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Free Legal Research Resources

This guide offers recommendations for reliable free legal research tools.


Keyword searching across federal and state statutes, regulations and selected cases from 1925 forward. Primary sources are annotated with commentary by legal experts.

Lexis Web

Extensive free online research with Lexis search technology. Results include cases, journal articles and legal content on the web. All sites are validated by LexisNexis editorial staff.

Public Library of Law

Powered by the Fastcase search engine, provides keyword access to federal cases from 1950 to present, and state cases from 1997. The site also links to the U.S. and state codes, regulations and legal forms. 

Legal Information Institute

The first legal resource on the web, it contains a growing collection of federal statutes and case law, and Wex, an extensive legal dictionary and encyclopedia. Provides links to a wide range of U.S. and international legal information sites.

FDSys - Federal Digital System

Official government publications including the U.S. Code, the Code of Federal Regulations, and federal court decisions from 2004 to present. A keyword search function allows advance filtering by date and type of resource.

Judge Kathryn J. DuFour Law Library / 3600 John McCormack Road N.E., Washington, DC 20064 / 202-319-5155