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New York StateUnified Court System

Free Legal Research

Comprehensive Sites | Alternatives to WEXIS | State / Local Statuary Law / Legislative History | State Regulations | State Case Law | Federal Statutory Law / Legislative History / Regulatory Law | Federal Case Law | Secondary Sources | Law Reviews | Foreign Law | Search Engines | Miscellaneous NY Legal | Court Dockets | Web 2.0


Comprehensive Sites

  1. Legal Information Institute
    Searchable full-text integrates information from the Legal Information Institute, and Cornell School of Law. Hyper-text to recent Supreme Court decisions are readily available.
    At this site you will find Wex. Wex is an ambitious effort to construct a collaboratively-created, public-access law dictionary and encyclopedia. It is sponsored and hosted by the Legal Information Institute at the Cornell Law School.
  2. Washlaw Web
    Offers full-text information on law related discussion groups. There is a useful Table of Contents which aids the user in locating and exploring particular areas of law. (Check out the following links: State Law, Bar Associations, Law Directories, Law Journals, Continuing Education, Law Firms)
  3. Temple University Electronic Reference Desk
  4. FindLaw: Internet Legal Resources
    This is a great resource due to the numerous legal fields covered (Law Schools to Statutes/Laws). Easily accessible and provides information in a logical format. Free www site of Thomson/West.
  5. Law and Policy Institutions Law and Policy Institutions provides a well-organized point of access for legal and legislative information. In addition to domestic legal topics, this site provides information on significant international treaties, journals, and legal databases ranging from antiquity to the present and representing all nationalities.
  6. LexisOne: The Resource for small law firms
    Free www site of Lexis/Nexis.
  7. Hieros Gamos
    Contains information about 6,000 legal organizations, and self-listing using modifiable databases of various legal entries. This site also has a unique feature allowing the user to display data in foreign languages.
  8. Internet Law Library
    Searchable full-text of information formerly compiled by the United States House of Representatives Law Library. Now maintained by Etext Archives. It allows quick access to Federal Laws, and various legal directories and reviews. The U.S. Code and Code of Federal Regulations are also searchable at this site, complete with a Reference Desk that lists the "20 Most Requested Pages" from the library.
  9. World Wide Web Virtual Library: Law
    "In 1992, Indiana University School of Law - Bloomington was chosen by CERN, originators of the World Wide Web Consortium, to be the host of the Virtual Library - Law (" (quoted from the old Indiana site). The Indiana site continued to function throughout the remainder of the Century and into the early years of the present Century. In 2005 the present site was created to continue the work. It also incorporates many of the features of the VL Arbitration Database, and also the experience of the Topic Map based WWW Virtual Library central Catalog.
  10. New York Courts and Law Guide
    This guide includes more than 100 documents, written in plain English, that explain the courts and laws of New York to non-lawyers. It is the most comprehensive explanation of the New York legal system on the Internet.
  11. Yahoo's Law Guide
    This is an informative site which allows the user to search Yahoo's reference materials as well as the topic of Law on a broader spectrum. There are many new searchable topics providing a vast range of legal issues that can be researched, such as case law, Journals, and basic legal research.
  12. Jurist: Legal News & Research
    JURIST is the authoritative legal news and real-time legal research website powered by a team of over 20 law student reporters, editors and web developers led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
    a FREE online law library offering substantive, fully annotated, links to valuable legal and governmental resources.
  14. Judicial View
    The Judicial ViewTM, owned by The Judicial View, LLC, is an advertising supported online publication viewable at The primary purpose of The Judicial View is to publish categorized summaries of recent court decisions, publish categorized articles regarding the law, people, and entities of interest to the legal profession, and to provide a means for the exchange of ideas regarding the foregoing.
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Alternatives to WEXIS

  1. Fastcase
    Fastcase, describes itself as, "the next-generation legal research system that offers unlimited access to a comprehensive 50-state and federal case law database. Whether used as an affordable and powerful research tool for solo practitioners and smaller firms, or as a supplemental resource for larger firms, Fastcase offers online access to the entire national law library at a price everyone can appreciate."
  2. Casemaker
    Casemaker is a legal research service for State Bar Associations and their members.  It works exclusively in partnership with State Bars. Currently, 28 of the 50 state bar associations in the US subscribe to the Casemaker service.  Casemaker refers to these subscribing state bar associations as members of the Casemaker Consortium.  Casemaker is free as a benefit of membership in those state bar associations.  Currently the New York State Bar Association is NOT a member of the Casemaker Consortium.
  3. Google Scholar
    Google the giant of Internet search, now provides free search access to a comprehensive collection of United States federal and state case law with a citator. The full text of selected scholarly legal journals is also searchable through the familiar Google search engine.

