There are links from Practical Law to Westlaw UK (another Thomson Reuters service) for access to books and other material.


Practical Law is available on-site to all academic members of IALS Library. 
Remote access to the IALS account is restricted to IALS staff, IALS fellows and IALS students (log in via Shibboleth, using same ID and password as for StudyOnline / the IALS computer network).  Other library users should check with their own college or university library about remote access to Practical Law.


Practical Law includes:

  • PLC Magazine (June 1990 onwards), a magazine for business lawyers 
  • Practice notes 
  • Legal updates, monthly bulletins, case trackers and legislation trackers  
  • Global Guides (on the Resources tab): overviews of about 70 topics in a wide range of foreign jurisdictions, accompanied by a comparison tool
  • Standard documents/clauses (precedents) and drafting notes
  • Checklists
  • A glossary
  • The Law School Resource Centre: a collection of material for law students ( particularly those doing professional training), including introductory practice notes, blogs and videos, with an emphasis on legal careers and professional skills
  • What’s Market (under ‘Resources’), a database of information about corporate finance transactions.


Select a practice area and/or type of material to search, or search the whole database.

Click on the ‘i’ button in the search box for information about search connectors and so on. 

Search results can be filtered by resource type, practice area, jurisdiction and/or business sector.


Drill down through the tabs and links in the main part of the screen, or use the Browse Menu at the top. 

You can browse by practice area, business sector, or type of resource (e.g. practice notes), or select a featured resource from the home page.

Click on the Practical Law logo at any time to return to the home page.

Printing, saving and emailing

Print, download and email icons appear at the top of search results, or to the right of displayed documents. 


User guides are available within Practical Law, via a link at the bottom of the page.
The search box has an ‘i’ button that displays search tips.