Free Federal Legal Research Resources

While many attorneys utilize Bloomberg Law, Lexis Advance, or WestlawNext to conduct federal legal research, there are plenty of free options that researchers can use to conduct legal research. Below is a selected list of free resources, organized by source type.

For additional resources, consult our Free Legal Resources research guide.

Constitution of the United States of America

United States Code

U.S. Congress Bills, Resolutions, and Reports

Code of Federal Regulations

Federal Register

Federal Case Law

  • Google Scholar (U.S. federal district, appellate, tax and bankruptcy courts since 1923 and US Supreme Court cases since 1791).

Secondary Sources (Analysis & Commentary on the Law)

Research Guides

Law Library Hours Update

View from a study room

Study space in the new Law Library.

Progress is being made but construction continues in the College of Law and the Law Library. The library will continue with temporarily shortened hours through Sunday, July 19, with slightly expanded hours for July 20-26. The library will be open to current Georgia State Law students, Georgia State Law faculty and Georgia State Law staff to use study aids, reserves, or for research assistance.

Beginning mid-day on Wednesday, July 15, the library will also begin having designated areas for study by current Georgia State Law students. Remember that the library still is a construction area and there may be periods of noise that are outside our control. There are only certain areas of the library where students will be allowed so you will need to check in at the Circulation Desk on the Fifth Floor to be directed to the study area.

  • 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, July 14-16
  • 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, July 17
  • 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, July 18-19
  • 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, July 20-23
  • 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, July 24
  • 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, July 25-26

Students will need to show their ID and sign in at the Security Desk and proceed immediately to the Circulation Desk on the Fifth Floor. Library personnel will retrieve materials and direct students to an area of the library where they may sit. Students needing research assistance can also use the Red Chat Reference button in the upper left corner of the Law Library’s home page.

At this time, the computer lab, printers, copiers, and scanners are not available. Wireless access is available. We will continue to update you as construction progresses and more resources become available. If you have any questions, contact Associate Dean Kris Niedringhaus at krisn@gsu.edu or 404-413-9140.

Final Exams

flickr photo by Mic445

Summer 2015 Exams begin next week for the College of Law. To help you prepare for exams, here are links to some of our best blog posts over the past couple years on exam prep.

For the most up-to-date information on exams, consult the Exam Information webpage maintained by the Registrar’s Office.

The United States Law Week

There have been many major legal developments in the United States over the past several weeks. The Supreme Court has issued several landmark opinions in regards to healthcare, marriage, housing, and congressional redistricting. In addition, the U.S. Congress has debated and passed notable pieces of legislation related to trade authority and national security. Moreover, several executive agencies have issued notices, proposed rules, and final regulations regarding topics such as contracting with inverted corporations and overtime pay.

The United States Law Week, published by Bloomberg BNA, is an excellent source for keeping up with key legal developments. This weekly publication provides news and analysis, Supreme Court docket summaries, and several other useful tools for staying abreast of recent legal news. One well known feature of this resource is its “Circuit Splits” table, which provides a monthly summary of splits between the federal courts on significant legal issues. Circuit splits is excellent way to forecast which issues may find their way in front of the Supreme Court of the United States.

You can access the United States Law Week online through Bloomberg BNA (GSU Campus ID and Password Required) or through Bloomberg Law (Username and Password Required).

Views From the New Library

The new Law Library is a hopping place these days, as librarians, staff, and the building/move team are working to get the space ready for you. It’s a far stretch from our old home in the Urban Life building, and we thought you’d like to see just a few of the new features.

View from a study room

Would you like to book a study room?

picture of stairs

Stairs! Stairs leading into the library!

Study Aids and the Reference collection

The new home for Study Aids and the Reference collection

empty shelves

Shelves just waiting for books

picture of periodicals

Getting the collection back on the shelves

Looking back into the 5th floor from the outdoor terrace

Looking back into the 5th floor from the outdoor terrace

An overhead look at the cafe space (below), the reading room (upper right corner) and 5th floor outdoor terrace (left side)

An overhead look at the cafe space (below), the reading room (upper right corner) and 5th floor outdoor terrace (left side)

Inside the formal Reading Room on the 6th floor

Inside the formal Reading Room on the 6th floor

From the 6th floor Reading Room

From the 6th floor Reading Room

the 6th floor outdoor terrace

The 6th floor outdoor terrace

Updated library hours and access to databases

View from the 5th floor Terrace

Because of continuing construction in the library as well as the move of the College of Law servers this weekend, the Law Library will have temporarily shortened hours.

The library will be open:
Thursday, June 25, 2015 7am-6pm
Friday, June 26, 2015 8am-4pm
Saturday-Sunday, June 27-28, 2015 10am-6pm
Monday-Thursday, June 28-July 2, 2015 8am-6pm
Friday-Saturday, July 3-4, 2015 Closed
Sunday, July 5, 2015 10am-6pm

Because of the server move, all Law Library databases will be unavailable from 4pm on Friday, June 26, 2015 through Sunday, June 28, 2015.

As a reminder, only current College of Law students are allowed in the building to use study aids, reserves, or get research assistance. Students will need to show their ID and sign in at the Security Desk and proceed immediately to the Circulation Desk on the Fifth Floor. Library personnel will retrieve materials, as available, and direct students to an area of the library where they can study. Students needing research assistance can also use the red Chat Reference button in the upper left corner of the Law Library’s home page.

At this time, the computer lab, printers, copiers and scanners are not available. We will continue to update you as construction progresses and more resources become available.  In the meantime, enjoy a sneak peek (above) at the view from the 5th floor terrace. If you have any questions please contact Associate Dean Niedringhaus at krisn@gsu.edu or 404-413-9140.

 

Summer School Access & Assistance

The law library faculty and staff have completed their move over to the new building, but most of the library collection is still in transit, and large portions of the new law library are still under construction. Therefore, for the time being, only students enrolled in summer classes and students needing assistance with summer research assignments will have limited access to the law library.

Study Aids and Reserve Items

To utilize the study aids and the reserve collection, students must show their Panther ID and sign in at the security desk at building’s entrance. Students must then take the elevator directly to the 5th floor, and proceed to the main service desk for assistance.

Reference Assistance

Students needing reference assistance can contact the reference librarians by chat reference, email, phone, or in person. Of the four, chat reference is by far the best method to communicate with us during this transition period.

To access chat reference, students should click on the chat reference tab, located on the left side of the Law Library’s homepage:

Chat Reference Arrow
Once you click on the red tab, a chat box will pop out from the side of the screen.
Chat Reference

 

While the Circulation and Reference phones are currently inoperable, you can contact the librarians directly using their office phone numbers or their email addresses. This information is provided on the Law Library’s Directory webpage.

We encourage students needing in-person reference assistance to contact us ahead of time by chat or email. To access the law library for reference assistance, students must show their Panther ID and sign in at the security desk at building’s entrance. Students must then take the elevator directly to the 5th floor, and proceed to the main service desk for assistance.

Printing, Scanning, and Computer Access

The printers, KIC scanners, and computers are currently inoperable, but we encourage students to utilize the options available in the University Library. The University Library’s Computing webpage provides information on current computer availability, and also printer locations.

To locate the University Library, refer to the Campus Map.

Continuing Updates

For the most up-to-date information about the law library, follow us on Facebook or Twitter.