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State/Local Statuary Law / Legislative History

  1. New York State Laws
    The Constitution and Statutes of New York State.
  2. Sources of Legislative History for State Law
    Legislative History information in many states is available either on line or by telephone inquiries. Agencies within the various states that are commonly helpful can include the Legislature, Legislative Counsel, Secretary of State, State Library, or State Archives. This site provides information on the various States. Scroll to your state or use one of the lettered links below to find information on the state of your choice.
  3. Guide to New York Legal Research in the Mendik Library (2010 Revision) New York Law School
    A primer in Adobe PDF format written by the librarians at the New York Law School Law Library. Shelving locations are for the New York Law School Mendik Library, please ask a Queens County Law Library staff member for the specific location of each title discussed in the Guide at either the Jamaica or Kew Gardens court law libraries.
  4. State Law
    This site from Washburn University School of Law provides links to statutes and and codes available in electronic form from many states. It also offers full-text information regarding legal areas of interest to all states. The format of this site is easy to access, and allows the user to locate information quickly.
  5. State and Territorial Laws
    This site from the U.S. House of Representatives provides links to full-text versions of statutes and codes for all the states. It also offers references to Laws of jurisdictions, as well as several legal reviews and services.
  6. State Codes
    Full-text codes arranged according to state by the Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School. This site provides the user with access to material from the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as related State Legislative Information. There are a vast number of topics that can be easily researched through this single site.
  7. State Statutes on Selected Topics
    Law texts from many states arranged topically by the Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School. A listing of State Statutes can be easily accessed through this site for further legal reference. This feature allows the user to obtain and compare the information quickly.
  8. State Legislative Sites
    This site from the National Conference of State Legislatures provides links to legislative materials for some states. It offers documents in full-text and allows quick access to each of them.
  9. Session Law Update -USC Authorized Intranet Users only
    Summary of 1998-Present Session Laws of Particular Interest to NYS Unified Court System.
  10. New York City Council
    New York City Local Laws 1990 - Present. Also, all bills introduced 1995 - Present.
  11. State Statutes
    This page seeks to link to sites containing full-text state constitutions, statutes (called codes or compiled laws in some states), legislation (bills, amendments, etc.), session laws (bills that have become laws), and administrative rules.

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State Regulations

  1. NYCRR
    The NYCRR primarily contains state agency rules and regulations adopted under the State Administrative Procedure Act (SAPA). The 22 Titles include one for each state department, one for miscellaneous agencies and one for the Judiciary. The Office of Court Administration and the Judiciary are exempt from SAPA requirements.
  2. REG Alert
    This is a commercial site operated by Statescope of Arlington, VA. It provides up-to-date information on proposed and adopted regulatory activities at the state level.
  3. State Capitals
    This is a newsletter that reports emerging trends in state legislation and regulations in all 50 states. Fifteen major regulatory areas are covered.
  4. State Net
    State Net monitors every bill in the 50 states, District of Columbia and Congress and every state agency regulation. Headquartered in Sacramento, CA, State Net was created by legislative experts who invented a computerized tracking system that has evolved into a leading source of legislative and regulatory information.

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State Case Law

  1. Court Web Sites National Center for State Courts.
    This page provides judicial branch links for each state, focusing on the administrative office of the courts, the court of last resort, any intermediate appellate courts, and each trial court level.
  2. State Courts On-Line
    At homepage look for Regional Legal News link at upper-left of homepage. Select 1 of 10 state case-law websites maintained by ALM. Links to state courts provided by American Lawyer Media. This site offers full-text information regarding the various levels and branches of state courts, and their rulings. This reference would be useful in locating a specific state court decision. ALM registration and paid subscription required to access these sites.

