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.
United States Legal Resources
- 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, the Congressional 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.
- 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
- Constitution from Cornell’s Legal Information Institute.
- 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.
- 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.
Bills & Resolutions: Legislation being considered by Congress
- 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
- 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
- FDsys: searchable, current ed. with supplements.
- Cornell’s Legal Information Institute: searchable, current edition.
- Findlaw; searchable, current edition.
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.
- 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).
- 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.
Other Historical Congressional Material
- Journal of the House of Representatives:
- Library of Congress: 1789-1873.
- Journal of the Senate: 1789-1873.
- Journals of the Continental Congress: 1774-89.
- American State Papers: searchable, 1st-25th Congresses, 1789-1838.
U.S. Supreme Court
|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|
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
- Cornell Legal Information Institute: searchable, coverage varies.
- Findlaw: searchable, coverage varies.
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.
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington: forms, rules, jury information, and other documents; no opinions.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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
Foreign Countries & International Organizations
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- FindLaw: an index to legal material on the Internet; features the LawCrawler search engine.
- Hieros Gamos from Lex Mundi: a legal portal.
- 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.
- LLRX: a legal portal with legal research guides.
- 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.
- Profusion: a directory of databases and meta-search engine.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS