10 Alternative Legal Research Sites

Looking for alternatives to expensive legal research through Westlaw and LexisNexis? Here’s a non-exhaustive list of ten alternative sources for legal research (aimed primarily at lawyers and law students) that are useful – and much cheaper.

By Kristopher A. Nelson in

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Looking for alternatives to expensive legal research through Westlaw and LexisNexis? Here’s a non-exhaustive list of ten alternative sources for legal research (aimed primarily at lawyers and law students) that are useful – and much cheaper:

1. Quimbee – a case brief database.

2. PreCYdent – an “open law source” and legal opinion search.

3. SSRN – an ideal source for cutting-edge legal scholarship (and a repository of older articles too).

4. AltLaw – free access to federal case law, but not as up-to-date as other sources.

5. FindLaw – free access to case law, provided by Westlaw‘s owner.

6. LexisONE – Lexis’ answer to West’s FindLaw: the last ten years of state and federal court opinions, and U.S. Supreme Court opinions from 1781 to present, all free.

7. VersusLaw – inexpensive subscription alternative to LexisNexis and Westlaw (federal and state appellate case law).

8. Fastcase – subscription-based online case law research service, providing access to law, court cases, statutes, and regulations, at reason.

9. CALI – The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction provides free online training in most law school subjects.

10. Your local law library – paper and electronic resources, plus librarians who can help:

For help with conducting legal research, ask a law librarian or consult the Gallagher Law Library’s legal research guide. If you are not a lawyer but still need to do legal research, you might also find it useful to read How to Research a Legal Problem: A Guide for Non-Lawyers.