The Journalist's Toolbox: Legal Resources

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Last Update: January 6, 2011

Note: Some pages will launch into a new browser.

 


 

Recent Additions to This Section
(This section features sites added to the page in the last few weeks.
Each link is cross-referenced on the page in its proper category.)

Looking for a lawyer or law firm? Find a lawyer at Lawyer.info features a personal injury lawyer directory, a guide for divorce mediation and a legal themed blog.

Attorneys.org - locate attorneys by state or start a video chat, not offering legal advice. Update: Includes a lawyer directory and attorney search online.

 


 

U.S. Courts

A Guide to the U.S. Federal Legal System: Web-Based Publicly Accessible Sources

UScourts.gov
A good starting page for research on federal courts.

Pacer's U.S. Courts
Search district and bankruptcy courts.

Federal Courts Finder
Image map guide to courts from Emory University.

Department of Justice: Office of Solicitor General
Search government briefs filed with the United States Supreme Court.

Supreme Court Collection
A database of upcoming Supreme Court cases compiled by Cornell Univeristy.

Syllabi of Current U.S. Supreme Court Decisions

On the Docket
A database of upcoming Supreme Court cases.

First Amendment Center's Supreme Court Site
Search government briefs filed with the United States Supreme Court.

Oyez: U.S. Supreme Court Multimedia Database
Hundreds of hours of audio materials delivered through a free player available from Real.com as well as summaries of cases before the court, organized by year.

NPR Supreme Court Page
Features bios, links, news, search.

Law.com's Supreme Court Monitor

Federal Circuit Courts of Appeals
Links to the full-text opinions of all 11 U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals.

Federal Laws and Regulations
The National Archives and Records Administration has a database of public laws, presidential orders and more.

Center for Information, Law and Policy
Information on federal and state courts.

Current State Cases
Track them through these links to state court sites.

LII.org: U.S. Patriot Act Resources
Resources from the Librarian?s Index to the Internet.

Recent Civil Cases Filed in U.S. District Courts
A great Law.com database that lets you search cases by state.

National Center for State Courts
A database from the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys.

National Center for State Courts: Listing of Courts
Links to state appellate, circuit and county courts Web sites organized by states.

360Degrees.org: The U.S. Criminal Justice System
Perspectives on the U.S. justice system.

The Votebook.com: Bush, Gore and the Supreme Court

JustInfo Newsletter
An online newsletter sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
Several tools for journalists needing legal resources.

National Archives and Records Administration Research Page
Sections for federal government, courts, textual records, microfilm, etc.

 


 

Legal Directories

Attorneys.org - locate attorneys by state or start a video chat, not offering legal advice.

LawCrawler
Powered by Google, the Web?s best search engine, it hunts down anything legal online.

Old Bailey Online: History Site
From the famous British courthouse, this online database covers more than 22,000 trials dating between 1714 and 1759. Read the actual transcripts from historic proceedings, view the original documents, etc.

Search West's Legal Directory
Search a free database of legal experts.

Bill of Rights Institute
Links, search tool, educational resources.

Lawyer Locator
Search a free database of legal experts.

Federal Judicial Center: Judge Bios
Search federal court judge bios, past and present.

American Law Sources Online (ALSO)
This site provides "a comprehensive, uniform, and useful compilation of links to all online sources of American law."

LegalSurvival.com
A comprehensive source of legal information, tools and news covering 30 topics. The site features a newsletter, forms, FAQs, checklists, bookstore, legal plans, Find an Attorney, attorney marketing services and helpful links.

Internet Legal Research Guide
More than 4,000 sites from 238 countries, this site lists law firms, legal experts, journals and more.

WhoRepresents.com: Agent Database
A great shortcut for sourcing, enter celebrity names into the database and get the managers or agents who represents them.

Westlaw.com

Internet Law Library
A free collection of articles, statutes, cases and resources on Internet issues such as copyright law, trademark law, domain name law, cookies, data retrieval, etc.

Jamail Center for Legal Research
A selective guide to legal history resources on the Web, with special emphasis on archives and rare book collections.

Global Legal Information Network
Part of the Library of Congress, this site features hundreds of legal links and resources.

The Law Engine
A free site with dozens of legal resources.

Counsel.net
A collection of chat rooms and discussion groups for lawyers, legal resources and job boards.

All Law
Search engine and legal directory that has state resources.

Finding Law-Related Resources
Dozens of global law links.

Medical Privacy State Laws

Legal Transcript Library, Inc.
A legal research tool for medical defense attorneys containing thousands of transcripts of medical expert testimony.

The Avalon Project
Yale Law School site that offers digital documents relevant to the fields of Law, History, Economics, Politics, Diplomacy and Government.

Expert-Testimony.com

Yahoo! Law Directory

LawOpinion.com
Lawyers respond to legal queries -- for $40.

