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Law: Home

Guide Outline

I.     U.S. Constitution

II.   Federal Legislative Branch Resources

   A.     Bills & Resolutions

   B.     U.S. Code

   C.     Legislative History Sources

   D.     Legislative History Research Guides

III.   Federal Courts & Case Law

   A.     U.S. Supreme Court

   B.     Other Federal Court Opinions

   C.     History & Statistics

   D.     Judicial Nominations

IV.    Federal Administrative Law Resources

   A.     Regulations

   B.     Presidential Materials

   C.    Presidential Materials: Subscription Databases

V.    Illinois 

   A.     Bills & Legislation

   B.     Courts & Case Law

   C.     Regulations

   D.     Local Government Research

VI.    Local Government Law

   A.     Municipal Codes Online

   B.     Other Resources

VII.    Free Legal Forms

VIII.    Research Guides

   A.     Law Library Research Guides

   B.     Legislative History Research Guides

   C.     Other Research Guides

IX.    Dictionaries, Acronyms, Directories

   A.     Legal Dictionaries & Glossaries

   B.     Acronyms

   C.    Directories

   D.    LexisNexis Academic Universe's Legal Reference Sources

X.    Attorney Directories

XI.    Legal News & Blogs

XII.    Law Reviews & Journals

Selected Bibliography

Ard, Constance. "Legal Research in the Age of Open Law," Online (Oct. 2010), 34(5): 29-32.

Chandler, Yvonne J. "Accessing Legal and Regulatory Information in Internet Resources and Documents," Journal of Library Administration (2006), 44 (1/2): 263-324.

Ebbinghouse, Carol. "The New Surge of Open Legal Information on the Internet," Searcher (June 2008), 16(6): 8-16.

________. "The People's Law: Free Legal Help and Legal Research on the Web," Searcher (April 2006), 14(4): 38-44.

Markoff, John. "A Quest to Get More Court Rulings Online, and Free," New York Times, Aug. 20, 2007: 6.

Pike, George H. "Evaluating Free Online Legal Information," Online (Sept/Oct. 2008), 32(5): 20-23.


The primary focus of this guide is to spotlight free (or low cost) online legal resources. Sources available through Westlaw or Lexis are not included, except for LexisNexis Academic Universe, which is not the same as the Law School's Lexis Nexis Subscription. However, please note that I have included subscription databases available to the NIU community. Lastly, except for the short selected bibliography on this page, print resources are not covered.

For access to the full versions of Lexis or WestLaw, or legal research questions, please visit NIU's Law Library.

SCALL's Locating the Law

The new edition of Locating the Law: A Handbook for Non-Law Librarians is freely available for download in its entirety or one may view individual chapters and appendices. Below is the table of contents.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: How to Read a Legal Citation

Chapter 3: Basic Legal Research Techniques

Chapter 4: Legal Reference vs. Legal Advice

Chapter 5: California Law

Chapter 6: Bibliography of California Resources

Chapter 7: Federal Law

Chapter 8: Bibliography of Federal Law Resources

Chapter 9: Assisting Self-Represented Litigants

Chapter 10: Bibliography of Self-Help Resources

Chapter 11: Availability, Accessibility and Maintenance of Legal Collections

Chapter 12: Major Law Publishers

Appendix A: Glossary of Legal Terms

Appendix B: California County Law Libraries

Appendix C: California Law Schools

    Other Legal Research Sites

    These "one stop shopping" sites provide users with a myraid of links to law-related materials on the Internet. They provide users with a catalog of Web sites, a search engine or both.

    None of these sites are featured extensively in this guide but are worth a mention. Their aim is to expand public access to legal information.

    Subject Guide

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