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Free Legal Research Resources

This guide contains selected free (or low-cost) online legal research resources. These resources are meant to act as a starting point for legal research when paid databases are inaccessible or unfeasible.

General Resources

Judicial Resources

Supreme Court of the United States
The official website of the Supreme Court includes Opinions of the Court, Opinions Relating to Orders, In-Chambers Opinions and Bound Volumes (every step in the publication of Supreme Court opinions). The site also includes: Internet Sources Cited in Opinions, Media Resources,Case Citation Findertranscripts of ArgumentsAudio of Arguments, and more.

Legislative Resources

This website, launched by the Library of Congress and the American Law Division of the Congressional Research Service, provides an online version of the Annotated Constitution of the United States, analysis, and interpretations. 
The official compilation and codification of the general and permanent federal statutes of the United States.
Browse and search federal legislation, the Congressional Record, and additional material, courtesy of the Library of Congress.
U.S. House of Representatives

The Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives offers a searchable version of the most recent version of the U.S. Code. The website also provides access to session laws.

Administrative Resources

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is the codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register. It is divided into 50 titles that represent broad areas subject to federal regulation. Titles are updated annually on a staggered schedule:
  • Titles 1-16 are revised as of January 1;
  • Titles 17-27 are revised as of April 1;
  • Titles 28-41 are revised as of July 1; and
  • Titles 42-50 are revised as of October 1.

Published by the Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the Federal Register is the official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as executive orders and other presidential documents.  The Federal Register is updated daily by 6 a.m. and is published Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.