Home > Sol Blatt Jr. Law Library > Research Resources > Free Internet Legal Resources

Free Internet Legal Resources Portal


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Admiralty and Maritime Law

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Bar Associations

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Business Information

  • Bloomberg
    Freely access financial news from around the world and find company "snapshots," tracing stock price, company news, profits, and outlook.

  • The Business Journals
    This site offers breaking business news, user can choose market area covered from a drop-down menu of locations.
  • Department of Labor
    The U.S. Department of Labor's website offers assistance with disability resources, hiring, the Affordable Care Act, equal employment opportunity, and compliance assistance, along with many other topics.

    EDGAR (the Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system), makes available the data which publicly-traded companies include in the forms  they are required to file with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • Moody's Investor Service
    Although an account is required to access many of the offerings of this venerable bond credit rating service, users may freely access ratings highlights and news, special topics, the United States fiscal outlook and the weekly market outlook according to Moody's.
    Official site of the NASDAQ Stock Market featuring free real-time stock quotes, stock exchange prices, stock market news, and online stock trading tools.
  • New York Stock Exchange
    Follow the market in real time.
  • Securities and Exchange Commission
    The website of the SEC contains information for investors, brokers, accountants, EDGAR filers, and small businesses. Access the laws and regulations under which the SEC operates.
  • Standard & Poor's
    One of the big three credit rating agencies, Standard & Poor's website offers other free financial information services. You can follow the Dow Jones in Europe, Asia and the US, and track stock performance and commodities indices. You must be a registered user to access ratings, but registration is free.
  • Zoom Info
    Obtain official information about businesses, including business organization filings, certificates of good standing, UCC secured transactions, IRS tax liens, trademarks, bankruptcies and civil litigation. The site allows you to search for a business and obtain basic information about it for free .

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Charleston and Charleston County

  • Charleston County Government
    Search deeds, mortgages, plats and state, federal and UCC liens. Pay taxes online or search records for real and personal property. Search court records, the current inmates at the sheriff’s office, and the Master-in-Equity’s foreclosure auction list.
  • City of Charleston
    Access city council meeting minutes, business license information, municipal court records and dockets, and find out what business loans are available through the city.
  • Post & Courier
    Read the local news online and search the paper's archives.

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City and County Codes

  • American Legal Publishing: Online Llibrary 
    Includes a collection of South Carolina codes for : Blythewood, Camden, Dillon, Edgefield County, Folly Beach, Folly Beach (Meeting Minutes), Goose Creek, Greenville County (Code), Greenville County (Meeting Minutes), Kingstree Frames, Mt. Pleasant, Newberry County, Prosperity, Richland County, South Congaree, West Columbia, and York County.
  • Codes.gov
    Public.resource.org's comprehensive repository of current and archived municipal and state safety and administrative codes.  The directory structure takes some getting used to. 
  • Municode
    City code links from around the U.S. from the Municipal Code Corporation, many from the state of South Carolina. Click on "Browse the Library" to search for free.

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Federal Government Information Resources

  • Indigenous Law Portal
    Mapped constitutions, legal materials and legislative documents of American Indians as well as Native Hawaiian. Provides a wide array of descriptions of indigenous peoples of the Americas and connects their culture, history, and lives of the indigenous law classification. Also may serve as an extensive study aid for tribal studies of Americans

  • National Criminal Justice Reference Service
    Federally funded clearinghouse offering justice and substance abuse information.

  • OECD statistics
    The mission of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world. The OECD provides a forum in which governments can work together to share experiences and seek solutions to common problems.

  • Office of the Federal Register
    Access to Federal laws and proposed and final regulations, updated daily.

  • OpenCongress.org
    Information about members of Congress (including voting records, congressional committees, and pending legislation), provided by the public interest group.  A mixture of official information and opinion.

  • Regulations.gov
    Access point to proposed and final U.S. government agency rules and decisions.  Allows public comment on proposed rules.

  • SciTech Connect
    Public connection to science, technology, and engineering research information from the U.S. Department of Energy.

  • The White House
    Current presidential documents, press releases, executive orders.

