The best resources for legal research

The best resources for legal research

November, 24, 2010 • Posted by 0 Comments

Are you researching a legal problem or assignment?  Here’s a list and links to the best resources on the web for legal research, including both paid legal research sources and free legal research sources.

Paid legal resources

Although we’ve listed these as paid, you’ll likely have access to them if you have an Athens password. If you haven’t got an Athens password, consider doing a law course with the Open University – costing from about £700 a year, you’ll get access to some of the best online legal databases available, included with the price of your course (some otherwise costing around £5,000 a year each to access)*.

  • ABC Clio – around 600 ebooks including some decent law titles.
  • HeinOnline has more than 50 million pages of content – it mainly covers US law, but increasingly UK journals are being included.
  • Lawtel is another pick from our top four, providing case law, PI quantum reports, statutory law, SIs, parliamentary bills, command papers, practice directions and an index of articles from law journals.
  • LexisLibrary (previously LexisNexis Butterworths) is another of the top law research databases, providing access to UK and EU legislation, cases (including the All England Reports) and journals.
  • Westlaw – almost needs no introduction, one of our top 4 law research sources with legislation, cases and law journals for the UK, EU and the US.

Free legal resources

  • If you need extra sources and you’ve bought from Amazon before, you’ll be able to ‘search inside’ their books – giving you access to thousands of law books to use as sources, for free!
  • The British and Irish Legal Information Institute offers access to freely available British and Irish public legal information. Their homepage has a great list of international law resources too.
  • Delia Venables has a great list of legal research resources on the web.
  • EUR-lex – the essential website for research on European Union law.
  • Try Google Books for access to thousands of free law books.
  • WLR daily – free 24 hour service from the Royal Courts of Justice and European Court of Justice, summarising the most important updates from the House of Lords, the Privy Council, the Court of Appeal and all divisions of the High Court.

*Please check which resources are included with your course before enrolling.