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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.


The American Bar Association's Legal Technology Resource Center
The ABA's Technology Resource Center allows for full-text search of ABA publications and a lengthy list of law review journals.

Bepress Digital Commons
Browse and search institutional and scholarly resources from top universities.

Directory of Open Access Journals
A collection of freely accessible journals. Search by subject, language, license, and peer-review type.

Google Scholar
Google's collection of scholarly materials. Search articles or case law by keyword and refine search results by publication date. Advanced search (click the three horizontal bars and select "Advanced Search") allows you to refine the search by date, author, or publication.

JSTOR Early Journal Content
Search journals, books, and research reports by keyword and refine search results by content type, publication date, and subject.

Law Technology Today's Law Review/Journal Search
Search Law Technology Today's collection of over 300 law reviews and journals, plus working papers, Congressional Research Services reports, and other repositories for academic articles.

Law and Technology Resources for Legal Professionals (LLRX) provides topical guides and articles. Browse the archives by subject, date, or author.

Reference Materials

How to Research a Legal Problem: A Guide for Non-Lawyers
A helpful starting point for legal research from the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL).

FindLaw Legal Reference Material
A collection of free legal research resources, including American Jurisprudence 2d (Am Jur 2d), the legal profession's leading legal reference source.

Google News Archive
The archive allows users to search historical newspapers and retrieve scanned images of their pages.

Digital collections from libraries around the world, HathiTrust offers access to many historical materials; it also includes a research center that allows users to do text-based analysis of the entire HathiTrust corpus
Free legal dictionary and more.

Law Commons - Digital Commons Network
Law Commons is an open access repository of legal scholarship. Early drafts or pre-prints might appear here before final publications are released, making Law Commons a good place to search for evolving issues.

A collection of free legal resources that can be searched by topic or by state.

A legal encyclopedia that offers articles on a wide range of practice areas including bankruptcy, disability law, family law, intellectual property (IP), real estate, and finance.

SSRN Legal Scholarship Network
SSRN offers a large collection of working papers, both pre- and post-publication. The Legal Scholarship Network specifically collects law related papers; however, the Social Science Research Network houses works in process from law, economics, business, and other social science scholars.