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Free Internet Legal Research: Home

This guide is designed to direct you to resources for conducting free online legal research.


This guide is designed to present alternatives to fee-based research databases.  In practice you may not have access to subscription databases or you may be working for a client that will not pay for research time and fees, but there are many free legal research resources available online now.  Consult this guide for links to free primary and secondary resources.

Need Help? Ask a Librarian

If you have questions or need a resource recommendation, consult a law librarian.  The reference librarians at the law library are available to assist with your research questions.   Additionally, the Cook County Law Library on the 29th floor of the Daley Center (118 N. Clark St, Chicago) is open to the public and is staffed by knowledgeable law librarians.

How to Do Free Internet Legal Research (video)

Research Strategy

The key to being an effective researcher is to develop a plan.  Regardless of whether you are using free or fee based resources, your strategy should remain the same.  If you don't know where to start or when to stop, consult this chart. 

Request a Research Appointment

Need more help? Reference librarians are available to meet with students in one-on-one sessions (or in small groups) to discuss research strategies, recommend relevant resources or review specific topics of legal research. 

Contact with the subject you're researching and when you would like to meet. A librarian will get back to you to set up an appointment. You can also schedule an appointment on the library homepage by clicking "Schedule an Online Research Appointment." We ask that you request your appointment at least 2 days in advance, but remember that you can always stop by the reference desk for immediate help with a quick research question.