This guide provides an overview of California and federal legal resources available for free online.
Free legal resources are available through many sources including:
- Government websites: The U.S. Government Publishing Office's govinfo website provides free online access to a wide range of federal materials. Additionally, many government entities provide access to their own materials, such as Congress's Congress.gov website or the California state courts' Official Reports Public Access website.
- Law libraries: Many law libraries provide free access to print materials, specialized online legal databases, and sometimes free scans of print materials.
- Unofficial websites: Many non-profit and for profit organizations make legal materials available for free online. Be cautious when using online materials that are not from a government website, because they may not be reliable or up-to-date. Major players include the Cornell Legal Information Institute, Google's case and patent collections, and Justia, OpenJurist, and FindLaw.