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Paralegal Studies

Legal Research Guides

  • How To Research a Legal Problem: a Guide for Non-Lawyers (AALL)
    This guide from the American Association of Law Libraries is a wonderfully succinct overview of how to go about legal research.
  • ABA LawInfo
    From the American Bar Association, this gateway site is intended for non-lawyers, but provides some good links to legal information. See "The Courts" and "Criminal Justice" links in particular.
  • Duhaime's Law Dictionary
    An online alternative to the usual general legal dictionaries, this site also provides links to dictionaries on particular legal topics (for example, criminal law).
  • FindLaw
    FindLaw is a free site of legal information for the general public. It's "Learn About the Law" section can help you learn the basics of certain legal subjects. To find information more relevant to legal professionals, look for the "Visit our professional site" link near the top right of your screen. There you will find research links and other handy resources.
  • Justia
    Justia, another free site for legal information, includes links to blogs and podcasts and a section on cases currently in the news. Near the bottom of its homepage are links to a group of useful "Key Legal Research Sites."
  • is part of ALM, the media company that publishes American Lawyer magazine. Aimed specifically at legal professionals, this site offers an extensive collection of legal news, including "special report" sections on current events, such as the Bernie Madoff proceedings.
  • Lexis One
    This option allows you to locate some free case law from the past ten years without the need for a Lexis password or account.
  • LII Legal Information Institute (Cornell)
    This reliable site is well-known to legal researchers who depend on free sources for legal information. It includes primary law (cases, statutes, rules and regulations) along with important secondary sources, which describe and explain the law.
    LLRX bills itself as a web journal providing all types of legal professionals with information about current technologies affecting them. It also provides some good research sources. See the "Legal Research" links near the top of the right-hand column on your screen.
  • Nolo
    This site is aimed at the general public but contains useful links for anyone learning about a new legal topic. See the "Free Legal Information" column at the left and the "Law Blogs" tab along the top of your screen.
  • Oyez (U.S. Supreme Court Media)
    The Oyez Project aims "to make the work of the Supreme Court of the United States accessible to everyone through text, images, audio, and video. " Here you will find court cases useful for your research, but also "fun" items such as photo tours of the Court and audio of the "Oyez!" call that opens the Court sessions.

Legal Research Websites

Law Library Resource Exchange (legal technology topics) -

HierosGamos (international legal research and resources portal) -

FindLaw (links to various legal sites) -

  • Includes federal and state government Web sites, university Web sites, and organizational Web sites.

The process of interpreting a statute, also known as "statutory construction," usually involves researching the Legislative History of the statute, which refers to the process of tracking the statute from proposal as a bill to signing of the legislation into law by the President and examining changes made by amendments, committee hearings, debates, etc. The Library of Congress has a detailed guide to performing Legislative History research for federal law.

Nolopedia, free online legal information from Nolo
PACER, Public Acccess to Court Electronic Records
  • Illinois General Assembly
    Illinois legislation, legislative history and administrative law.
    The legislative information Web site of the Library of Congress provides access to Congressional bills, Public Laws, and legislative history documents.
    The U.S. Government's official Web portal includes an A-Z listing of administrative agencies.
  • FDsys
    This Web site from the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) includes links to official government publications such as the CFR, Federal Register, and the U.S. Code.
  • United States Courts
    Provides links to the Web sites of all federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Circuit Court of Cook County
    General information, court calendars, and circuit court rules.
  • Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court
    Includes downloadable PDF court forms.
  • Illinois Secretary of State - Cyberdrive
    Portal to Secretary of State services and forms (including corporate forms) and the Illinois Register (chronological Illinois administrative law publication).
  • Cornell University's Legal Information Institute
    Links to federal and state legal information, including the U.S. Code, as well as Wex, the collaboratively-created online legal encyclopedia/dictionary.
  • FindLaw
    Links to various state and federal legal information resources and legal forms.
  • Law Library Resource Exchange
    Articles on legal technology topics.
  • Electronic Information System for International Law
    A Web site from the American Society of International Law which provides "primary materials, authoritative web sites and helpful research guides to international law on the Internet."

Welcome to InSITE, a current awareness service of Cornell Law Library. InSITE highlights selected law-related World Wide Web sites in two ways: as an annotated publication issued electronically and in print; and as a keyword-searchable database.

The law librarians at Cornell evaluate potentially useful Web sites, select the most valuable ones, and provide commentary and subject access to them.

Dictionaries and Glossaries

  • Dictionary
    Attributed to Gerald and Kathleen Hill,'s Dictionary can be searched in 3 different ways: enter a legal term, search the definitions, or browse by first letter of a word or phrase.
  • Jurist's Legal Dictionaries
    Jurist's browsable dictionary of basic U.S. legal terminology focuses on legal procedure. This site provides links to, to an int'l law dictionary and sources of interest to 1Ls.
  • Everybody's Legal Glossary's Legal Glossary contains plain-English definitions for hundreds of legal terms. There is a search feature. May also browse terms.
  • Glossary of Legal Terms
    This site is maintained by LexisNexis and is based on the list of 10,000 works in Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law (2000). There is a pronunciation key provided on some entries.
  • FindLaw's Practice Area Definitions
    FindLaw provides a reference guide to selected personal and business legal issues.
  • U.S. Court's Commonly Used Terms

Law Library of Congress: Research Reports

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