  • Thomas
    Locate federal legislative documents: bill texts, committee reports, public laws, link to the Congressional Record.  Most materials are available from 1989 to date.

  • UNdata
    Data access system to UN databases. The United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) launched a new internet based data service for the global user community. It brings UN statistical databases within easy reach of users through a single entry point (http://data.un.org/). Users can now search and download a variety of statistical resources of the UN system

  • U.S. Courts : The Federal Judiciary
    Official site of the federal courts.  Links to all federal courts, court rules and rule amendments, as well as the federal court locator and PACER.

  • U.S. House of Representatives
    Find your Representative, track current House activity, link to the U.S. Code, votes on bills, and committee websites.
  • U.S. House of Representatives Video Feed
    Streaming video feeds of House floor proceedings, back to the beginning of the 111th Congress.
  • U.S. Senate
    Current legislative activity, roll call votes, and treaty status information as well as historical information on the U.S. Senate and links to all Senate committees.
  • USA.gov
    The U.S. Government's Official Web Portal provides links to an A to Z agency list and federal, state, local and tribal governments. 
  • Wolfram Alpha
    Computational answer generator.

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Find an Attorney

  • Find a Lawyer
    A service of the North Carolina State Bar, this site provides a listing of attorneys certified as specialists, a listing of licensed attorneys, and a listing compiled by the North Carolina Association of Trial Lawyers.
  • Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directory
    Search for attorneys in the U.S. and abroad.
  • North Carolina Lawyers Referral Service
    This service maintains a listing of attorneys who have agreed to limit the cost of the initial consultation. It does not make referrals to attorneys who will work pro bono.
  • South Carolina Bar
    The South Carolina Bar Lawyer Referral Service is a public service of the South Carolina Bar offered by telephone and online. It maintains a listing of attorneys who have agreed to limit the cost of the initial consultation.

  • South Carolina Legal Services
    South Carolina Legal Services provides free legal services in a wide variety of civil (non-criminal) legal matters to eligible low income residents of South Carolina.

  • West Legal Directory via Findlaw
    Search for attorneys nationwide.

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International Law

  • African Human Rights Case Law Analyser
    From the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, established by the Organization of African Unity, this database allows you to view human rights cases filed and decided in various African countries. Provides case summaries, authorities cited, and listings of the sections of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights which were alleged to have been violated.
  • Archive of European Integration
    The Archive of European Integration (AEI) is an electronic repository and archive for research materials on the topic of European integration and unification. The AEI collects two types of materials, dating from the 20th and 21st centuries: independently-produced research materials and official European Community/European Union documents.
  • ASIL Electronic Resource Guide
    The Electronic Resource Guide, often called the ERG, is used by students, teachers, practitioners, and researchers as a self-guided tour of relevant, quality, up-to-date online resources covering important areas of international law. The ERG also serves as a ready-made teaching tool at graduate and undergraduate levels.
  • Audiovisual Library of International Law
    This useful, but slow-to-load, United Nations resource comprises historic archives, a lecture series, and a research library of international law sources.
    The British equivalent of Cornell's LII, this site offers free access to British and Irish case law & legislation, European Union case law, Law Commission reports, and other law-related British and Irish material.
  • Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations
    Search for British and other international legal abbreviations to identify publication titles.
  • CIA World Factbook
    Provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities. References tab includes: maps of the major world regions, as well as Flags of the World, a Physical Map of the World, a Political Map of the World, a World Oceans map, and a Standard Time Zones of the World map.
  • Council of Europe Venice Commission
    The Council's CODICES database reports on the case law of constitutional courts in Europe and on the case law of the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Community.

  • Curia
    Official website of the Court of Justice of the European Union and its constituent courts. Provides access to information about the Court of Justice, the General Court (formerly the Court of First Instance of the European Communities), and the Civil Service Tribunal. Includes the full text of judgements, orders, opinions and notices, and allows searching of cases from the courts.
  • Death Penalty Worldwide Database
    Provides up-to-date analysis on the law and practice of capital punishment for every country in the world that retains it.

