Attorneys need access to a lot of legal references while researching a case. This will help them get insights into the details of the case, precedents if any, etc. Research is an indispensable part of a lawyer’s everyday work.
But how can law firms and lawyers get access to the much-needed data? With paid platforms, research becomes very expensive, and it may not be possible for every law firm to manage the same. So to help the legal fraternity, several free legal research platforms are available now.
The availability of free tools is a great asset to law firms as they are able to access court information without any investment.
Combined with the benefits of technology, legal research online has become much easier. In this blog, we present you with some top free legal research tools. They have a huge collection of legal data that can assist in analyzing cases.
Top 17 legal research tools
The following is a list of the top 17 legal research tools that are user-friendly and self-explanatory. Most of them offer excellent customer support in case you need any assistance further. Browse through them to find the best one for your research.
Fastcase assists lawyers by offering cloud-based software for their research. It is an online repository of statutes, regulations, court rules, constitutions, and legal articles.
It provides data feeds to create better engagement with your clients. The platform is intuitive and makes legal research easier and smarter.
Fastcase makes law practice easier with workflow automation. API integration with data feeds and the client dashboard enables a centralized workflow.
The tool offers a flexible pricing plan along with an initial free trial. And the pricing depends on the type of law information you require, the number of users that need access, etc.
Fastcase is available for free for every member of the state bar association in America.
Casemaker, along with Fastcase, post their merger, offers powerful research and analytical insights to lawyers through their legal research database.
You can access nearly 75 books, treatises, and journals apart from the primary research information through Casemaker.
With their free webinar, you can get more information about the app, pricing structure, and additional features.
Casemaker X provides free access to research tools for law students. By creating a student account, you can access their library for free throughout your time at law school.
Legal Citation Generator
Citing proper US codes may be an issue for people dealing with legal citations. Legal Citation Generator is an online tool that helps such people.
It gives access to correct codes, citation format, and footnotes. The app will create a link to the government website when you type in the citation of the legal source.
This ensures a trusted and reliable source of information. The link is generated within seconds and lets you read the entire legal document.
This app is highly useful to law students, legal professionals, and those dealing with legal sources.
Writing legal briefs and long reports is taken care of too.
Contact the team for pricing information.
This free legal research tool for lawyers contains millions of opinions from federal and state courts. It is a non-profit tool sponsored by Free Law Project.
They provide access to primary legal materials and support academic research.
They have advanced search options and search filters to provide the most relevant information. You can search the app with the case name, topic, or citation.
It also has information on whether a given precedent is still valid in law. This can provide valuable assistance to lawyers during their research.
This app allows you to read opinions directly by giving access to Supreme Court database information for a case.
FindLaw helps you sort all your legal needs. It is a storehouse of informational articles on a variety of legal topics and also offers you insights on how to hire an attorney.
It has a huge list of state and federal cases and codes on matters relating to statutes, constitutions, etc.
The FindLaw Lawyer Directory helps you locate attorneys in all popular cities in America.
This tool helps lawyers in furthering their research based on information on a wide variety of legal topics.
For pricing information, contact the team at FindLaw.
To enable access to free codes, decisions, and regulations of federal and state courts, Justia offers this comprehensive tool.
They also send you regular newsletters that carry information on daily opinion summaries and weekly summaries of courts. This app is a one-stop place for profiles of lawyers, law firms, and non-profit legal service organizations in the United States.
By just entering the name of the legal issue, you can get the desired information. You can contact law firms with the lawyer’s contact information stored in the app.
Justia provides legal guides in all areas, like injury law, estate planning, family law, business law, immigration, intellectual property, home ownership, etc.
Case text and ROSS
This is an economical AI-powered tool for legal research. It makes the research process simple and time-saving.
You can use the search tool to drag and drop a brief, and it helps retrieve relevant cases.
This helps in preparing legal briefs by comparing them with some precedents.
It offers a 14-day free trial, after which you should buy its paid subscription. This is a budget tool, and hence, the paid plans are cheaper.
The paid search tool of ROSS assists in enhancing your search by laying emphasis on the unique facts of the case.
Caselaw Access Project (CAP)
This intuitive tool offers a powerful search option to explore a wide variety of legal research data. The goal of CAP is to give free access to all published US court decisions online from the Harvard Law School Library collection.
Downloading cases is easier as the API allows users to download with short commands. Cases are segregated by jurisdiction, series, and volume, making it easy for law firms to browse case-related data.
Case citations can also be easily exported and downloaded in PDF format. It offers bulk data files for open jurisdictions free to be accessed without logging in.
