Free Legal Web Resources -- Alphabetical
The following is an alphabetical list of freely available internet-based legal resources selected by librarians at MacMillan Law Library along with brief descriptions of each. For a list arranged by subject, go here: Free Legal Web Resources -- By Subject
ABA Free Full-text Online Law Review/Law Journal Search Engine - A free search engine which searches across over 350 freely available online law reviews, law journals, and document repositories.
Administrative Decisions by Agency - Links to publicly accessible databases of administrative decisions and rulings and FOIA reading rooms that fall outside of the scope of materials available in the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations. Maintained by the University of Virginia Library.
American Memory: A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation - A product of the Library of Congress's American Memory Project, 'A Century of Lawmaking' includes page image versions of Statutes at large from 1st through 42nd Congresses. Browse by volume or Congress. Also bills and resolutions, U.S. Serial Set, and Journals and Debates of Congress.
ASIL Guide to Electronic Resources for International Law - Electronic resource guide published by the American Society of International Law since 1997 and designed for use by students, teachers, practitioners and researchers alike.
Avalon Project - A project of the Yale Law School, the Avalon Project posts digital documents relevant to the fields of law, history, economics, politics, diplomacy and government. Organized into various collections, some of which date back from 450 B.C., the Avalon Project attempts to add value by linking to supporting documents expressly referred to in the bodies of text.
BRBís Free Resource Center - BRB Publications, Inc. maintains this collection of links to government agencies that provide free online access to public record information. These links include tools to locate sources for civil records, criminal records, driving records, real estate records, public record vendors, record retrievers, legislation and more.
C-SPAN - Web site of the private, non-profit company, created in 1979 by the cable television industry as a public service whose mission is to provide public access to the political process. The site includes video, transcripts, news items, podcasts and much more related to the federal government.
CIA World Factbook - Annually updated publication of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, the World Factbook provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 266 world entities presented in a consistent tabular format. The site also includes maps of the major world regions, as well as Flags of the World, a Physical Map of the World, a Political Map of the World, and a Standard Time Zones of the World map.
Constitution Finder - Constitution Finder is a freely available service maintained by members of the University of Richmond School of Law community and offers links to constitutions, charters, amendments, and other related documents searchable by country.
Data.gov - Data.gov increases the ability of the public to easily find, download and use high value, machine readable datasets generated by the executive branch of the federal government. The site provides descriptions of the datasets, information about how to access them, and tools that leverage the datasets.
Duhaimeís Legal Dictionary - Originated by law professor and auther Lloyd Duhaime, this multiply recognized and awarded web-based legal dictionary presents legal concepts and law terminology thoroughly researched and presented in plain language.
E-CFR - Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR) is non-official but daily updated version of the CFR still maintained on the GPO Access platform.
EISIL (Electronic Information System for International Law) - Developed by the American Society of International Law (ASIL) with the goal of helping searchers easily locate the highest quality primary materials, authoritative web sites and helpful research guides to international law on the Internet. Users can connect directly to resources as well as find such useful information as legal citations, entry into force and signature dates, amendments and brief descriptions where available.
EUR-Lex - The official portal providing direct free access to European Union law. Here you can search and consult the Official Journal of the European Union as well as the treaties, legislation, case-law and legislative proposals of the EU. It's sister database, PreLex, monitors the decision making process between institutions and provides access to this supporting documentation which precedes its becoming official EU law.
EUROPA - Billed as the gateway to the European Union, EUROPA is the official web site of the European Union and provides access to information published by all EU institutions, agencies and bodies. The site's Documentation Centre includes a Register of Documents with links to the publications of such institutions as the European Parliament, Council of the European Union, European Commission, European Economic and Social Committee, and the Committee of the Regions.
European Court of Justice - CURIA is the resource for European Case Law from 1997 onwards for the Court of Justice of the European Union and its General Court and Civil Service Tribunal.
FDsys - This product of the U.S. Government Printing Office provides public access to Government information submitted by Congress and Federal agencies and preserved as technology changes. As the eventual successor to GPO Access, FDsys will include Congressional bills, reports, documents, hearings, Statutes at Large, Congressional Record as well as the Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations and the Compilation of Presidential Documents. Migration of information from GPO Access to FDsys is taking place on a collection-by-collection basis and is projected to be completed by the end of 2009.
Findlaw for Legal Professionals - A product of the legal publishing giant Thomson West, FindLaw is one of the most popular sites for freely available legal information which includes US Supreme Court opinions back to 1893 as well as more limited Appellate, Circuit and State court opinions, federal and state codes, opinions summaries and newsletters, and one of the largest freely available legal directories on the Internet.
