The following websites provide legal information and materials (including laws, bills, court opinions, and related documents) and/or links to legal material. Most of these sites are freely available to all users with Internet access. You might also find it useful to read How to Research a Legal Problem: A Guide for Non-Lawyers.
|United States Legal Resources||Best Sites|
|Laws, Legislation & the Congress|
|Court Opinions; Court Rules, Other Judicial Material & the Courts|
|Rules & Regulations; Administrative Decisions, the President & Agencies|
|Public Record Databases|
|Legal Resources for Other Jurisdictions||U.S. States|
|Foreign Countries & International Organizations|
|Internet Search Engines|
- FDsys, a service of the Government Printing Office (formerly GPO Access). A collection of major sources, full text, including the budget; Code of Federal Regulations and Federal Register;Commerce Business Daily; congressional bills, calendars, directories, hearings, prints, reports, theCongressional Record, and other materials; Economic Indicators and President’s Economic Report; General Accounting Office reports; selected administrative agency decisions; Supreme Court opinions; and U.S. Code and session laws.
- Thomas, from the Library of Congress. A collection of legislative resources, including bills, bill status, committee reports and websites, the Congressional Record, Presidential nominations, treaties, and other material.
- Federal Law, from Cornell University’s Legal Information Institute. Contains the U.S. Code, the Code of Federal Regulations, and decisions from the Supreme Court and Courts of Appeals.
- USA.gov, the federal government’s portal to information and services. Also includes state, local, and tribal governments.
- lexisONE, free federal and state case law, last 5 years (registration required)
- LexisNexis Academic and ProQuest Congressional: commercial services with federal and state cases and laws, Congressional materials, and selected secondary sources.
- Federal Government Resources on the Web from the University of Michigan Documents Center.
- Constitution from Cornell’s Legal Information Institute.
- LexisNexis Academic: searchable, annotated. UW Restricted
- U.S. Constitution: Analysis and Interpretation by the Congressional Research Service on FDsys: searchable, includes discussion and references to significant cases. Cornell’s Legal Information Institute offers an easier-to-use hyperlinked version.
- The Founders’ Constitution from the University of Chicago Press: a collection of full-text documents compiled by constitutional scholars Philip B. Kurland & Ralph Lerner, searchable.
- Farrand’s Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, from the Library of Congress.
- Elliot’s Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, from the Library of Congress.
- The Federalist Papers, from Yale Law School’s Avalon Project: searchable.
- The Federalist Papers, from Thomas: arranged by number.
Bills & Resolutions: Legislation being considered by Congress
- Bills and bill status from Thomas: searchable, from 1993.
- Bills from FDsys: searchable, from 103d Congress, 1993.
- Bills and bill status from ProQuest Congressional: searchable, from 1989. UW Restricted
Public Laws: Laws passed by Congress & signed by the President, in date order
- Thomas: arranged by Congress then public law number, from 1973 (93d Congress).
- Authenticated public and private laws from FDsys: searchable, from 104th Congress, 1995. (Digitally signed and certified)
- Classification tables from the Office of the Law Revision Counsel: provides U.S. Code citations for public laws and U.S. Code sections affected by recently enacted laws.
U.S. Statutes at Large: slip laws organized by Congress and session
- FDsys: searchable, from 108th Congress, 2003, vol. 117.
- HeinOnline: searchable, with lists by popular name, Indian treaties, and other treaties, from 1789. UW Restricted
- Library of Congress: 1789-1875 (vols. 1-18, 1st-43d Congresses).
U.S. Code: Laws in force arranged by subject
- FDsys: searchable, current ed. with supplements.
- US House of Representatives: current edition, with supplements, in PDF; arranged by title number. Caution: many of these files are extremely large.
- Cornell’s Legal Information Institute: searchable, current edition.
- Findlaw; searchable, current edition.
- Office of Law Revision Counsel: searchable, current edition, with a Popular Name tool and classification tables for converting Statutes at Large citations to current U.S. Code titles and sections.
- U.S. Code Service from LexisNexis Academic and ProQuest Congressional: searchable, annotated. UW Restricted
See also the Gallagher guide on Federal Legislative History.
Congressional Record: Transcript of proceedings in the U.S. Congress
- GPO/FDsys: daily editions, searchable, from 1994, vol. 140.