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Federal Statutory Law / Legislative History / Regulatory Law

  1. U.S. Code
    Searchable full-text of the official version, made available by the United States House of Representatives.
  2. Thomas
    Important Legislative service offered by the Library of Congress. It provides the searchable full-text of the Congressional Record (1989-present), recent bill texts and tracking information about them.
  3. GPO Access
    The U.S. Superintendent of Documents distributes its materials electronically through this system. It includes searchable full-text of Congressional bills starting in 1993, Congressional reports and documents starting in 1995, and the Congressional Record, starting in 1995. This source provides an abundance of information, but it may be difficult to locate a particular subject area due to the format of the subject index.
  4. Congressional Record
    Searchable full-text from 1989-present is provided by the United States House of Representatives. This site includes various senatorial speeches, and debates as additional informational sources.
  5. Federal Register
    The U.S. Superintendent of Documents distributes its materials electronically through this system. It includes searchable full-text of the Federal Register from 1994-present.
  6. Code of Federal Regulations
    Searchable full-text of the C.F.R. is provided by the U.S. House of Representatives. It provides basic material about the C.F.R. and its purpose. This site has a useful reference guide outlining additional sources with relevant information, on how to access them.
  7. Federal Regulatory Information
    This site provided by the University of Michigan offers a comprehensive guide to all types of federal regulatory sources. It gives detailed instructions on how to access the various online sources for additional, relevant information.
  8. FirstGov
    Whatever you want or need from the U.S. government, it's here on You'll find a rich treasure of online information, services and resources.
  9. OpenCRS
    A project of the Center for Democracy & Technology through the cooperation of several organizations and collectors of CRS Reports, Open CRS provides citizens access to CRS Reports already in the public domain. CRS Reports are publications of the Congressional Research Service, a congressionally funded "think tank" within the Library of Congress that provides reports to members of Congress on a variety of topics relevant to current political events.

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Federal Case Law

  1. Federal Courts
    This site provides searchable full-text made available by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. It lists several Court-related search topics with useful descriptions following each of them for quick reference.
  2. History of the Federal Judiciary
    Released on February 9, 2000 by the Federal Judicial Center (FJC), this site constitutes "a major, previously-unpublished reference source for the history of the federal courts". It is composed of five major sections. The first, Judges of the United States Courts, contains the Federal Judges Biographical Database, a browsable or keyword-searchable database of the service records and professional resumes of presidentially-appointed judges since 1789. Users can construct their own queries about groups of federal judges, including the justices of the Supreme Court. The second section, Courts of the Federal Judiciary, offers legislative histories of courts and circuits within the federal judiciary, in addition to lists of the chief judges and information on the location of the official records of each court. The Landmark Judicial Legislation section presents the full-text of 21 statutes related to the organization and administration of the judiciary, presented in a timeline with notes on their historical significance. The final two sections explore selected topics in judicial history and exhibit annotated photos of historical federal courthouses, browsed via a pull-down menu. Additional resources include a collection of FJC publications and (annotated) related links.
  3. U.S. Courts Law Finder
  4. United States Supreme Court
    At this site the Legal Information Institute of Cornell Law School provides the full-text of opinions from 1990-present which are searchable by year and keyword. A few older opinions are also available. It provides excellent background information which allows the user to gain more knowledge about the functions of the Supreme Court.
  5. United States Courts of Appeal
  6. United States District Courts
    This site provides detailed information explaining the uses of automated Information in the U.S. Federal Court system. It lists methods for obtaining court decisions, as well as other court information, and services available to the public.
  7. United States Bankruptcy
  8. Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
    Searchable full-text on current newsworthy court decisions and legal material. Provides access to Court Rules including the Supreme Court's New Rules and Federal Rules of Evidence. This site offers an abundance of material regarding the impact of Information Technology in the legal field.
  9. Federal Rules of Evidence
    Lists the Federal Rules of Evidence, as would be found in the Rules of Court written text. The directory provides additional sources that enhance the material outlined by the Federal Rules.
  10. United States Supreme Court Database
    The Supreme Court Database is the definitive source for researchers, students, journalist, and citizens interested in the U.S. Supreme Court. The Database contains over two hundred pieces of information about each case decided by the Court between the 1953 and 2008 terms. Examples include the identity of the court whose decision the Supreme court reviewed, the parties to the suit, the legal provisions considered in the case, and the votes of the Justices.

