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
- Office of Law Revision Counsel, U.S. House of Representatives (current version, full-text searchable)
- FDsys (1994 – 2013)
- Legal Information Institute (current version)
U.S. Congress Bills, Resolutions, and Reports
Code of Federal Regulations
- FDsys (1996 – present)
- Legal Information Institute (current)
- e-CFR (regularly updated, unofficial, non-legal edition of the CFR)
- FDsys (1994 – present)
- FederalRegister.gov (current version, full-text searchable)
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)
- Nolo’s Free Dictionary of Law Terms and Legal Definitions
- Legal Information Institute’s Wex Legal Encyclopedia
- Digital Commons Network, Law Commons (open access law review and journal articles written by law professors, attorneys, and law students).