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About Free Legal Resources
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.
This guide was originally created by Caitlin Hunter in 2018 and is regularly updated by the library staff.