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Free Legal Research

How to use this guide

This guide contains selected free online legal research resources. These resources can be a great way to get started with your research when you don't have access to paid databases or if you want to get an overview of a topic before getting started with potentially expensive searches.  The guide can be used by students, faculty members, lawyers, and the general public.


Food for Thought

Here's a few misconceptions about "Free" online legal research:

  1. Everything is available freely on the Internet.
  2. Confident that sources are trustworthy and authoritative.
  3. Google’s complex search algorithm give’s me the best possible results.
  4. Wikipedia is an authoritative source.

Here in the Real World

As research cost continue to climb, there are many "free" resources that can help you from breaking the bank.

Keep in mind:

  1. A great deal of primary source material (federal & state) IS freely available online.
  2. You can manipulate Google’s search engine to focus your results.
  3. Wikipedia, while not authoritative, should not be dismissed as irrelevant.
  4. Don't spend hours searching Google when the answer can be easily attained using a "fee" resource.  Time is money!

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