MyCounsel.com
A prescreened network of lawyers.

Bankruptcy Law
A directory of state, national and international bankruptcy laws.

Electronic Law Library
Targeted to small business owners, but it has a lot of helpful research for anyone.

HG Law Directory
Search more than 500 law directories worldwide.

Strategic Research Investigative Services
Specializes in discrete, sophisticated, and cost-effective fact-finding for law firms, corporations, governments, news organizations and individuals.

Class Action Database
A collection of class action lawsuits broken down by topics.

BRB Public Records online.
A huge sites with links to free and pay public records sites.

Cornell University: Legal Information Institute
Links, libraries, constitutions, codes, legal opinions and some legal news.

Prairie Net: Full-Text State Statutes and Legislation

Law Library Resource Xchange

Fagan Finder
A great search tool that added several new features in May 2002. Journalists will be especially interested in the search engines, reference, news and law sections.

Registered Patent Attorneys and Agents
Contact information for more than 25,000 attorneys.

Jaffe Legal News ServiceThe JLNS is a free weekly email tipsheet with sources and story ideas from some of the top law firms in North America and the UK. Each issue has a section providing expert commentary on some of the key issues of the day, an area where by-lined articles written by some of the top legal experts on North America and the UK are available for free, and a wire-like service that lists law firm press releases. Each e-mail also features a link to a form where reporters can request help with specific stories.

TVSpy's Agent List
Includes client names, companies and agent contact information.

 


 

Legal Databases, Documents and Statistics

Bureau of Justice Statistics

State Laws Database
Searchable index of state laws and legislation for all 50 states.

Dumb Laws Database
Titled: Big Government. Small Brains. Dumb Laws. A collection of silly laws in the United States and othe countries. Good for news feature writing.

Findforms.com
A database of thousands of free legal forms.

Cornell University State Laws Database
Look up laws by industry/topic.

Legacy Tobacco Documents Library
A great database from Cal-San Francisco that contains 20 million fully searchable documents from the1930s to the 1990s -- previously secret stuff from tobacco industry files obtained as part of the Minnesota AG and Blue Cross lawsuit settled in 1998.

ConnectNet
Provides access to an easily searchable database of more than 20,000 technology sites nationwide.

Jury Verdict Research
A for-profit company that maintains a database of nearly 200,000 verdicts and settlements resulting from personal injury claims.

ABA Administrative Procedures Database ABA Administrative Procedures Database
This site "is designed to facilitate the exchange of information about federal and state administrative law among legislators, lawyers, hearing officers, judges, and citizens. (It) contains links to federal and state Administrative Procedure Acts (APA), reform proposals, and organizational and other resources."

Crossing the Bar
The site helps you locate and analyze the statutes, rules and regulations that relate to the multijurisdictional practice of law.

North America's Largest Class Action Law Site
Lots of pending class actions and class action settlements. Updated daily. Also offers ability to register for possible class actions.

The Gallup Organization: Annual Crime Study
A collection of national crime stats.

Catalaw
Organizes legal and government sites into a basic catalog.

State Sex Offender Registries
Thirty-four states have them, but many are under review for accuracy.

Bureau of Justice Statistics Jail Population Study
Study: More than 6.5 million adults were jailed, on probation or on parole at the end of last year, a record-high number that represents 3.1 p of the country's total population or 1 of every 32 adults. Look up your state.

Federal Justice Statistics Resource Center Database
A database from the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys.

LawCommerce.com Recommended Law Database
A list of sites you can use to look up federal and state laws. A great shortcut..

FBI Crime Statistics: 2001 Summary
Also available as a full-text document.

The File Room Censorship Archive
A project that proposes to address censorship, providing for discussing and coming to terms with cultural censorship. The site provides an archive of cases, an area for submitting cases, a discussion area and a bibliography and anti-censorship area.

University of Tennessee: Legal Information
A set of helpful journalism and law links from professor Dorothy Bowles.

 


 

Legal Associations and Organizations

American Bar Association

American Bar Association Lawinfo.org

American Civil Liberties Union
Material on FOI and Sunshine laws.

Association of Trial Lawyers of America

Association of Trial Lawyers of America Links Page
Dozens of great links to law schools, law organizations, attorney referral sites and more.

National Board of Trial Advocacy

The Innocence Project
A searchable database of states offering projects to free wrongfully accused prisoners through DNA and other evidence. Run by the Cardozo School of Law in NYC.

The American Antitrust Institute Antitrust Research Guide
A not-for-profit Washington, DC, think tank provides an easy-to-use format, with plain-English annotations and research tips to help antitrust neophytes and sophisticates quickly find useful materials on antitrust law, policy, legislation, enforcement, and more. Access is free. The AAI says the site is content-neutral, giving users access to commentary and analysis from across the spectrum of antitrust, political and economic perspectives. Contains a search tool and table of contents to find resources and links.

