… Then it’s time to start taking free or inexpensive legal research seriously. No longer can you hop on an expensive legal database without thinking about it because the costs are included in your tuition fees. Even if your employer has a flat-fee contract with Westlaw or Lexis, that flat fee is based on usage, and you will be held accountable for excessive usage that leads to fee increases.
Soooooooooo, take a look at Google Scholar.
Note the button under the search box that allows you to search case law. Under that, you have the option to select your jurisdiction. The Google Scholar database, which like the regular Google search function is available for free, includes cases from the United States Supreme Court (since 1791), the United States Courts of Appeals and United States District Courts (since 1923), and supreme court and intermediate appellate courts from all states (since 1950). Although it does not include statutes, you can find the official versions of statutes on government web sites (watch for a future post), also for free. If you select the articles button on Google Scholar, you can find law review articles on your legal research topic.
To find out more about Google Scholar and its advantages and limitations for legal research, read Reduce Legal Research Costs with Google Scholar by Eric Voigt.