Successful Summer Strategies: Free

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Successful Summer Strategies: Free

  1. 1. Successful Summer Strategies: Free & Low-Cost Online Legal Research Going Beyond Lexis & Westlaw
  2. 2. If you have Westlaw or Lexis <ul><li>Understand the firm or organization’s contract and culture </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask the librarian! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Utilize free time/training </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Minimize costs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Get help from Reference Attorneys/Customer Service </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use appropriate databases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t spend a lot of time reading online </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Minimize printing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use free services when appropriate </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Going Beyond Westlaw & Lexis <ul><li>Don’t forget about print materials, particularly for secondary sources </li></ul><ul><li>Utilize databases at local law libraries (e.g., TMLL) </li></ul><ul><li>Understand free and low-cost legal websites </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Government-provided information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information consolidated by a commercial provider but provided at low or no cost </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Government provided information <ul><li>Almost all governments now provide most/all of their information via the web </li></ul><ul><li>But. . . </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It usually only covers the past 10-20 years </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Searching may be primitive or nonexistent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Indexing varies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be sure to check how up-to-date it is </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Best if you are looking for a specific source such as a case, statute or regulation </li></ul>
  5. 9. Public Access to Court Electronic Records – Access is not free, but very inexpensive - $.08/page for documents accessed
  6. 10. Free Legal Databases (from commercial publishers) <ul><li>Public Library of Law (from FastCase) </li></ul><ul><li>FindLaw (owned by Thomson West (Westlaw)) </li></ul><ul><li>PreCYdent (Beta version) </li></ul><ul><li>LexisONE </li></ul>
  7. 15. Free, but registration is required
  8. 16. Low-cost legal databases <ul><li>FastCase – included with Maryland State Bar Association membership </li></ul><ul><li>Casemaker </li></ul><ul><li>VersusLaw </li></ul><ul><li>Loislaw </li></ul><ul><li>Westlaw by Credit Card </li></ul>
  9. 23. Legal Directory Sites <ul><li>Most of these contain lists of links to legal information on the web </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Legal Information Institute (www.law.cornell.edu) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>WashLaw web (www.washlaw.edu) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hieros Gamos (www.hg.org) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>LLRX (www.llrx.com) (good for forms) </li></ul></ul>
  10. 28. This research guide has details on much of what was covered today

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