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Free and Frugal Legal Research

This guide presents a number of free sources of legal information, organized by category. It also includes some low-cost alternatives for attorneys seeking more frugal legal research tools.

Secondary Sources

ABA Journal
Features breaking legal news, analysis from thousands of legal blogs, and investigative legal journalism.  Issues are available from 2004 to present.

ABA Legal Technology Resource Center
This free search engine searches the free full-text of over 400 online law reviews and law journals, as well as document repositories hosting academic papers and related publications such as Congressional Research Service reports.

Google Scholar
Provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. Sources include articles, theses, books, and abstracts. Some documents may be paywalled, but these are typically accessible on-campus.

Provides the full text or table of contents (depending on subscription) of academic and professional research journals

Offers hundreds of top journals in humanities, business and social science in page-image format. Coverage varies by journal, but begins with volume 1 and covers through about 5 years ago. Dictionary
This dictionary provides accurate and understandable definitions for technical legal terms.
NOLO is a publishing company whose mission is to create and publicize legal resources that are easily understood by people without legal training.  They create books, software, and a website of legal information.  Their website includes a free encyclopedia of the law.
The Oyez Project at Chicago-Kent is a multimedia archive devoted to the Supreme Court of the United States and its work. It aims to be a complete and authoritative source for all audio recorded in the Court since the installation of a recording system in October 1955. The Project also provides authoritative information on all justices and offers a virtual reality Tour of portions of the Supreme Court building, including the chambers of some of the justices.

SSRN Legal Scholarship Network
The Social Science Research Network includes abstracts and articles that have been submitted for publication.

Cornell's Legal Information Institute's community-built, freely available legal dictionary and legal encyclopedia.

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