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Secondary Sources

  1. Judicial Administration - National Center for State Courts
    This site is dedicated to the improvement of justice and provides links to court web sites through out the country, NCSC the Institute for Court Management and Court Technology Programs; and other judicial organizations such as Conferences of Chief Justices, Conference of State Court Administrators, National Association of Court Management, American Judges Association, National Conference of Appellate Court Clerks, National College of Probate Judges, and the National Association of Women Judges.
  2. Attorneys - Chambers and Partners
    Now in its 5th Edition, Chambers USA covers all the major practice areas at national level, as well as the key specialisms within each state.
  3. West's Legal Directory
    This site is provided by the West Group which allows the user to locate information about law firms, government officers, and corporate law offices, in the United States and Canada. There is a useful Site Map which offers a variety of sources to assist the user in conducting legal research.
  4. Continuing Legal Education - ALI_ABA Committee on CLE
    This site offers information about post-admission legal education to members of the profession. It lists the user's access to various materials in legal education, as well as quick links to other relative sites.
  5. Discussion Groups - The Law List
    Keyword searchable database of law lists (discussion groups) arranged A to Z with instructions on how to search them. Also, a list of law related usenet groups.
  6. Law Firms - FINDLAW
    The site offers various links to law firms and lawyers. Information regarding these topics can be obtained through the Martindale-Hubbell Lawyer search and the West Dictionary of Lawyers for quick access.
  7. Hieros Gamos
    This site provides twelve directories listing databases and useful legal resources for the user to access. There is an additional listing of law firms located throughout various parts of the world, allowing the user to access information on a global scale.
  8. Law Lexicon - The 'Lectric Law Library
    This part of a multiple database provides the meaning of law related words, terms, and phrases.
  9. Law Libraries - United States Law Libraries
    An extensive directory of academic law libraries with telnet connections.
  10. Yahoo - Legal Research Libraries
    ...the United States may and the entire world. There is a unique New Pager feature which allows the user to receive automatic updates on recent events. There is not a specific legal index, however, there are several categories that may be researched for legal references.
  11. New York Times
    This site provides a vast number of accessible sources with a helpful guide for first time users of the site. It allows information to be accessed by category for quick reference.
  12. New York Law Journal
  13. Wall Street Journal

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Law Reviews

  1. General Law Reviews
    FindLaw for Students > Academic Law Reviews and Journals > General Law Reviews
  2. Articles - Law Journals on the Web
    Searchable index of selected law journals and reviews.

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Foreign Law

  1. University of Michigan Directory of Online Government Gazettes - Government Gazettes, which are published by federal governments worldwide, are the means through which the government can communicate legal notices and legislation to officials and the general public. Most important online collection of foreign law.
  2. FLARE Foreign Law Research
    FLARE is a collaboration between the major libraries collecting law in the United Kingdom: Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Bodleian Law Library, Squire Law Library, British Library, and School of Oriental and African Studies. It is working to improve the coverage and accessibility of foreign legal materials at the national level and to raise expertise in their use.
  3. Oceana Publications
    A Division of Oxford University Press, Inc. The Premier Publisher of International Legal Materials. Since 1948 Oceana has been the premier publisher of essential international legal information specifically designed for law librarians, practicing attorneys, business executives, academicians, and researchers worldwide.
  4. The UK Statute Law Database
    The UK Statute Law Database (SLD) is the official revised edition of the primary legislation of the United Kingdom made available online.
  5. The Anglo-American Legal Tradition Project
    Documents from Medieval and Early Modern England from the National Archives in London
  6. Electronic Information System for International Law - EISIL is the brand new knowledge network for international law on the web. After several years in development by the American Society of International Law, EISIL's coverage of the full spectrum of international law has been completed for its full launch in September 2004. EISIL has already received the prestigious "Best Website of 2004" award from the International Association of Law Libraries.
  7. Globalex
    GlobaLex is an electronic legal publication dedicated to international and foreign law research. Published by the Hauser Global Law School Program at NYU School of Law. GlobaLex is committed to the dissemination of high-level international, foreign, and comparative law research tools in order to accommodate the needs of an increasingly global educational and practicing legal world.
  8. International Association of Law Libraries
    The International Association of Law Libraries (IALL) is a worldwide organization of librarians, libraries, and other persons and institutions concerned with the acquisition and use of legal information emanating from sources other than their own jurisdictions.
  9. English Medieval Legal Documents
    The goal of this project is to create a collaborative database on the published sources of English medieval legal documents, and to provide links to the growing number of online sources currently being developed.
  10. Commonwealth Legal Information Institute
    The Commonwealth Legal Information Institute (CommonLII) aims to provide one central Internet location from which it is possible to search - for free - core legal information from all Commonwealth countries. CommonLII will provide a common technical platform through which all Commonwealth countries can cooperatively provide access to their laws . CommonLII will assist the development of a genuinely international common law. It will support the rule of law throughout the Commonwealth, by making each country's legal system more transparent. This transparency will also support international trade and investment.
  11. World Legal Information Institute
    World Legal Information Institute (World LII) is a free, independent and non-profit global legal research facility developed collaboratively by the following Legal Information Institutes and other organizations. Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII), British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BAILII), Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII), Hong Kong Legal Information Institute (HKLII), Legal Information Institute (Cornell) (LII), Pacific Islands Legal Information Institute (PacLII )), Wits University School of Law (Wits Law School)

