Successful Summer Strategies: Free
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Successful Summer Strategies: Free

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Successful Summer Strategies: Free Successful Summer Strategies: Free Presentation Transcript

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