The Best Free Legal Research Tools | Clio
The Best Free Legal Research Tools | Clio

The Best Free Legal Research Tools | Clio

unblock legal research tools used to be a pipe dream. High-quality legal research is a necessity for all jurisprudence firms—after all, finding the right precedent or codified could give you the border to win your case—but does it have to be expensive ?
In the past, paid inquiry platforms were the only choice, so we accepted legal research tools as a costly-but-necessary expense for law firms. nowadays, however, the landscape of the diligence has changed dramatically, with numerous excellent free tools available online—making release legal research a feasible option for law firms looking to allocate funds to other areas of their practice, without compromising the quality of their inquiry .
The only catch ? You have to know where to look .
Below, we ’ ve collected some of the best complimentary legal research tools for law firms. Whether you want to add in new resources to your legal research portfolio or paid legal research is straining your tauten ’ mho budget, these free tools will help you present your best case—without the big fiscal investment.

7 Free legal search engines and databases

The combination of more legal resources being digitized and the development of modern technologies means that there ’ mho now an overpowering amount of legal information that can be found online. The good news ? many of these legal research resources can be found online for free ( If you want to truly dive thick, browse this comprehensive resource for an in-depth number of free legal inquiry options. )
Below, we ’ ve curated seven of the best dislodge research engines and databases help you sort through the information to find precisely what you need for your legal research :

1. Fastcase: For an online law library

As one of the largest on-line law libraries in the world, Fastcase provides on-line access to case law, statutes, regulations, constitutions, court rules, and law review articles—making legal research and psychoanalysis faster and easier .
And, thanks to an integration with Clio, using Fastcase makes it simpleton to accurately monitor the meter you spend on legal research and keep your research well-ordered. Without ever having to leave Fastcase, the Clio integration allows you to :

  • Create Clio time entries for time spent on research
  • Save your results as case documents in Clio
  • Keep your research organized according to each case

While Fastcase offers a kind of paid background plans ( you can try a free trial to test them out ), their free mobile app is available for io, Android, and Windows Phone—and anyone with the app can access Fastcase ’ s comprehensive legal research database on the run low, for free .
Fastcase besides has the most extremity benefit deals with bar associations of any legal research supplier. You may already have entree through your stripe dues .

Get The Clio Mobile App

The first step to accessing your fast from anywhere : create your Clio bill. After that, you can download the Clio app on your fluid phone and gestural in .
beginning now

2. CourtListener: For legal opinions

Sponsored by the Non-Profit Free Law Project, CourtListener is a legal research web site featuring millions of legal opinions from federal and state courts. Search CourtListener by case diagnose, topic, or citation—the data is all detached to access and update daily .

3. Caselaw Access Project: For book-published case law

As character of a mission to make all published US court decisions freely available to publish on-line, the Caselaw Access Project ( CAP ) offers complimentary access to all official, book-published US case law—every volume designated as an official report of decisions by a court within the United States through June 2018 ( Fun fact : The earliest encase available is from 1658. ). The 360 years of United States event law data was digitized from the collection of the Harvard Law Library .

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4. FindLaw: For searchable Supreme Court decisions

Designed to make the law more accessible to all, FindLaw ’ south FindLaw for Legal Professionals division offers free on-line legal content including case law from country and federal courts, case summaries, statutes, and legal news .
FindLaw besides offers a browsable, searchable database of US Supreme Court decisions since 1760. Browse Supreme Court opinions by class and US Reports volume number, or research by party name, casing style, citation, full text, and docket number. FindLaw besides features an archive of Supreme Court public opinion summaries since the class 2000 .

5. Legal Information Institute: For US law online and a legal encyclopedia

legal Information Institutes ( LII ) are a ball-shaped resource that offers open access to law cognition. There are over 46 fifty-two associations around the global that publish reference police through their own search engines, providing freely accessible casing laws, regulations, and statutes singular to those countries .
The Legal Information Institute ( LII ) at Cornell Law School provides access to most US laws online for spare, making it a dear resource when you need to find a legislative act or regulation, while besides providing on-line access to legal materials like the :

  • Supreme Court Bulletin
  • State statutes by topic
  • US Code
  • Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR)
  • Constitution
  • Federal Rules
  • Uniform Commercial Code
  • World law

Another free inquiry resource hosted by LII is Wex—a free, community-built legal dictionary and legal encyclopedia created and edited by legal experts .

