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GW Law Library
Research Guides

Off-Campus Access to Online Books, Journals, and Databases


If you have any problems or questions related to the Burns Law Library's online resources, please contact us at

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: In the past, I had to make changes to my browser settings to use the Burns Library proxy server.  Do I still need to do that?

A: No.  Unlike the old proxy server, the current one does not require you to make any changes to your browser or network settings.  If you still have your browser set to use the old proxy server, you should uncheck the box enabling the automatic configuration script.  Please contact the Computer Help Desk ( if you need assistance with this.

Q: Who can use the Burns Library's proxy server?

A: Use of the Burns Library's proxy server is restricted to current GW Law students, faculty, staff, and visiting scholars.  It is not available for GW Law Alumni, GWU faculty, staff, and students who are not affiliated with the Law School, or those not affiliated with The George Washington University. 

Q: Why am I unable to access while off-campus?  

A: The URL you are using has not been modified to use our proxy server.  To find a modified link, you can look for the database in our Guide to Using Online Resources or you can search for it by title in our catalog at

Q: Why can’t GW Law alumni use the proxy?  

A: Most of our database licenses only permit off-campus use by current GW Law faculty, staff, and students.  Alumni are welcome to use the databases when they are physically in the law school, and they have off-campus access to HeinOnline’s Law Journal Library through the GW Law Alumni Portal.  As GWU graduates, GW Law alumni can also access some additional databases through the GWU Libraries (click here).

Q: I’m a GWU student, but not affiliated with the law school.  Why can’t I use the law library’s proxy?  

A: The Burns Library's proxy only recognizes GW Law School credentials. Many of our database licenses only permit use by the law school, but if a license allows for use by all GWU students, we share that information with the GWU Libraries so they can add the database to their proxy server and include it in their Subject Databases list.

Q: I’m a GW Law student, and sometimes when I click on a database link in one of your research guides, I get a screen that asks for my Net ID and password, but when I put in my GW Law network ID and password I’m told that they’re not valid.  

A:  Our catalogers and research guide editors often include links to databases to which the university, not the law school, subscribes.  The links to those databases get processed through the GW Libraries proxy, not the Burns Law Library proxy.  To log into those databases, you need to use your GWU Net ID and password, not your GW Law credentials.  If you don’t know your GWU Net ID and password, go to

Q: I'm trying to access an online resource through a link I found in a Burns Library Research Guide or through a GW Law Library catalog, but I'm seeing an error code.  Is there someone I could contact about it?

A: If you are having trouble accessing an online resource, you should contact the Burns Library's "AskUs" service, by chat, email, phone, or in person.  You can find contact information here.  If they can't help you right away, they will escalate the issue to get it resolved.