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FirstGov is the US Government's "portal" to all the other government and "official" sites in the USA, both Federal and local. It is aimed at the citizen and tries to make sense of the many sources of information available, grouping them by topic. It also provides links to the sites covering "public safety and law" including Courts and Legislatures, Federal and state laws, courts, legislatures, Crime, Prisons and lots more.
BusinessUSA is another Government site, primarily designed for business topics but you can search for legal topics as well.
The United States House of Representatives provides a major source of information on many topics, including:
The United States Senate provides web pages for all senators and email addresses and also information on the various functions and committees of the Senate. There is information about the legislative process and about the current state of Bills.
The White House provides information speeches and plans for legisation relating to the president. There is also a history of past presidents and of the White House itself and of the American system of Government.
US Department of Justice sets out its aims as "To enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law; to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic; to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior; and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans." There are links to government departments and agencies relating to legal matters as well as press release and reports relating to issues of current interest.
The Library of Congress is the nation's oldest federal cultural institution and serves as the research arm of Congress. The Law Library is the world’s largest law library, with a collection of over three million volumes spanning the ages and covering virtually every jurisdiction in the world. The Library's mission is to support the Congress in fulfilling its constitutional duties and to further the progress of knowledge and creativity for the benefit of the American people. The site is designed both for lawyers and for members of the public. As well as serious legal material, it has several unique public-oriented features including "American Memory" Exhibits, a searching engine called Thomas (after Jefferson) and current and changing events and exhibits. In the section for finding legal resources in a global context, there are various resources including:
Google Scholar "provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites. Google Scholar helps you find relevant work across the world of scholarly research." (Choose "Case Law"). A search here opens up access to full text legal opinions from US federal and state district, appellate and supreme courts and (via a "Cited By" feature) links to other cases and articles on Google Scholar that cite them. Though court opinions in the US are not protected by copyright, they were hitherto only readily available for comprehensive searching via subscription services such as Lexis and Westlaw. You can also use Google Scholar / Legal Opinions to follow up citations of judgments that are not themselves indexed in full text, including those from other jurisdictions.
Internet Library of Law and Court Decisions,authored by Martin H. Samson, features extensive summaries of over 600 court decisions shaping the law of the web; providing facts, analysis and pertinent quotes from cases of interest to those who do business on the Internet and in New Media.
In terms of State news and information, many States and also
Cities have their own sites, for example:
The Recorder - California Law
New York Law Journal
CriminalJusticeProfiles.org is a non-commercial site aiming to help aspiring criminal justice professionals, job seekers and students make better, more informed career choices by providing them with relevant, reliable and up-to-date career and job information. There are features and news items on the site as well as links to other key criminal law resources.
Criminal Justice Jobs provides information on the field of criminal justice which employs millions of people in USA eg. DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) and DSA (Department of Homeland Security) as well as providing information on jobs in this field.
American Law Sources Online is a useful new source of law for the USA, Canada and Mexico. There are sections offering federal, state or province law sources, as well as commentaries and practice aids.
For Law Schools lists and comparisons, try the Internet Legal Research Group list, Best Graduate Schools or Law Schools (although the last two of these have now become very commercial)
Criminal Justice Degree Schools provides information and resources on the best criminal justice schools and associated degrees, as well as profiles on 80+ criminal justice careers. There are new articles published each week and an extensive section of Criminal Justice Resources.
The Legal Information Institute at Cornell University Law School "is a small research, engineering, and editorial group housed at the Cornell Law School in Ithaca, NY. Our collaborators include publishers, legal scholars, computer scientists, government agencies, and other groups and individuals that promote open access to law, worldwide." Their aim is to ensure that the law remains free and open to everyone, which includes supporting global expansion of the free access to law movement, serving government, empowering citizens, serving the legal profession, and developing web science for the law. They were founded in 1992, and currently serve over 18 million unique visitors each year. They offer the Institute's collection of recent and historic Supreme Court decisions, its hypertext versions of the full U.S. Code, U.S. Constitution, Federal Rules of Evidence and Civil Procedure, recent opinions of the New York Court of Appeals and other federal, state, and international material.
PublicLegal is a product of the Internet Legal Research Group (ILRG) providing a categorized index of select web sites, as well as thousands legal forms and documents. This site was established to serve as a resource of the information available on the Internet concerning law and the legal profession, primarily for the USA. There are lists of large firms with law rankings, legal associations, legal experts, a national index to the statutes and codes available online, lists of law schools and rankings, law journals, and much else. It is "Designed for everyone, lay persons, legal scholars and practitioners alike", but is probably most useful to people with some legal understanding and training.
Affordable Colleges Online is a new guide for students
and parents seeking quality online programs at an affordable price. It discusses how (and why) to assess
"quality" when researching low-cost colleges, and how certain institutions today offer great online programs
and courses without breaking the tuition bank. Key elements of the guide include:
* A detailed breakdown of accreditation. What it is and why it's important
* Not-for-profit vs for-profit schools - what's the difference?
* What graduation rates mean
* The importance of reputation with employers
* Profiles of ten not-for-profit U.S. colleges with quality, affordable online programs.
The American Bar Association site includes information about its publications, forums, groups and events although large parts of the site are now only available to members.
Martindale-Hubbell provides its Law Directory here.
Network of Trial Law Firms provides a litigation-specific national directory with links to law firms who have web sites.
Law Guru offers information on many legal topics. You can ask a legal question or find an attorney. You can also find legal forms at Law Guru forms.
FindForms.com is a search engine for free legal forms.
FindLegalForms' free legal forms.
Nolo Press is a "Self-Help Law Centre" publishing books and software on consumer law related subjects such as wills, small claims court, divorce and debt problems. There is a wide variety of free information on legal topics.
Lawyers.com provides a consumer-oriented set of legal resources, including how to find a lawyer.
Law.com is an extensive source of legal news and resources.
Another starting point for the USA legal resources is called All Law - A Law and Legal Research site.
Katsuey's Legal Gateway provides a wide ranging set of USA legal links by topic.
HG.org (previously Hieros Gamos) is now a site of many types of directory - useful if you are searching for an attorney or a topic.