6. Casetext and ROSS: For AI assistance

technically, number six on this list international relations and security network ’ t free, but low-cost artificial intelligence-powered options for legal research can make a huge dispute for your penetrate telephone line. Powered by AI to help you conduct legal research better and faster, Casetext ’ s search finds you cases and other authorities on the same facts, legal issues, and legal power as your matter .
The serve is simple : Drag and drop a brief or charge, and Casetext ’ s artificial news search, CARA, finds relevant cases—whether to enhance your research for your own drafts, or to check for missing or omitted cases within opposing council ’ randomness briefs and complaints. The practice is even smoother via Casetext ’ s Clio integration, which lets you send a text file from Clio to CARA in a individual snap.

Casetext ’ randomness AI search is a paid-but-low-cost option for legal research—though you can try for free with a 14-day trial .
A paid subscription to ROSS Intelligence is another way to leverage AI to enhance your legal research. Ross ’ s AI-powered tool lets you focus your research by emphasizing the singular facts of your font, and helps you identify cases with the lapp procedural position presented in your case, plus much more .

7. Justia: For the latest summaries sent straight to you

Research shell law, codes, statutes, regulations, and articles related to federal and express cases with Justia ’ s across-the-board, absolve database .
And, for staying effortlessly well-informed on specific practice areas, Justia will send the latest straight to your inbox with an array of loose newsletters ranging from casual summaries of opinions from all union appellate courts and all 50 country sovereign courts to hebdomadally summaries of opinions in certain practice areas .

Beyond legal databases: Other free research resources

ampere valuable as legal databases are for your lawsuit inquiry, there are besides other alternative sources where you can find information and resources to support your legal research. Below, we offer a few barren and cost-efficient options for help build your font .

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1. Primary sources: For going straight to the source

sometimes, the easiest way to get the information you need is to be steer. You can find many case jurisprudence and court documents online for release. Legislatures and courts are publishing their own materials, which are sometimes available on-line as downloadable PDFs—a public toilet that until recently has never existed. however, keep in thinker that some on-line versions are not considered “ official ” and can be refuted by the mark translation, even though they come from the same generator .
here are some resources you can access directly online :
Keep in mind, however, that while this information might be comfortable to access through primary sources, you ’ ll probably miss out on the advance search functions or analysis features that you ’ d witness with legal search engines and databases .
besides, older legal information may not be available on-line even. In this position, visiting a library may be helpful as you will be able to find archive legal information that is unavailable elsewhere. besides, you may find electric potential collaborators in your colleagues ( and the librarians ) who will be researching there ampere well. These collaborators will be a great source for information on what arguments worked in the past, and may help you find local cognition you might not be able to uncover yourself .
If you are a member of a barricade association, you should besides make full use of the resources available to you through your extremity benefits, such as :

  • Courthouses
  • Law schools
  • Bar Association headquarters

2. Legal blogs: For keeping up-to-date

One of the best ways to become a more effective legal research worker is to stay ahead of the game. The best way to do that ? Maintain your submit matter competence by keeping up-to-date on the latest developments in your practice area by regularly read legal journals and legal blogs .
A big home to find the best of the best when it comes to legal blogs is through the American Bar Association ( ABA ) ’ second annual list, which started in 2007 as the Blawg 100 list of blogs, and has evolved into the Web 100 list of favorite law blogs, podcasts, tweeters, and vane tools—a.k.a. a list of the best absolve law-focused resources and people to follow .
LexBlog—an on-line network of over 22,000 legal bloggers—is a hub of the latest comment on the police. Sorting blogs by channels, LexBlog makes it easy to find and subscribe to legal blogs that focus on your specific area of jurisprudence .
The lineal research benefit of staying in the cringle ? By maintaining subject-matter competence, you ’ ll already have certain cases and ideas in mind—so that when you ’ re presented with a event, you won ’ triiodothyronine be starting from rub every fourth dimension .

3. Google Scholar: For searching legal journals and published opinions

While not specifically tailored to legal research, Google Scholar allows you to broadly search and entree scholarly literature—which means it ’ s an effective, rid room to find legal documents like patents, legal opinions, legal journals, and articles .
Want the simplest way to search casing law ? On the Google Scholar main page, select the “ Case Law ” button under the search box to easily search case law, filtered by jurisdiction.


Conducting bright legal inquiry that ’ sulfur thorough, accurate, and time-effective makes a big difference to the success of your law firm—but it doesn ’ t have to be expensive .
Whether paid legal research platforms are out of the firm ’ s budget or you equitable want to find cost-efficient ways to conduct exhaustive inquiry for your cases, today ’ s free legal inquiry resources help you be more efficient so you can serve your clients more effectively—and stay a footfall ahead of the contest .
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