FOIA Project - Nonprofit organization aims to bring greater transparency and accountability to the Freedom of Information Act process by building a database of documents from FOIA cases against government defendants brought in district court.
Forms.gov - U.S. government web site attempts to provide citizens and businesses with a common access point to federal agency forms with the ability to search for business and citizen federal forms needed to interact with the Federal Government. While not entirely comprehensive of the entirety of Federal Government Forms, an agency list allows one to browse participating agencies.
- Attorney General's Opinions - Provides the ability to browse or search the official and unofficial opinions of the Attorney General from 1994 to the present.
- Constitution of the State of Georgia - PDF version of the state constitution as hosted on the Georgia Secretary of State web site.
- General Assembly - Legislative links including bills, calendars, and committee members. Retrieve bills by number or search by keyword or code title. Summary of general statutes enacted is arranged by code title.
- Georgia Code - Unannotated and freely available official version of the code hosted by LexisNexis.
- Legislative Bill Tracking - Maintained by the Administrative Office of Georgia Courts, this page offers bill tracking capability along with the ability to browse for bills by number, issue or committee, and retrieve tables with bill status including showing bills that have passed.
- Legislative Documents Project - Database available through GALILEO that contains the Acts of the General Assembly of the State of Georgia for the years 1799-1999, with a few gaps. In the future, the Georgia House and Senate Journals will be added.
- Rules and Regulations - Maintained on the Secretary of State's web site, search or browse state agency rules and regulations.
- Supreme Court - Recent published opinions (PDF format), court rules and forms, the court's calendar, and docket search.
GlobaLex - An electronic resource dedicated to international and foreign law research published by the Hauser Global Law School Program at New York University School of Law and committed to the dissemination of high-level international, foreign, and comparative law research tools to accommodate an increasingly global educational and practicing legal world.
Google Scholar - Select Legal opinions and journals. Read full text legal opinions from U.S. federal and state district, appellate and supreme courts. As you read an opinion, you can follow citations to the opinions to which it refers. You can also see how individual cases have been quoted or discussed in other opinions and in articles from law journals. Browse these by clicking on the "How Cited" link next to the case title.
GovTrack - GovTrack.us is an independent tool to help the public research and track the activities in the U.S. Congress, promoting and innovating government transparency and civic education through novel uses of technology. You'll find here the status of U.S. federal legislation, voting records in the Senate and House of Representatives, and information on Members of Congress, district maps, as well as congressional committees and the Congressional Record.
ICRC Customary International Humanitarian Law Database - This database maintained by the International Committee of the Red Cross offers a comprehensive analysis of the customary rules of international humanitarian law and contains summaries of underlying practice.
International Court of Justice (ICJ) - This web site for the principal judicial organ of the United Nations includes links to cases and basic documents such as the Charter of the United Nations, Statute of the Court, Rules of Court and more.
Internet Legal Research Weekly - Freely available newsletter focusing on the latest news and trends concerning internet based legal research published by Tom Mighell via his Inter Alia weblog.
Jurist - Law news and legal research in real-time, reported and edited by law students and faculty at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. JURIST is produced as a public service for the continuing legal education of its readers and law student staffers, and uses the latest Internet technology to track important legal news stories and materials and present them rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible, ad-free format.
Justia - Justia is a legal media and technology company focused on making legal information, resources and services easy to find on the Internet. They provide free case law, codes, regulations, legal articles and legal blog databases, including US Supreme Court cases since the 1700s, Federal Appeals Court Cases since 1950, and many District Court opinions since 2004.
Law Journals: Submissions and Rankings - Established and maintained by the Washington & Lee University School of Law, the purpose of the Law Journals webpage is to allow authors to find law journals by subject, country, or journal rank (where available), to display journal editorial information, and to facilitate an author's article submission to those journals.
- Global Legal Information Network (GLIN) - The Global Legal Information Network (GLIN) is a public database of official texts of laws, regulations, judicial decisions, and other complementary legal sources contributed by governmental agencies and international organizations which contribute the full texts of their published documents to the database in their original languages. Each document is accompanied by a summary in English and, in many cases in additional languages, plus subject terms selected from the multilingual index to GLIN.
- Multinational Collections Database - The Multinational Collections Database lists items which reprint the laws and regulations of international jurisdictions on a particular legal topic, comparative in nature with the purpose of providing additional identifying information about titles, beyond that which is provided in the Library's catalog.