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Search Engines

  1. Google
  2. Infoseek
  3. Lycos
  4. Alta Vista
  5. Northern Light
  6. WebCrawler
  7. LawCrawler
  8. WorldCat
  9. - Quest - Legal Search Engine

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Miscellaneous Legal

  1. Center for Court Innovation - Located in New York, the Center for Court Innovation is a unique public-private partnership that is dedicated to enhancing the performance of courts and those whose work intersects with the courts.
  2. Mayor's Advisory Committee on the Judiciary - Mayor's Advisory Committee on the Judiciary website. The Mayor's Advisory Committee on the Judiciary, which consists of 19 appointed members, recruits, evaluates, and nominates highly qualified judicial candidates for appointment to the New York City Criminal Court, Family Court and, for interim appointments, to the Civil Court. The Committee is also charged with evaluating incumbent judges for reappointment to these courts.
  3. New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct - The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct is the state agency responsible for investigating complaints of misconduct against judges of the state unified court system.
  4. New York State Judicial Campaign Ethics Center - The Judicial Campaign Ethics Center serves as a central resource on campaign ethics for all judicial candidates and provides the public with information about the judicial election process.
  5. New York State Judicial Institute - The New York State Judicial Institute is a 52-week-a -year center for education and research designed to enhance the quality of the courts and ensure that the New York State Judiciary sets the standard for judicial excellence around the country. This web site is part of Pace University.
    New York State Judicial Institute - The New York State Judicial Institute is a 52-week-a -year center for education and research designed to enhance the quality of the courts and ensure that the New York State Judiciary sets the standard for judicial excellence around the country. This web site is part of the New York Unified Court System.
  6. NY State Bar Association
  7. NY State Bar - Public Information - Legalease Pamphlet Series, Lawyer Referral by County, Why you need a will, Adoption in NYS, Divorce and Separation in NYS and if you have an Auto Accident
  8. NY State Bar Code of Professional Responsibility
  9. NY State Bar Ethics Opinions
  10. NY State Guide to Attorney Disciplinary Procedure
  11. NY State Board of Law Examiners - Five members of the bar, appointed from time to time by the Court of Appeals. The Board holds examinations twice each year in each judicial department under rules of the Court of Appeals for admission of attorneys and counselors-at-law. The Board renders an annual report to the court each year.
  12. NY State UCS Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics - The Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics provides ethical advice to New York State Judges and quasi-judicial officials about their own perspective conduct.

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Court Dockets

  1. Legal Dockets Online - Legal Dockets Online allows you to quickly and inexpensively research and obtain court case information, dockets, and other public records. Our extensive collection of government and commercial resources will help answer the question so often asked, "Is it available online?"

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Web 2.0

  1. Social Networking for Lawyers
    The staff of the Law Library of Queens County has selected a representative sampling of attorney specific social networking Web 2.0 resources for your reference.

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