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Free and Low Cost Resources for Legal Research: Advanced Google Searching

When you don't have access to Westlaw or Lexis, use these free or low cost resources for legal research

Search Operators

  • Full list
  • Exact phrase “”
  • Excluded words –
  • Similar words ~
  • Proximity operator
    • Around(n)
    • n = number between 1 and 32
  • Site specific
    • "global warming” site:edu
    • "global warming” site:pace.edu
  • Cached versions of websites
    • cache:URL

   

Google Tools

Google Scholar Legal Opinions & Journals

Google Scholar includes an option that allows you to search legal opinions and journals.  It includes opinions for U.S. state appellate and supreme court cases since 1950, U.S. federal district, appellate, tax and bankruptcy courts since 1923, and U.S. Supreme Court cases since 1791.  In addition, it includes citations for cases cited by indexed opinions or journal articles which allows you to find influential cases (usually older or international) which are not yet online or publicly available.

The advanced search option lets you limit your search to a particular jurisdiction.  To find cases by name, limit your search to the title.

When searching for law reviews, the title is usually linked to a paid resource like HeinOnline or JSTOR.  To find free versions, click the link on the right, or the "View all versions" link under the citation and summary.

Save to "My Library" by clicking the "save" link under an article or opinion.

Google Book Search

Use Find in a Library link to find a book in a local library.

Add books to your personal library.

Google Patent Search

Google patents searches the PTO site and foreign patent registration sites.

Google Search Features

Tips for Searching Google