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International LL.M. and Graduate Students Guide

Free and Low-Cost US Legal Research Tools

This guide lists and links to free and low-cost resources for legal research. Use these when Bloomberg, Lexis, and Westlaw aren't available or when you'd like to reduce the costs of those services by doing some preliminary searching.

Free Legal Research Websites

Low-Cost Legal Research Plaforms

Government Websites - Cases

Federal Courts

State Courts

Government Websites - Legislation

Federal Legislation

State Legislation

Government Websites - Regulation

Federal Regulations

State Regulations

Local Codes

Municipalities generally contract with one of these services to publish their ordinances. Check these rule libraries when your issue involves local code.


Federal Forms

State & Local Forms

Law Journal Articles

When tackling a new subject, look at journal articles to get background or a history of the topic. These secondary sources are generally not included in the free legal databases listed elsewhere in this guide. Collections here cover free article access -- which may not always be the published piece, rather an earlier draft.

Free Online Legal Dictionaries

Other Guides