  • EIU Country Reports
    The Economist Intelligence Unit country reports discuss the economic and political aspects of the countries of the world. Requires free registration.

  • European Union
    Official website of the European Union.
  • FLARE Index to Treaties
    This site indexes more than 1500 multilateral treaties, beginning in 1856. It allows searching for treaties by keywords, title, and the year and the place the treaty was concluded. Many of the search results link to the web version of the treaty and EISIL and note where the treaty can be found in print.
  • Foreign Information by Country
    The University of Colorado at Boulder has collected a wealth of information on each of the countries of the world.
  • Gender Jurisprudence and International Criminal Law Project
    The centerpiece of this project is the Gender Jurisprudence Collections (GJC), a powerful database containing more than 26,000 documents, including judgments, decisions, and orders issued by international/ized criminal courts and tribunals, and made easily searchable for issues relating to sexual and gender-based violence.

  • Human Rights Chamber for Bosnia Herzegovina
    The Human Rights Chamber is a judicial body established under Annex 6 to the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Dayton Peace Agreement) The Chamber has the order to consider alleged or apparent violations of human rights as provided in the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights. A link from the home page leads the researcher to a search page for the Chamber's decisions.

  • International Court of Justice
    Includes cases dating back to 1947, two years after the Court was established.
  • Proceedings of the Old Bailey, 1674-1913
    A fully searchable database of the 197,745 criminal trials held at the Old Bailey, London's central criminal court.
  • UK Treaties Online
    Access details of over 14,000 treaties involving the UK.
  • United Nations
    The world body's website is a source of information on international conflicts, as well as a portal into international law. Locate U.N. Charter, resolutions, maps and other documents. 
  • United Nations Bibliographic Information System
    Catalogue of United Nations(UN) documents and publications. Included are commercial publications and other non-UN sources held in the collection of the Dag Hammarskjöld Library. The coverage of UNBISnet is from 1979 onward UNBISnet also provides instant access to a growing number of full text resources in the six official languages of the UN (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish), including resolutions adopted by the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the Security Council from 1946 onward.
  • United Nations Treaty Series
    Searchable database of treaties deposited with the UN and its predecessor organization, the League of Nations.
  • WIPO Lex
    "One-stop search facility for national laws and treaties on intellectual property (IP) of WIPO, WTO and UN Members."
  • WorldLII
    The World Legal Information Institute (WorldLII) provides a free source of primary legal materials (legislation and case law) for a comprehensive range of countries and jurisdictions worldwide. The service combines access to all materials held in the AustLII, AsianLII, BAILII, CanLII, CommonLII, CyLaw, NZLII, PacLII, SAFLII and HKLII resource systems. The Global Legal Information Network (GLIN) of the United States Law Library of Congress is also searchable on this site.

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Law Reviews

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Law Schools

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Legal Dictionaries

  • Law Dictionary
    Findlaw's free legal dictionary from Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law (1996).
  • Law Dictionary
    Law.com's free legal dictionary based on The People's Law Dictionary by Gerald and Kathleen Hill.

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 Legal History

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Legal News

  • Courthouse News Service
    May require a subscription for some pages.
  • Findlaw Top Legal Headlines
    Top legal news headlines and commentary.
  • Law.com
    News from the American Lawyer Media publications the National Law Journal, American Lawyer, Legal Times, New York Law Journal.  Archived articles require a subscription for full text access.

