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Legal Research 2: CJUS 2003: Home

This LibGuide covers websites on case law and library databases with law review articles.


Articles from legal journals—including many law school reviews—are available in library databases like Academic Search Complete and ProQuest. HeinOnline has original PDFs of Supreme Court cases.


To log into a library database, use your username—not your entire e-mail address—and password.

Table of Contents

Case Law Sources

FindLaw is a well-respected website covering legal topics. It has the text of state and federal laws, legal decisions on cases, and a lot more. Their Laws and Court Decisions portal has cases and codes for states and federal jurisdictions. Findlaw for Legal Professionals has content oriented towards those who work or study in law.


Google Scholar offers ways to search case law. You can either go to Google Scholar, select "Case law," and do a search or you can go directly to their case law search interface. You can search for keywords—like abortion or second amendment—or you could search for the names of cases, like dred scott or new york times. Search results can usually be filtered by year on the left; results will include the text of the decision, a suggested Bluebook citation, and a link to later cases citing the result. Google Scholar's digital version of cases includes page numbers, and it's also easy to copy the cases' text in this version, rather than some PDF versions.


Legal Citations

Legal citations are noticeably different from APA or MLA styles. Legal citation is generally taken from The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation. The call number for the Library's copy is Ref KF 245 B 58 2020.

The Bluebook

Bluebook citation style requires both parallel citation and exact page numbers. ("Parallel citation" just means you list all the ways the case has been published and cited.) The Cornell Legal Information Institute offers extensive, authorative information on legal citation practices. Following are some examples.


The U.S. Constitution:

U.S. Const. art. I § 9, cl. 2.

U.S. Const. amend. XIV, § 2.

U.S. Const. art. III, §§ 1-2.


A Supreme Court case:

Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483, 74 S. Ct. 686, 98 L. Ed. 873 (1954).

Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, 93 S. Ct. 705, 35 L. Ed. 2d 147 (1973).

Citizens United v. Federal Election Com'n, 558 U.S. 310, 130 S. Ct. 876, 175 L. Ed. 2d 753 (2010).


A federal case:

Atlantic Richfield Co. v. FEA, 429 F. Supp. 1052 (N.D. Cal. 1976).

ACLU of Mass. v. U.S. Conf. of Cath. Bishops, 705 F.3d 44 (1st Cir. 2013).


Other Legal Resources

Case Law Access Project from Harvard Law School—They say their goal is "to make all published U.S. court decisions freely available to the public online, in a consistent format, digitized from the collection of the Harvard Law School Library."

Stanford University libraries' Copyright & Fair Use website—provides copyright opinions, charts and tools, overviews, and codes and statutes on copyright and fair use.

Justia—A free legal research portal including an LGBTQ Legal Resource Center and a site covering Sports Law.

Oyez—Audio recordings of Supreme Court arguments. A 'multimedia archive' of 'the most complete and authoritative source for all of the Supreme Court’s audio since ... 1955,' including 'transcript-synchronized and searchable audio, plain-English case summaries, illustrated decision information, and full-text Supreme Court opinions.'

PACER—Public Access to Court Electronic Records. Its mission is "to provide the public with the broadest possible access to court records and to foster greater public understanding of the court system." It is funded through user fees.