- Nations of the World - Part of the LLOC's Guide to Law Online and prepared by its Public Services Division, Nations of the World is an annotated guide to sources of information on various government entities and laws available online and includes selected links to useful and reliable sites for legal information.
- U.S. States and Territories - Another part of the LLOC's Guide to Law Online, U.S. States and Territories is a similarly annotated guide to sources of information on state governments and laws available online and also includes selected links to useful and reliable sites.
Law.com - Maintained by Incisive Media, publishers of the National Law Journal and American Lawyer, this site provides legal related news headlines, technology news, surveys, blogs and more, most of which is freely available upon registration.
LawLink - Founded by attorney Steven Choi in 2007, LawLink bills itself as "the first social network for the legal community" and purports to receive over 50,000 unique visitors per month.
Legal Talk Network - Launched in May 2005 by the Skyways Communications company, the web's "premier online legal media network" provides originally produced podcasts hosted by nationally recognized leading attorneys and legal experts.
Legally Minded - Currently still in beta mode, this site is the American Bar Association's foray into the world of social networking.
LexisONE Community - a unique, online community and research resource designed to meet the day-to-day practice demands of individual attorneys to include both free and fee-based resources. Free searching includes U.S. Supreme Court and selected recent year federal and state cases. Registration required. Search by citation or using LEXIS search terms.
LII / Legal Information Institute - A research and electronic publishing activity of the Cornell Law School, this site contains popular collections the U.S. Code and Supreme Court Opinions. This version of the code is generated from the most recent official version made available by the US House of Representatives. For exact information about the currency of any particular title as it is published by the House, see the listing on the House server. The date of any text appearing on this site appears in italics at the upper right in every Code section.
LLRX - Dedicated to providing legal, library, IT/IS, marketing and administrative professionals with the most up-to-date information on a wide range of Internet research and technology-related issues, applications, resources and tools. Produced by Editor and Publisher, Sabrina I. Pacifici who has been an active member of the online legal community since its inception.
LLSDC's Legislative Source Book - A first stop online guide for all things legislative history produced and regularly updated by the Law Librarian's Society of D.C. In particular, McKinney and Sweet's Federal Legislative History Research Practitioner's Guide is an absolutely invaluable reference guide.
Multilaterals Project - Begun in 1992 as an ongoing project at The Fletcher School, Tufts University, to make available the texts of international multilateral conventions and other instruments. Initiated to improve public access to environmental agreements, the collection today also includes treaties in the fields of human rights, commerce and trade, laws of war and arms control, and other areas. Most of the texts date from 1945 or later, but the collection also includes some historical texts.
Municode.com - Municipal Code Corporation is a private sector host for the freely available ordinances of over 1,600 city and county governments browsable by state. If you are unable to locate specific ordinances, you may need to contact your local City/County Clerk's office to obtain detailed information, specific to your area and needs.
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) - As the nation's record keeper, the National Archives and Records Administration web site has collections devoted to the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government including page images of the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution, as well as guides to filing requests for information via the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
Office of the Law Revision Counsel - This office of the U.S. House of Representatives prepares and publishes the United States Code and includes classification tables as well as the popular names tool.
Office of the Federal Register - The Public Inspection Desk is the Federal Register's online location for officially submitted notices, rules and other assorted published regulatory information.
Open Jurist - Another resource providing freely available access to federal case law. The collection includes approximately 647,000 opinions and other transactions from the US Supreme Court beginning with the first session in 1790 and the lower federal courts as published in the Federal Reporter beginning in 1880.
OpenRegs - Bills itself as an alternative federal government's Regulations.gov regulatory dockets database with the goal of making the proposed and final regulations published in the Federal Register easy to find and discuss, so that citizens can become better informed and more involved in the regulatory process.
Oyez - The Oyez Project is a multimedia archive devoted to the Supreme Court of the United States and its work. It aims to be a complete and authoritative source for all audio recorded in the Court since the installation of a recording system in October 1955. The Project also provides authoritative information on all justices and offers a virtual reality 'tour' of portions of the Supreme Court building, including the chambers of some of the justices.
Public Library of Law - Billing itself as the world's largest free law library, this site (sponsored by paid content provider Fastcase) presents access to freely available case law, statutes, regulations, court rules and more at the federal and state levels.