- GPO/FDsys: bound vols, searchable, from Dec. 1998.
- GPO/FDsys: index, searchable, from 1983.
- CR from Thomas: searchable, from 1990 (101st Congress).
- HeinOnline: bound vols, searchable, from 43 Congress, 1873, vol. 1.
- HeinOnline: daily editions, searchable, from 1994, vol. 140.
- Annals of Congress, 1st Congress through 18th Congress, 1st session, from the Library of Congress: covers 1789-1824.
- Register of Debates, 18th Congress, 2d session through 25th Congress, 1st session, from the Library of Congress: covers 1824-37.
- Congressional Globe, 23d-42d Congresses, from the Library of Congress: covers 1833-73.
House, Senate & Executive reports (collectively known as the Serial Set)
- Reports from GPO Access: searchable, from 1995 (104th Congress).
- Reports from Thomas: searchable, from 1995 (104th Congress).
- Historical Serial Set volumes, from the Library of Congress: selected volumes from the 23d Congress, 1833-35; 56th Congress, 1899-1901; and the 58th Congress, 1903-05 (Journals of the Confederate Congress).
House, Senate & Treaty documents
- Documents from GPO Access: searchable, from 1985 (99th Congress).
- Committee Hearings & Testimony
- Hearings from GPO Access: searchable, from 1985 (99th Congress).
- Selected witness statements from House and Senate committees: select committee by pull-down menu.
- Testimony from ProQuest Congressional: searchable, from 1988. UW Restricted
Other Historical Congressional Material
- Journal of the House of Representatives:
- Journal of the Senate: 1789-1873.
- Journals of the Continental Congress: 1774-89.
- American State Papers: searchable, 1st-25th Congresses, 1789-1838. UW Restricted
See also Briefs and Oral Arguments.
|Source||Dates||Access & Restrictions||Format||Notes|
|lexisONE||1781-date||free||text||provides parallel citations|
|Justia||1759-last year||free||text||search by U.S. reports citation, party name, or keyword|
|1759-date||free, by registration is required||text||search by keyword|
|OpenJurist||1790-date||free||text||search by keyword|
|Findlaw||1893-date||free||text||search by U.S. Reports citation, party name, or keyword|
|Legal Information Institute (Cornell)||1803-1991 (selected)||free||text||more than 600 historically significant cases; search by topic, party, or author of the opinion|
|FedWorld||1937-75||free||text||Federal Legal Information Through Electronics (FLITE) database from the Air Force|
|Supreme Court||1991-date||free||text & PDF (bound volumes)||useful for recent slip opinions &r bound volumes (vol. 502-date)|
|Legal Information Institute (Cornell)||1990-date||free||HTML & PDF||include links to cited sources (U.S. Code, CFR, other cases) that are also available at LII|
- Docket from the Supreme Court: searchable.
- Docket and news in On the Docket, from Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism.
- Dates of Supreme Court Decisions and Arguments, United States Reports Volumes 2-107 (1791-1882) from the Supreme Court. A useful list for citation purposes because the early reporters did not include the year of decisions.
Other Federal Courts
- Google Scholar: appellate, bankruptcy, district, and tax courts, 1923-date, searchable.
- Justia, US Court of Appeals Cases & Opinions: 1950-date, searchable.
- OpenJurist: all dates, free, searchable.
- Public Library of Law: appellate cases, 1950-date, searchable
- lexisONE: searchable, last five years, registration required.
- Cornell Legal Information Institute: searchable, coverage varies.
- Findlaw: searchable, coverage varies.
Other Appellate Procedure Title 28 appendix FRAP Ninth Circuit Ct. of Appeals Civil Procedure Title 28 appendix FRCP FRCP Amendments to the FRCP, Nov. 2007 Criminal Procedure Title 18 appendix FRCrmP FRCrmP Evidence Title 28 appendix FRE Supreme Court Rules Title 28 appendix RSC Supreme Court Ninth Circuit Ct. of Appeals Ninth Circuit Ct. of Appeals
Proposed and Recent Changes to federal court rules.
Other Court Information & Material
- Court rules, forms, and dockets from LLRX: includes links to federal and state courts.
