How do I find sample briefs, motions, or forms?


To see examples of real briefs that have been filed in federal courts, you can search for filings using the Dockets Search feature on Bloomberg Law. Select a court in the "Courts" field and then search for filings by keyword to retrieve examples of similar types of briefs or motions as the one that you are writing. 

Once you pull up a docket and identify a document that you wish to take a look at, you can click the "View" or "Request" link to obtain a copy of that filing.

If you haven't retrieved dockets and court filings on Bloomberg Law before, we have a video tutorial available here. Please also see our Litigation Resources tab on our Standout Summer Research Guide or our Case Dockets and Filings Research Guide for additional guidance. 

If you have not set up a Bloomberg Law account, you can do so by following these instructions: 

  • Go to
  • Complete the registration form using your email address. You may leave the activation code blank, as long as you register using your Northwestern Law email address.
  • Your username and password will be emailed directly to you.

State (Illinois)

If you are interested in Illinois-specific sample complaints and forms, check out IICLE SmartBooks. This database provides access to various forms for substantive areas of Illinois law. Near the top of the screen, you can conduct a search across the content available on this database.

Additional Resources

Additional sample forms for both federal and state levels can be found using the following resources:

Updated: May 28, 2020

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