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No-Cost and Low-Cost U.S. Legal Research

Abstract
Abstract

When faced with a U.S. legal research question, what options does the non-U.S. based researcher have, short of purchasing a subscription to one of the fee-based databases or visiting a major research library? This article will briefly discuss a number of no-cost and low-cost resources in the context of the process required to perform U.S. legal research and will also provide explanations of the different types of primary sources that a legal researcher might encounter.

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Footnotes

1 Special thanks to my colleague, Larry Abraham, for this extended metaphor.

3 Copyright Office Circulars: http://www.copyright.gov/circs/

4 Google Books: http://books.google.com

5 Example of Google Books search for secondary source information: http://www.google.com/search?q=products+liability+ and+lighter&tbm=bks&tbo=1

6 Georgetown Law Library's research guide collection: http://www.ll.georgetown.edu/research/index.cfm

7 List of U.S.C. subject titles: http://uscode.house.gov/download/ascii.shtml

8 Title 52, Voting and Elections; Title 53, Small Business; Title 54, National Park System; Title 55, Environment. See here for more information on these proposed titles: http://uscode.house.gov/codification/legislation.shtml

9 For more information on the Office, consult their website: http://uscode.house.gov/about/info.shtml

11 XML version of the U.S.C.: http://uscode.house.gov/beta.shtml

12 Cornell LII version of the U.S.C.: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/

13 Popular Name tables can be found from the Office of Law Revision Counsel: http://uscode.house.gov/popularnames/popularnames.htm, and through Cornell Legal Information Institute: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/topn/

22 Titles are revised and updated sequentially: titles 1–16 are republished every year on January 1; titles 17–27 on April 1; titles 28–41 on July 1, and titles 42–50 on October 1.

24 Cornell LII's version of the CFR: http://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/

25 Consult USA gov's list of US Agencies and Departments: http://www.usa.gov/directory/federal/index.shtml

26 See, for example, the EPA's Laws and Regulations page: http://www.epa.gov/lawsregs/

31 Regulations.gov not only provides text of the Federal Register but also allows users to track, review and submit comments on proposed rules that are open to comment; allows you to locate all related documentation to a single rule by searching the rule's docket number: http://www.regulations.gov

32 Google Scholar: http://scholar.google.com/ (be sure to select “Legal Opinions”)

33 Court websites can be identified using the following site: http://www.uscourts.gov/Court_Locator.aspx

34 Prices for KeyCiting varyhttp://creditcard.westlaw.com/default.aspx

37 Google Scholar: http://scholar.google.com

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Legal Information Management
  • ISSN: 1472-6696
  • EISSN: 1741-2021
  • URL: /core/journals/legal-information-management
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