- Court forms from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Supreme Court briefs and oral arguments.
- Web Guide to U.S. Supreme Court Research.
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington: forms, rules, jury information, and other documents; no opinions.
- U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Washington: docket information, filing and termination reports, statistics, judicial calendars, and creditor meetings.
- U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Washington: judicial and motion calendars, local rules, forms, and fee schedules.
- Code of Conduct for United States Judges.
- Judicial Conference of the United States
- Committee on Codes of Conduct, formal advisory opinions: from 1998.
- Proceedings of meetings: from March 1997.
Presidential Executive Orders, Proclamations & Other Documents
- Daily Compilation of Presidential Documents from GPO Access: searchable, from 2009.
- Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents from GPO Access: searchable, 1993-Jan. 29, 2009.
- Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents from Hein Online: searchable, from 1965. UW Restricted
- Public Papers of the President from the National Archives and Records Administration via GPO Access: searchable, from 1992.
- Codification of Presidential Proclamations and Executive Orders from the National Archives and Records Administration: searchable, with an index and disposition tables, from 1945 to 1989.
- Executive orders disposition tables, from the National Archives and Records Administration: arranged by president then year, from 1937-date.
- Presidential Documents Guide from the National Archives and Records Administration.
Administrative Agency Decisions
- Administrative Decisions & Other Actions from the University of Virginia Library: links to web-accessible administrative decisions and opinions, arranged by agency and by subject.
- Government Information Locator Service (GILS): searchable, identifies and describes publicly available information resources held or collected by federal agencies.
See also the People-Finding guide.
- Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress: searchable, 1774 to present.
- Congressional Directory from GPO Access: searchable, from 1996 (104th Congress).
- Congressional Pictorial Directory from GPO Access: searchable, from 1997 (105th Congress).
- House members and committees from the Office of the Clerk: current.
- Senators from the Senate: current.
- Biographical, campaign finance, committee information, and voting records from LexisNexis Congressional: searchable, from 1997 (105th Congress).
- Federal Court Locator from Villanova University: links to sites that contain recent opinions from the federal courts.
- Contact the Federal Judiciary from the U.S. Courts: select court type then geographic region.
- U.S. Courts from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts: a directory of federal courts and pretrial services and probation offices.
Executive Branch & General U.S. Government
- Federal Agencies Directory from Louisiana State University librarians.
- Federal Government Agencies Database and government agency Acronyms Index from Duke University librarians.
- U.S. Government Manual from GPO Access: searchable, from 1995.
- LexisNexis Academic: constitutions, court opinions and rules, laws, and attorney general opinions.UW Restricted
- State and Local Government on the Net from Piper Resources: arranged by state, includes links to state homepages, directories, and websites of elected officials, the legislature, the judiciary, executive branch agencies, boards and commissions, regional organizations, and municipalities.
- State Legal Sources on the Web, from the University of Michigan Documents Center. Links to and describes years of coverage for bills, session laws, codes and constitutions, regulations, executive orders, attorney general opinions, courts, newspapers, state law libraries, and election data.
- State Resource Center from lexisONE: arranged by state.
- LexisNexis free Legal Research center and attorney directory by Lawyers.com. Links to state statutes and selected state agencies. Also includes articles and links by area of law.
- State Resources from Findlaw: arranged by state, includes links to constitutions, legislation, laws, administrative codes and registers, attorney general opinions, and other legal materials.
- GovEngine: a portal to federal and state government agencies and courts.
- Zimmerman’s Research Guide, an online encyclopedia for legal researchers.
- Constitutions, Statutes, and Codes from Cornell University’s Legal Information Institute: arranged by state.
- State Constitutions from Findlaw: arranged by state.
- State Constitutions from Yahoo: arranged by state.
- State Legislatures Internet Links from the National Conference of State Legislatures: arranged by state.
- State Legislatures, State Laws and State Regulations from the Law Librarians’ Society of Washington, DC: arranged by state, links to websites and provides phone numbers.
- State Legislature Websites from Thomas: arranged by state.
- lexisONE, free state appellate cases, last ten years only
- Public Library of Law: appellate cases, 1997-date, searchable.
- Court Web Sites from the National Center for State Courts: arranged by state.
