10 Alternative Legal Research Sites
By Kristopher A. Nelson
in May 2009
400 words / 2 min.
Tweet Share 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.
Please note that this post is from 2009. Evaluate with care and in light of later events.
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:
- Find a law library in California
- Counties often have public law libraries
- Many law schools have law libraries open to the public
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.
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