National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty
Statistics on the homeless, links, public policy, child abuse, health, job training, minimum wage and more.

Institute for Justice
A law firm site with helpful online resources.

Association of Trial Lawyers of America
Some free access to resources. Others are members only.

National Court Reporters Association (NCRA)

National Women's Law Center
A great resource with tips, research and news stories on a variety of topics, including sexual harassment, athletics, women in the military and more.

National Resources Defense Council
Environmental issues

Student Press Law Center
Legal issues facing high school and college students.

Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund

 


 

Law Journals and News

Legal Journals Online
A listing of hundreds of journals from all over the world.

National Law Journal

Findlaw.com
Legal publications and state/local bar association information.

Findlaw News

Law.com: Law News by State

NPR: Justice Talking
Debates, polls, resources on justice issues.

Findlaw?s Breaking Documents Newsletter
A free e-mail newsletter updating journalists on the availability of public documents used in big, breaking news stories (Enron, war on terrorism, etc.)

The Business Lawyer
An online business law magazine from the American Bar Association.

National Law Journal: Survey of the 250 Largest Law Firms
Contact information for more than 25,000 attorneys.

University Law Review: Search Law Journals
Links, listings and search.

The Internet Lawyer
A super site! Columns and articles, resource page and more.

JUSTINFO
An electronic newsletter sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, provides the latest criminal justice news, information, services, and publications.

The Jurist: Terrorism Law & Policy Guide
The legal education and information portal at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, has posted an online guide to Terrorism Law & Policy. The guide features breaking news, U.S. policy documents, Executive Orders and federal legislation, academic commentary and an extensive bibliography.

Truth in Justice
A private investigations site with several recent case studies, news stories, trend pieces, related links, a discussion forum and more. A great resource.

Law.com Newswire
Updated several times a day with great stories.

Nolo.com
A super legal site.

CNN.com's Law Page
Several good trend pieces, some breaking news.

Legal Affairs Magazine
Launched April 2002, this magazine covers the law, lawyers, and legal issues for general-interest readers and professionals. It will be published six times a year as an independent, non-profit enterprise affiliated with Yale Law School.

Law.com's Law Student Page
Legal news, business news and more.

Medical Liability Monitor
A monthly online publication on trends and issues in medical malpractice.

LLRX.com
Bills itself as "the premier free web-zine on research and technology related issues for the legal community.

LLRX.com 9-11 Legal Site

Jeff Flax's Super Legal Links Page

JustInfo Newsletter
An online newsletter sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice.

 


 

Government Sites

SEC Law
Securities legal resource includes message boards, links to other sites, bookstore and more.

National Center for State Courts
Links to state appellate, circuit and county courts Web sites organized by states.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
The official government site has a myriad of resources, including a way to track the status of patents and trademarks pending.

Bureau of Justice Statistics Jail Population Study
Study: More than 6.5 million adults were jailed, on probation or on parole at the end of last year, a record-high number that represents 3.1 p of the country's total population or 1 of every 32 adults. Look up your state.

Library of Congress: A Century of Law Making
Annals of the House and Senate, bills and resolutions.

Library of Congress: Religion and the Government
Takes effect October 2002.

 


 

Cyberspace Law

LegalTech

Cyberspace Law and Regulation

UCLA Cyberspace Law and Policy

Intellectual Property and Technology Forum
Boston College Law School site offers current news and in-depth articles on intellectual property and technology law.

Publishing Law Center
Links and articles on intellectual property and legal issues..

Ethics In Technology
A journal that touches on a wide range of issues, from media to hacker to medical ethics.

Poynter.org: Online Journalism Ethics -- A New Frontier

Poynter.org: Journalist Fred Mann on Cyber-Ethics

Stop Carnivore Site
An ACLU tool that outlines legislation to stop FBI's use of privacy-invading software.

TechnoLawyer Community
Free subscriptions to TechnoRelease Tuesdays.

Treatment Advocacy Center
Studies on mental illness, treatments, and various laws and legal interpretations.

 


 

Copyright Law

Internet Law Library
A free collection of articles, statutes, cases and resources on Internet issues such as copyright law, trademark law, domain name law, cookies, data retrieval, etc.

U.S. Copyright Office

Copyright Renewals

Copyright FAQ

American Society of Media Photographers' Copyright Page

GigaLaw.com

Copyright Attorney's List

 


 

Miscellaneous Sites

Florida State: Duties of a Courthouse Reporter
Journalist Craig Pittman offers great advice on walking a beat.

Criminal Justice Links
Florida State University School of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

TheSmokingGun.com
Tips for filing FOIAs, "Document of the Week."

The Stanford University School of Law
The school's site has full-text complaints, summaries and briefs on securities class action complaints.

