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Free Legal Research Resources

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Federal Law & Gov't Docs

Case Law and Court Documents

Federal case law and court documents are often available online for free, particularly if the case was decided recently. Generally, check the website of the deciding court to see if they provide digital copies of their cases. In addition, the following resources provide free case law.

State Law

State Case Law and Court Documents

Courts are increasingly making their materials freely available online, frequently via the court website. At the state level, this is particularly true for state Supreme Courts. When looking for state case law, it is often best to start at the website of the deciding court if you have a citation. The sources below provide alterantives for hard-to-find cases.

Treaties

U.S. Treaties

Several government-sponsored websites provide the full-text of U.S. treaties on the web. Refer to the list below for date ranges for each sources.

Foreign & International Law

African Legal Materials

While not all African nations provide online access to their legal materials, an increasing number of these materials are available either on government websites or from non-governmental organizations. However, it is important to remember that these copies of the laws are not always official and you should always confirm the accuracy of any information in an official sources.

Asian Legal Materials

Increasingly, countries throughout Asia are posting their legal materials on government run website, sometimes even in translation. In addition, many organizations have created websites to provide free online access to legal materials for the region. However, it is important to remember that these copies of the laws are not always official and you should always confirm the accuracy of any information in an official sources.

Secondary Sources

Journals

While many journals are only available on paid databases, open access journals and other freely avaiablle articles are increasingly available. The following sources collect freely available journal articles.

Data Sources

U.S. Data Sources

Many government data sources are made available to the public for free online. Check the websites of any relevant agencies or organizations to see if you can find additional data beyond that found in the databases below.

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MLA & APA Citation Styles


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Off-Campus Access

The Library provides remote access to journals, magazines, newspapers, E-books, streaming videos, and more.

To access these resources from off-campus, under the Quick Links box on the Library's home page, click on Databases A-Z link and when prompted, enter your JWU Wildcat email and password if you have not already logged in to your JWU account.