Google Scholar is a free search engine with a huge collection of scholarly literature across an array of disciplines. A lot of legal opinions, case laws, and journals are available here for attorneys to browse through.
You can access case laws and filter them by jurisdiction. All you have to do is type case law in the search box. Checking citations and doing extensive legal research have become more streamlined with advancements in Google Scholar in recent times.
GovInfo contains United States Code for those involved in legal research. It provides free access to official publications from all three branches of the Federal Government.
The site maintains the integrity and authenticity of the content through the application of digital signatures to PDFs. This ensures that readers access only verified versions.
GovInfo uses modern search technology with extensive metadata creation, and this gives the best search experience. Law firms and other interested parties can easily access documents for free by browsing the website. The website is mobile-friendly as well, making it more convenient for people.
Anylaw is a free legal research tool that helps lawyers and law firms in their extensive research.
A wide variety of legal topics like business, bankruptcy, criminal law, intellectual property, employment and labor, immigration, etc., are covered on this website. Case summaries are also available.
By typing the court name, you can access the case laws from any court. It is a comprehensive platform that provides access to case law research, annotations, tax law research, etc.
Law Guru is a free legal advice forum with a network of more than 8800 attorneys. They cover all legal areas for the benefit of legal research.
You just have to type your questions, and the suitable attorneys will provide a reply. Since the answers come from experienced attorneys, it is a great help to upcoming lawyers. All the more, the answers are also available for public access. You can also search for past answers to any questions here.
It also has a lot of legal articles. There is a paid service that Law Guru offers for follow-up questions and urgent queries.
Legal Information Institute (LII)
With a view to helping everyone get access to free legal resources, LII publishes law online for free.
They create articles to make people understand the law. LII is an independently funded wing of Cornell Law School.
With the use of technology, they ensure the accuracy of legal information stored here. It contains a legal encyclopedia with resources pertaining to business law, constitutional law, family law, employment law, money and finances, etc.
All federal and state rules and codes are available here. You can also access a lawyer directory to find attorneys. Data by jurisdiction is also available here.
LII helps make the law simpler so that everyone can understand it easily.
Publiclegal is a categorized index of select websites and a wide collection of legal forms and documents. It was founded as a research project of the University of Texas at Austin School of Law. They were one of the first online resources to offer free legal documents for research.
It is a trusted source of legal forms and documents and has clients from almost all of the top legal firms in the United States.
The website is highly secure and protects the data repository with the best security tools. Publiclegal monitors the legislative and judicial activity for regular review and update of legal documents to maintain their relevance.
They have no affiliates or subscription plans and do not offer links to external sites.
Ravel Law is an online platform for legal research and analytics. It makes legal research more intuitive and easier.
They have tools that enable quick identification of relevant cases. The platform assists lawyers in performing data-driven research. The AI and machine learning technology used by Ravel Law helps mine case opinions and thereby provides data to build specific arguments in the courts.
They have a partnership with Harvard Law Library to digitize their law collection and make it available through Ravel.
WestLaw Edge is an AI-powered tool that helps lawyers research the most complex legal cases. With its natural-language processing abilities, this platform allows predictive search and facilitates easy and quick extraction of data.
It is a storehouse of legal resources across all major practice areas. You can search legal articles, whitepapers, and case studies that can enrich the knowledge related to legal cases. It also provides in-depth analysis with its legal guidance facilities.
With advanced legal technology, this platform offers a comprehensive and trusted source of information. They have a dedicated team of attorney editors who make sure that the data you get is up-to-date.
Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) provides public access to federal court records. They have more than 1 billion documents stored in their platform to help legal professionals in their research.
They also have a dedicated customer support center that assists with queries. The PACER case locator helps locate cases with its listing of nationwide court locations and case numbers. You only have to type the relevant case keywords to get access to the documents.
PACER charges a nominal fee for access to the documents.
Smart and efficient research adds more value to the case findings. These tools listed above help you achieve this.
Some law practice software solutions also provide a collection of statutes and judicial decisions, along with helping the daily operations of a law firm.
Litigation management software, used by law firms for litigation cases, also stores a wide variety of data for legal research. In the third stage of litigation, research is needed to discover more information about the case. Here, research tools are of great assistance.
The legal discovery software is used to identify, collect, and review documents in response to legal requests and investigations. This is supported by extensive research for which the above-listed research tools can be of immense help.
While most of the tools listed above offer legal data for free, there are some that require a subscription for additional research. Always check the authenticity of the source before using the findings for your case. This can help you obtain authentic research findings for the benefit of your clients.