State-by-State Report on Authentication of Online Legal Resources
Breaks down state by state what is considered official that is online. For example, only the past two years of the Georgia Supreme Court opinions are acceptable as official. Other courts and previous years available electronically are not. Hosted by the American Association of Law Libraries Electronic Legal Information Access & Citation Committee.
State Legislative History Research Guides on the Web - A research guide of the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, it provides links to both original sources where available and "how-to" guides for nearly all 50 states.
Supreme Court of the United States - The official site of the court provides links to current docket information, oral arguments calendars, useful research guides, page image reproductions of recently issued slip opinions, and full opinions back to volume 502 (1991) of the official U.S. Reports.
Thomas - THOMAS was launched in January of 1995, at the inception of the 104th Congress under the Congressional mandate to make federal legislative information freely available to the public. Since that time THOMAS has expanded the scope of its offerings to include such features as text of bills and resolutions, bill summaries, public laws by number, roll call votes, legislation by sponsor, real time Congressional activity information, text of Congressional Record, House and Senate calendars and more.
Treaties Office Database (EU) - Contains all the bilateral and multilateral treaties or agreements concluded by the European Community, the European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC) and the former European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), and those concluded under the Treaty on European Union. Agreements signed but not yet in force are identified by an asterisk (*).
- Official Document System (ODS) - ODS covers all types of official United Nations documentation, beginning in 1993 although older UN documents are regularly added to the system. ODS also provides access to the resolutions of the General Assembly, Security Council, Economic and Social Council and the Trusteeship Council from 1946 onwards.
- Research Guide - The guide is designed for researchers with an interest in UN documentation. The guide is designed for researchers and information professionals with an interest in United Nations documentation. It presents an overview of the various types of documents and publications issued by the Organization (e.g, reports, resolutions, meeting records, sales publications, press releases) and gives guidance on how to work with them.
- Treaty Collection - Formerly a subscription service but now freely available to all via the UN's web site, the UN Treaty Collection includes databases and publications such as Status of Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary-General, United Nations Treaty Series, League of Nations Treaty Series, Photographs of Signature Ceremonies, Monthly Statements of Treaties and International Agreements, Treaty Handbook and much more.
- United Nations Bibliographic Information System (UNBISnet) - Catalog of UN documents indexed by the UN Dag Hammarskjold Library and the Library of the UN Office at Geneva. Coverage is from 1979 onward, however, older documents are being added on a regular basis as a result of retrospective conversion. UNBISnet also provides access to a growing number of full text resources in the six official languages of the UN including resolutions adopted by the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the Security Council from 1946 onward.
U.S. Courts - Portal for the web sites of all U.S. Federal Courts as well as information from the Administrative Office of the courts. The site features a map of the United States that links to 13 judicial circuits and 89 districts in 50 states and is also searchable by zip code, city and state, circuit and more.
U.S. Department of State - Treaty Affairs - The Office of the Assistant Legal Adviser for Treaty Affairs serves as the principal U.S. government repository for U.S. treaties and other international agreements and includes links to many treaty related publications including Treaties in Force, Treaty Actions and the Treaties and Other International Acts Series.
USA.gov - As the U.S. government's official web portal, USA.gov makes it easy for the public to get U.S. government information and services on the web. Includes a helpful A-Z Index of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies link.
USC Legal Journals - Maintained by the University of Southern California's law library, this page organizes official links to law journals into such classifications as General, Commercial, Subject Specific, Foreign and ABA titles.
Virtual Chase - The Virtual Chase has assisted legal professionals conducting research on the Internet since Summer 1996. It offers articles, guides, teaching materials, an alert service and more on Internet research strategies and resources. The site is open to anyone free of charge, but provides materials with experienced researchers, lawyers and other legal professionals in mind.
WashLaw - Developed and maintained by members of the Washburn University School of Law Library, WashLaw provides users with links to law-related materials on the Internet generally arranged alphabetically, by subject, and by geographic location.
White House - Official site for access to Presidential documents including speeches and remarks, statements and releases, nominations and appointments and such presidential actions as executive orders, presidential memoranda, and proclamations.
World Legal Information Institute (WLII) - The World Legal Information Institute (WorldLII) is a free, independent and non-profit global legal research facility developed collaboratively by various Legal Information Institutes and other organizations. The site purports to offer 899 databases from 123 countries and territories via the Free Access to Law Movement.
Zimmermanís Research Guide - Begun by law librarian Andrew Zimmerman, this now collectively edited and updated and freely available research guide (hosted by LexisNexis) offers brief definitions and summaries with links from an extensive list of topics.