An educated client is the best kind. To help you know more, or as we say “to get smart” on a subject, we have created an online law library. If you think of something we should add let us know.

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
Legal Index
Internet Search Engines


Best Sites

  • 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.
  •, the federal government’s portal to information and services. Also includes state, local, and tribal governments.
  • lexisONE, free federal and state caselaw, 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 University of Michigan Documents Center.

U.S. Laws, Legislation & the Congress

U.S. Constitution

Bills & Resolutions: Legislation being considered by Congress

Public Laws: Laws passed by Congress & signed by the President, in date order

Slip laws

  • 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. Code: Laws in force arranged by subject

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.

Committee Reports

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).

Committee Documents

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

U.S. Court Opinions, Court Rules, Other Judicial Material & the Courts

See also Briefs and Oral Arguments.

U.S. Supreme Court

Source Dates Access & Restrictions Format Notes
Google Scholar 1791-date free html
lexisONE 1781-date free text provides parallel citations
Justia 1759-last year free text search by U.S. reports citation, party name, or keyword
Public Library
of Law
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

Other Appellate Procedure Title 28 appendix FRAP Ninth Circuit Ct. of Appeals Civil Procedure Title 28 appendix FRCP FRCPAmendments to the FRCP, Nov. 2007 Criminal Procedure Title 18 appendix FRCrmP FRCrmP Evidence Title 28 appendix FRESupreme 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

U.S. Administrative Decisions, the President & Agencies

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

U.S. Directories

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

Legal Resources for Other Jurisdictions

U.S. Multi-State, Multi-Source Sites

  • 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 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.


Legislative Branch

  • 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.

Judicial Branch

Executive Branch

Administrative codes and registers

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.

Foreign Countries & International Organizations

Use these websites for comparative, foreign, and international law research.

Legal Indexes

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.


  • 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.

Internet Search Engines

The following site links to the best general search engines, subject directories, and meta search engines.

  • Internet Guides & Search Tools from the Librarians’ Internet Index, also covers evaluation of resources and metadata.
  • 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).