- Court Rules, Forms, and Dockets from LLRX: searchable by jurisdiction and type of resource.
Administrative codes and registers
- Internet Access to Administrative Rules from the National Association of Secretaries of State: arranged by state, includes links to state homepages, administrative codes and registers, and state manuals
- State Legislatures, State Laws and State Regulations from the Law Librarians’ Society of Washington, DC: arranged by state, links to websites and provides phone numbers.
- State Agency Databases, a wiki list by state, from the American Library Association’s Government Documents Round Table.
Cities & Counties
- Cities online from the United States Conference of Mayors.
- City and county codes from Municipal Code Corporation.
- City and county codes from Seattle Public Library.
Use these websites for comparative, foreign, and international law research.
- Cornell’s Foreign & International Law: constitutions, countries, International Court of Justice, trade, treaties, and UN.
- Harvard’s Foreign & International Law Resources: An Annotated Guide to Web Sites Around the World.
- Findlaw’s Foreign & International Law Sources: constitutions, countries, legal news, trade, and U.S. embassies.
- Foreign Governments from Northwestern University and the International Documents Task Force of the American Library Association’s Government Documents Roundtable.
- Foreign Primary Law on the Web from Timothy Mulligan and Chenglin Liu, University of Houston Law Library.
- Government Gazettes Online from the University of Michigan School of Information.
- Guide to Law Online from the Library of Congress: nations of the world, multinational and international legal sources.
- International Governmental Organizations from the Northwestern University Library.
- World Law from Jurist: countries of the world.
- World Legal Information Institute: full-text cases, laws, and treaties and links to related legal resources.
- WTO/GATT Research from LLRX.
- Yale’s Country-by-Country Guide to Foreign Law Research links to online legal research guides, LexisNexis and Westlaw databases, and other sources.
Use these websites to search for other legal materials, including government publications, legal organizations, trade, and industry groups, attorneys, law schools, law libraries, library catalogs, legal publishers, foreign and international material, and other sources related to the study and practice of law.
- Academic Info, Law & Legal Research Gateway from Academic Info.
- American Law Sources On-Line from Law Source, Inc.
- CataLaw: a meta-index of legal information on the web.
- FindLaw: an index to legal material on the Internet; features the LawCrawler search engine.
- Hieros Gamos from Lex Mundi: a legal portal.
- Internet Law Library formerly from the U.S. House of Representatives, now hosted by the ‘Lectric Law Library.
- Internet Legal Resource Guide features the LawRunner search engine.
- Law and Politics: Internet Guide.
- Law.com: a legal portal with news.
- LawIDEA.com: a legal portal.
- LawLink from the American Bar Association.
- LegalEngine.com: an index to legal material on the Internet.
- Legal Information Institute from Cornell Law School.
- LegalTrek: a legal portal with news.
- Legal Web Site Directory from lexisONE.
- LexNotes Research Sources from T.R. Halvorson.
- LLRX: a legal portal with legal research guides.
- MegaLaw: a legal portal.
- Meta-Index for U.S. Legal Research from Georgia State University College of Law: permits searches of selected sites from a single page.
- World Wide Web Virtual Library: Law from Indiana University School of Law Library.
- U.S. law schools that are members of the Association of American Law Schools.
- U.S. law schools from Jurist: links to homepages and pages for admissions, curriculum, faculty, libraries, news and events, and publications.
- Martindale-Hubbell Lawyer Locator: a nationwide directory of lawyers and law firms, searchable.
- West’s Legal Directory: a nationwide directory of lawyers and law firms, searchable.
- World Directory of Law Schools (excluding the United States), from the Association of American Law Schools.
The following site links to the best general search engines, subject directories, and metasearch engines.
- Internet Guides & Search Tools from the Librarians’ Internet Index, also covers the valuation of resources and metadata.
- AllSearchEngines.com: links to major search engines, topical search engines, meta search engines, and search engine comparisons.
- NoodleQuest, Search Engine Wizard: Directs users to the most appropriate search engine to meet their needs.
- Profusion: a directory of databases and meta-search engine.
- Cornell Law Library, Legal Research Search Engine: searches for legal research guides, pathfinders, and tutorials on selected law library websites (including the Gallagher Law Library).