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Legal Research

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Legal Research Portals

  • Casetext
    This free research  site offers decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1 U.S. forward, decisions of the U.S. Circuit Courts from  1 F.2d forward, and of the U.S. District Courts from 500 F. Supp. forward. It crowd-sources commentary on the cases. Create a free login, and annotate cases yourself.
  • Cornell University Law Library Legal Research Engine 
    This portal to the portals allows users to search a variety of legal research guides from one search box, the legal internet from another and the academic blawgosphere from a third.
  • Courtport.com
    Offers access to "court case information, rules and forms, property, recordings, liens, criminal business, licensing/disciplinary, and people records." Unlimited free access is available to anyone with an e-mail address ending in ".edu." 
  • Findlaw
    One of the original legal web sites allows you to research the law, find an expert, browse legal news.
  • HG.org
    A portal for U.S. and International legal resources
  • Legal Information Institute
    Cornell Law School's legal information portal, with extensive state and federal legal resources.
  • LLRX.com
    Law Library Resource Xchange, a collection of legal research guides, tips, product reviews, technology updates.
  • OpenJurist.org
    Search the U.S. Code and more than 600,000 United States Supreme Court and United States Courts of Appeals opinions. United States Reports opinions through 2005 are available, and Federal Reporter 3rd opinions are current as of early 2007. Search by case name, citation or full-text searches.
  • Public Library of Law
    Free access to cases from the U.S. Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, all 50 states (from 1997-present), plus Federal statutory law, codes from all 50 states, constitutions, court rules, and regulations.
  • Washlaw
    The legal research portal developed by the Washburn University School of Law.

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  • College of Charleston Libraries
    From the main page, clicking on Guides will bring you to the librarians’ thoughtful and extensive collection of LibGuides. If you are a Friend of the Library, you can use the online library databases, which are otherwise password protected, in the library.
  • Daniel Library - The Citadel
    Of the multitude of databases that are displayed here, many are freely available to the public.
  • Law School Library and State Law Library Catalogs
    Connect to all the law school library and state law library catalogs from another excellent site maintained by the folks at Washburn University School of Law.
  • Medical University of South Carolina Library
    The MUSC library offers a wealth of medical material. While much of it is password-protected, many resources are freely available to the public. Go to http://musc.libguides.com/index.php to get plugged into the excellent series of research guides produced by the MUSC librarians.

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Litigation Resources

  • BitLaw
    BitLaw: a resource on technology and intellectual property law
  • Class Action Litigation Information
    Privately maintained site may provide useful class action litigation information.
  • Pipl
    Search the "deep web" for anyone in the United States.

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  • Chronicling America Historic American Newspapers
    This resource, from the Library of Congress, allows searching of historic newspaper pages from 1836-1922 or using the Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690 and the present.
  • Google News  
    Create your own news page, brought to you by Google.

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Practical Information for Law Students

  • ABA Law Student Website
    Contains job leads, internship postings, study aids and other career tools. In addition, the site offers law students free ABA membership, free membership to five ABA practice specialty groups, and free access to Quimbee study tools.

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  • Dictionary.com
    Search the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th ed. (2000) and Roget's New Millennium Thesaurus.
  • Merriam-Webster Online
    Search the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary or Thesaurus; dictionary has audio pronunciation feature.
  • Zip Codes
    Find a zip code through the U.S. Postal Service web site

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Scholarly Resources

  • Anglo-American Legal Tradition
    Site makes available 3,000,000 digitized images of documents from the U.K. National archives between the years 1218 and 1650. The documents include a wide range of series from both common law and equity courts and from the exchequer. The documents are relevant primarily to those engaged in legal, governmental, economic, religious, social, and local history.
  • Avalon Project
    From the Code of Hammurabi to the report of the 9/11 commission, this site, the creation of Yale Law School's Lillian Goldman Library, provides access to legal, historical, political and diplomatic documents from 4000 BCE to the 21st century.  Hotlinks to supporting documents and definitions enhance the collection's usefulness.
  • Econ Papers
    EconPapers provides access to RePEc, the world's largest collection of on-line Economics working papers, journal articles and software. 
  • ERIC Institute of Education Sciences
    Complete database on educational materials from the Education Resources Information Center.
  • ELS Bibliography
    Compiled and maintained by Cornell and UCLA law librarians, this bibliography of recent empirical legal research articles can be searched by author, title and subject.
  • English Reports, 1220 to 1873
    Free access to the English Reports from 1220-1873, available from the Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII). The English Reports database contains 124,882 cases. Full text searching is available.
  • Founders' Constitution
    Provides the historical documents which informed the drafting and administration of the U.S. Constitution from the early 17th century to the 1830's. 

  • Hathi Trust
    The Hathi Trust is a cosortium of research libraries, created to digitize and make accessible the collections held by those libraries. Many of the texts are unavailable for full text uses because of copyright restrictions; however, all the texts are open to searching inside the text, and the user is directed where to search for copies of the texts.

