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Legal Research on a Budget - SLU Law

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Erika Cohn

on 12 October 2012

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Transcript of Legal Research on a Budget - SLU Law

Legal Research on a Budget Or: What to do when your unlimited free access to Westlaw and Lexis expires Things to consider:
Usability Legal Research Systems and Databases Content Cases
Court Rules
Attorney General Opinions
CLE Books* Cost 22 State Bar Associations Provide FREE access for their members (including MO and IL)
Free access doesn't include Federal District or Bankruptcy Opinions, or CLE Books
Can subscribe to these extras separately for reasonable cost
Often special deals for upgrades for Bar Members Currentness Libraries updated daily
Most appellate cases added within 24-48 hours from their release by the court Use It available from library's databases page
after bar passage, log in through bar website
app for Android, iPhone, and iPad Use It scholar.google.com Content Published state appellate and supreme court cases since 1950
US federal district, appellate, tax, and bankruptcy courts since 1923
US Supreme Court cases since 1791
Citations for cases cited by indexed opinions or journal articles
Patents Cost Free Currentness updated several times a week Limitations No true citator
Primary Sources only Limitations No obligation to guarantee accuracy or completeness
No true citator
Primary sources only Content Federal and State Cases
Statutes and Acts
Administrative Rules and Regulations
Court Rules
Treatise Libraries
Missouri Bar CLE Publications (plus AZ, MA, NY, WA) Cost Students have free access until 6 months after graduation
Two-day, weekly, monthly, and annual subscriptions ($161/mo for full access)
Free to NY Bar Assn. Members Use It available from library's databases page
iPhone app coming soon Currentness Cases usually added within 24-48 hours of release
Check each secondary source individually for most recent updates Limitations Not as intuitive to use
GlobalCite Citator not a true citator
Doesn't work in Chrome Tips Learn these tools now!
Start your research using these free or inexpensive tools, then move to Wexisberg
Keep a research log
Know when to stop
Create "research portfolios" from Westlaw, Lexis, and Bloomberg while you have free access
Remember the library and the friendly helpful librarians! Law Libraries SLU:
Can access many legal databases for free from inside the library
In print:
Missouri and Illinois Practice Treatises
Missouri and Illinois Digests
Missouri and Illinois Statutes
Missouri and Illinois Bar Books
MUCH more!
Other law libraries with public access
Wash U Law Library
City Court Law Library
County Law Library
8th Circuit Law Library
Out-of-state law school library websites Free Legal Websites Things to consider:
What kind of document am I looking for?
Who would normally be responsible for maintaining these documents in print?
Where does the document live online? (an official gov't site vs. a free website)
When was the document posted and/or the site updated? Missouri Court Documents
Legislative Documents
Administrative Documents Federal Court Documents
Legislative Documents
Administrative Documents Other
Full transcript