Legal Information online in the USA

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USA Legal News Sources

  • FindLaw's Legal News provides a wide range of current legal news stories, grouped by major heading, e.g. US Supreme Court, Business, Civil Rights, Crime, and so on. FindLaw started in 1996 when two attorneys compiled a list of Internet resources for a group of law librarians in northern California. FindLaw is now owned by Thomson Reuters.
  • JURIST is a web-based legal news and real-time legal research service powered by a mostly-volunteer team of over 60 part-time law student reporters, editors and web developers led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They track important legal news stories and materials and aim to present them rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible, ad-free format. JURIST says that it covers legal news stories based on their substantive importance rather than on their mass-market or commercial appeal.
  • is an extensive source of legal news. This site, part of the ALM Group (American Lawyer Media) has now "gathered up" a number of previously independent legal web sites and businesses. The site covers national and regional news by practice area. Other sites in the group cover legal jobs, legal training, directories of attorneys and various legal data bases.
  • LLRX (Law Library Resource Xchange) is a free, independent, Web journal providing information on a wide range of Internet research and technology-related issues, applications, resources and tools. LLRX is in its 18th year of continuous publication, with a diverse, professional, highly engaged and expert global readership.
  • Judgepedia is an encyclopedia about America's courts and judges. Its goal is to help readers discover and learn useful information about the court systems and judiciary in the United States. Judgepedia not only has information about the courts in all American states but also biographical information of all state and district judges. Judgepedia is a wiki, which means that anyone can improve it by registering and then editing any article by clicking on the "edit this page" link that appears on every article on Judgepedia. The project commenced in October 2007.
  • NewsLinx provides "Information Technology Headlines From Around The Web" (not specifically legal ones). Everything you could want (and more).
  • bizjournals provides business news "from around the country" linked with many local news sources.

    Key Legal Resources

    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 schedule of bills, resolutions, and other legislative issues before the House
    • The Library of Congress with Information about the U.S. Congress legislative process, bills, the Congressional Record, committee information, and historical documents
    • Information on committee meetings.
    • Contacts - Constituents may identify and/or contact their elected Member
    • Access to the basic documents of U.S. law. Full text searchable copies of the U.S. Code (a consolidation and codification by subject matter of the general and permanent laws of the US).
    Many of the House proceedings can now be watched online.

    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:

    • Global Legal Information Network is an annotated guide to sources of information worldwide. on government and law available online. It includes selected links to useful and reliable sites for legal information.
    • The Guide to Law Online provides a vast network of links to content-based Web sites of primary and secondary legal and legislative information services from 193 nations and all U.S. federal, state and territorial government entities.
    • The Multinational Reference lists items which reprint the laws and regulations of international jurisdictions on a particular legal topic, comparative in nature.

    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 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.

    University Sites, Law Libraries and Comparison Sites

    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.

    Two USA sites for affordable online education

    This site does not seem to be working at present - can anyone help me?
    Frugal Dad provides a database of USA colleges offering online education. It allows the viewer (the Frugal Dad or the potential student) to search for affordable colleges throughout the USA. It lists the Institutions across the USA together with the fees for in-state and out-of-state students. Currently, many universities, such the University of Washington, Maryland and Houston have themselves listed this resource as useful for people who are not only looking to further their education but also have to finance it. There are also some interesting facts about online education. According to the Sloan Consortium (a well respected USA institute), there were over 6 million people in the USA enrolled in at least one online course in 2010 - and doubtless the numbers have gone up considerably since then. The site is not specifically related to legal education and you cannot use it to select legal courses online, but since it links to the Colleges and Universities themselves, you could research this further for any particular institution in which you were interested.

    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

    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.

    Legal Directories and sites for individuals

    FindLaw Lawyer Directory can be searched by name, by state and by areas of practice. There is useful background information as well, such as FindLaw's Guide to Hiring a Lawyer and Guide to the U.S. Legal System.

    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. 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. provides a consumer-oriented set of legal resources, including how to find a lawyer.

    Other Useful Sites

    Findlaw (now part of Thomson Reuters) is a widely respected and quoted legal research tool set up with a set of categories for searching. 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. (previously Hieros Gamos) is now a site of many types of directory - useful if you are searching for an attorney or a topic.

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