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Free and Low Cost Online Legal Research: Home

This guide identifies resources for free or low cost legal research.

Whatever you are researching, every source you consult should be evaluated for its currency, relevance, authority, accuracy, and purpose. This is particularly important when you are relying upon free and low cost sources. While many of these are excellent, there are also plenty of seemingly authoritative sources that contain gaps, are not current, or that are difficult to search, thus making it difficult to ensure you do not miss relevant authority. Additionally, no matter what resources you use for legal research, it is critical that you validate your research to ensure that the authority you are relying upon is good law.

Low Cost Legal Research Platforms

For the most part, legal research without Westlaw, Lexis, or Bloomberg requires using multiple websites and databases specific to particular publications or categories of material. There are, however, two low cost providers who combine primary sources and some secondary sources into single searchable platforms. These platforms may be available to graduates as a benefit of state bar association membership, or for a monthly rate without requiring an annual contract. The world of low cost alternatives is changing rapidly, so if you are looking for additional options, check the blog LawSites or the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center for recent announcements.

Free Secondary Sources

High quality secondary sources can be difficult to find for free. Below are a few of the better options. If you rely upon web searching to locate legal information on the web, be sure you look carefully to ensure the site is trustworthy and up to date.

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Free Washington Primary Sources

Other States

More Information

If you're looking for more free resources, the following guides provide links to numerous reputable options. 

Free Federal Primary Sources