Skip to Main Content

GDipICL: Library Resources

This guide was designed as an introduction to library resources for students in the Graduate Diploma in Immigration and Citizenship Law.

The 3 Major Legal Research Services

There are three major online legal research services in Canada: CanLII, Westlaw, and Lexis. These are platforms that allow you to search, locate, and read legal information including case law, legislation, and commentary. This page provides information on how to access all three of these services.


CanLII is a free legal research service that is funded by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada. You do not need to set up an account to use CanLII. However, you may want to sign up for a free myCanLII account, which allows you to take advantage of additional functionality like saving documents to a folder and creating personalized alerts. 

In a few instances, students who are located outside of Canada have reported difficulty accessing CanLII's website. If this happens to you, please feel free to reach out to the Law Library for troubleshooting assistance.

Set up your free Westlaw account

Westlaw is a commercial legal research service that is commonly used in professional legal workplaces. To activate your free student account, you need to receive a registration key from Thomson Reuters.

Your Queen's email account should receive a welcome email from Westlaw during your orientation week. This email will provide instructions for setting up your personal account.

Check your spam folder and contact the law library for help if you can't find the welcome email. 

Note: Each time you sign in, Westlaw prompts you to “Select a client ID.” The Client ID is used to identify your Westlaw session, but otherwise has no effect on your research or use of the platform. Simply enter any text or number and then “Start a new session” to proceed to the homepage.


Set up your free Lexis account

Lexis is a commercial legal research service that is that is commonly used in professional legal workplaces. Register for a free student account via the online Law School Portal. Select "Register for Access" and follow the instructions to create an account using your Queen's email address.

The registration options do not include the GDipICL program specifically. If you are a full-time student, select "Graduate (LLM)" and then enter your start and graduation years. If you are a part-time student, select the 3-year option.