  • Leon E. Bloch Law Library Sir Edward Coke Collection
    Read and search digitized versions of the Institutes or the Reports of the famed 18th century British jurist.  From the University of Missouri Digital Library.
  • National Bureau of Economic Research
    The National Bureau of Economic Research is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization dedicated to promoting a greater understanding of how the economy works. Their research is conducted by more than 600 university professors around the country, the leading scholars in their fields.  NBER researchers initially report their findings in scientific papers aimed at other professional economists in academic institutions, business, government, and the business media around the world. Nearly 500 NBER Working Papers are published each year, and many subsequently appear in scholarly journals.
  • NELLCO Legal Scholarship Repository
    The NELLCO Legal Scholarship Repository provides free access to working papers, reports, lecture series, workshop presentations, and other scholarship created by faculty at NELLCO member schools.
  • PLos One 
    PLOS ONE is an international, peer-reviewed, open-access, online publication. PLOS ONE welcomes reports on primary research from any scientific discipline.
  • Policy Archive
    A comprehensive digital library of public policy research containing over 30,000 documents
  • Project Gutenberg
    Over 100,000 out-of-copyright titles from the first producer of free e-books.  Primarily literary titles, with a smattering of scientific works.
  • PsycINFO  
    Produced by the American Psychological Association, PsycINFO® is an expansive abstracting and indexing database with more than 3 million records devoted to peer-reviewed literature in the behavioral sciences and mental health, making it an ideal discovery and linking tool for scholarly research in a host of disciplines.
  • PubMed
    PubMed comprises more than 24 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites
  • Social Science Research Network Search scholarly legal articles in progress or already published, many downloadable for free.

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Search Engines

  • Ask.com
    Competent search engine has lost its annoying butler.
  • Search engine developed by librarians at New York Law School searches free legal resource databases selected by the librarians.

  • Google
    The search engine that's also a verb; try the advanced search page for more powerful searching.
  • Google Scholar
    Search Legal Opinions and Journals for free resources without the editorial enhancements of Wexis, but with a better search engine. 
  • IceRocket
    Social networking search engine.

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South Carolina Legal Research

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Specialty Practice Topics

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State Legal Research

  • Court Records Free Reference and Directory
    Contains useful information about every state and county court in the United States, and links to online court record search services.
  • New York Codes, Rules & Regulations
    The NYCRR primarily contains state agency rules and regulations adopted under the State Administrative Procedure Act (SAPA). The 22 Titles include one for each state department, one for miscellaneous agencies and one for the Judiciary.
  • Public.resource.org
    This public interest site publishes state and municipal public safety codes from every state.
  • Public Access to Court Records State Court Links
    From the National Center for State Courts, links to  court docket sheet databases in most of the states.  Annotations about each database allow you to preview  coverage and any special features, such as case notification services.
  • State Agency Databases
    This resource contains links to useful state agency databases for the 50 states plus the District of Columbia. Compiled by volunteers from the Government Documents Round Table (GODORT) of the American Library Association.
  • State Legislative History Research Guides On the Web
    Compiled by Jennifer Bryan Moore of the Indiana University School of Law Library - Bloomington, this guide provides links to legislative history research guides for all 50 states. 

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  • 2010 Census
    The 2010 federal count of the United States population offers statistics and interactive tools which allow relational searches.
  • American Fact Finder
    Provides a plethora of data about the American population, drawn from the 2010 census.

  • UnctadStat
    Statistical data on worldwide trade from the United Nations Commission on Trade and Development.

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United States Military Law 

  • Military Legal Resources
    Published by the U.S. Library of Congress, provides digital access to the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School Library's holdings

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United States Supreme Court

  • Findlaw's Supreme Court Center
    Search for U.S. Supreme Court opinions back to 1893 and find U.S. Supreme Court briefs beginning with the 1999-2000 term.

  • Oyez
    "...[A] complete and authoritative source for all audio recorded in the Court since the installation of a recording system in October 1955."