Guide to Antitrust Resources on the Web
Dedicated to competition and antitrust in the Law & Legal Services industry.

Glossary Agent
Description: Glossary Agent(tm) is an expanding, focused gateway to online monolingual, bilingual, and multilingual glossaries in insurance and related fields such as law and finance. Topics include environmental protection, finance, health care, information technology, insurance, law, medicine, safety, transportation and weather.

IRE and NICAR: Legal Databases
There is a fee for the legal databases.

U.S. DOT: Fatal Accident Reporting System Database
This links to details and samples of the data. NICAR charges for the full database. The data covers 1975-2001 and contains information on automobile accidents on public U.S. roads that resulted in the death of one or more people within 30 days of the accident.

Public International Law
A good site from an Australian law professor.

DogBiteLaw.com
Developed by an attorney specializing in dog bites, this is an extensive research site for dog bite victims, dog owners, parents, journalists and others. Covers topics such as the legal rights of victims, how to protect children, and other aspects of the dog bite epidemic.

 

Cool Sites for Lawyers

PBS Frontline: Criminal Justice
A collection of companion Web sites on various crime, legal system and justice topics.

Tobacco Links
Dozens of links in alphabetical order about pro and anti-smoking, farming, etc.

Justice for All

The Federal Access Board
Agency that writes the regulations dealing with disabled access.

The Lindbergh Case

Virtual Courthouse Resources
Links, tips and other resources from the Los Angeles Superior Court.

Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act
Takes effect October 2002.

Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's Shelter
Information and opinion that can be useful to a journalist researching violence against women including theory and statistics and specific cases, custody and access, legal aid, women's equality.

Stanford University: Prison Experiment
An online tour of a 1971 psychology experiment on California college students sent to prison. Photos, video, background. Interesting research.

LLRX: Clustering With Search Engines

LLRX: Latest Links
An archive of reviews of legal sites.

MyLemon.com
The site contains an informative guide to the lemon law as well as answers to frequently asked questions. Focuses on New Jersey and Pennsylvania law, but it has helpful resources for anyone.

Purportal.com
This site can quickly assist you in sorting the myths from the half-truths and the actual facts. The site consists of database search engines to check keywords from e-mails you have received, the latest headlines on hoaxes, special reports on 9-11 misinformation, and links to official and commercial sites on fraud, hoaxes and scams.

LLRX.com: 9-11-2001 Related News and Legal/Legislative Resources
This site is updated daily.

Newsaic
Legal issues behind TV shows.

LemonLaw.com
Laws on auto purchasing.

Overlawyered.com
This site chronicles the high cost of the legal system.

Police Foundation Research Brief: Catching Career Criminals

The Florida Medical Malpractice Web Site
Focuses on medical malpractice matters, primarily from a Florida perspective, but also contains info of more national interest. Handy for looking up malpractice information about doctors.

University of Texas Law and Politics Internet Guide

JusticeLink

LawMall
A collection of legal links for lawyers and people not associated with the legal system.

Web Journal of Current Legal Issues
Site from the UK.

Capital Defense Network
The ultimate resource for federal death penalty defense practitioners.

CivicMind.com
Civic resources for lawyers and journalists.

Equal Justice Network
An information source for lawyers and advocates involved in providing legal assistance to low-income people.

Military Law and Justice

IJ.org Media Links
Links to stories and cases of national and local interest. Great place to look for offbeat trend stories. Also has a media center, other links.

CrimeLynx.com
Legal resource center with expert links, policy and research links.

National Coalition Against Censorship

Sports Law Links
Some great resources from Professor Walter T. Champion, Jr., author of Fundamentals of Sports Law and Sports Law in a Nutshell.

Multimedia and Entertainment Law Online News (MELON)

AndreaCampbell.com
A forensic scientist, Campbell will soon have a book out, "Legal Ease: A Guide to Criminal Law, Evidence and Procedure" and is offers contact information as a source at her Web site.

Medicine Malpractice Links
Part of the Electric Law Library.

Index of State Malpractice Laws

Malpractice Litigation News

SafeShopping.org: Tips
Tips on online shopping safety tips from the American Bar Association.

Dog Bite Law Center

PetMotion.com Pet Laws

CDC: Dog Bite Fatalities Study

ElderWeb.com
This site offers legal, insurance and medical advice (regional and national) for people facing elder-care options.

Mother Jones.com Prisons Study

Americans for Gun Safety
Special interest group that offers studies, listings of state laws, a firearms glossary and more.

Lemon Law America
Lists legal rights for car buyers.

Chicago Council of Lawyers
Evaluations of judicial candidates and much more.

Oklahoma State Court Network
Search legal files from divorces, civil, criminal and every document filed at the court clerk by date. You can search by last name, first name, case number.

NRA: State Gun Laws
Use this image map to check gun laws state by state.

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