U.S. Legal Resources
on the Internet
Copyright 1996-2015 Ronald B. Standler
Table of Contents
resources for students:
- U.S. Federal Government
- U.S. Congress
- U.S. Courts
- U.S. Federal Law
- U.S. Constitution
- Federal Statutes
- Code of Federal Regulations, Federal Register
- Federal Rules for Courts
- Professional Responsibility
Search & Seizure Law (Fourth Amendment)
Collections of Links
This document contains my collection of links to legal resources on the Internet.
Because I am licensed to practice law only in Massachusetts, I have collected state
resources only for Massachusetts.
This collection of links is intended for use by students and professors, for scholarly research.
I strongly urge litigants to hire an experienced attorney, instead of arguing their own case,
Attorneys who do online research often use WestLaw,
which is an expensive, proprietary database that contains full-text of all reported
cases in state and federal courts in the USA, and all current state and federal statutes,
together with a powerful search engine.
Because I use Westlaw,
I have not collected links to free copies of court opinions.
Because I nearly always work from primary sources (i.e., statutes and judicial opinions)
— I sometimes also cite articles in law reviews —
I have not collected links to websites with legal topics.
The emphasis in this collection of links is to maintain a relatively small collection of
links to either (1) authoritative sources of documents on U.S. law or
(2) excellent collections of links to American legal resources. I have posted at
a separate collection of links to resources on
German law, legal history, and international law.
Readers who are unfamiliar with law libraries and legal citation style may find my handout at
1. U.S. Federal Government
U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) homepage
has official copies of
Congressional reports, U.S. Code, Code Federal Regulations,
Federal Register, etc.
of online government documents
National Archives & Records Administration (NARA)
Consumer Price Index (CPI)
Kitco gold prices since 1833
(for extending inflation data back before the CPI) -- not a U.S. Government website
- Copyright Office homepage
- Copyright Forms
- list of designated agents 17 U.S.C. § 512(c)
- Copyright Office Appeals Board Decisions since 1995
(unique Internet resource posted by Franklin Pierce Law School IP Mall)
- My collection of links for music copyright in the USA.
- Copyright renewal search at
Copyright Office only since Jan 1978; —
(books published in the US between 1923 and 1963:
Restored copyrights 17 U.S.C. §104A GATT (May 1996 to Aug 1998)
Federal Communications Commission homepage
Federal Trade Commission homepage
Patent & Trademark Office homepage
U.S. Patent search
Federal Criminal Justice
Department of Justice homepage
U.S. Postal Inspection Service
U.S. Secret Service
my collection of links for reporting computer crime
1.B. U.S. Congress
U.S. House Of Representatives homepage
U.S. Senate homepage
Library of Congress homepage
congress.gov homepage (formerly "Thomas: Legislative Information")
previous day's Daily Digest of the Congressional Record
Congressional Record, transcript of proceedings on floor of the U.S. Congress
search Congressional Record
Congressional Record Index alternate URL
view a specific page in Adobe PDF
browse by day at GPO
previous day's Daily Digest of the Congressional Record at GPO
legislative histories for selected U.S. statutes,
website of Law Librarians' Society of Washington, D.C.
Includes: Copyright Act of 1976 and Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998
Biographies of all
members of U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate since 1774.
1.C. U.S. Federal Courts
U.S. Supreme Court homepage
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for 1st Circuit
U.S. District Court for Massachusetts
Federal Judicial Center
Federal Judiciary homepage
biographies of all federal judges since 1789
1.D. U.S. Federal Law
Core Documents of U.S. Democracy
has U.S. Constitution and many other documents (from GPO)
Constitution in ASCII text and PDF (from GPO)
Amendments in PDF (from U.S. House of Representatives)
Constitution with terse
explanation of each paragraph (from U.S. Senate)
Annotated U.S. Constitution
prepared by the Congressional Research Service in the Library of Congress.
The Constitution, and especially its first six Amendments, is terse and the full meaning is
interpreted in decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court. For that reason, it is helpful to have
a scholarly annotation of the Constitution, with citations to the Court's decisions.
Do not overlook library books on constitutional law, just because those books are not
freely available on the Internet! Two widely used law textbooks on this subject are:
For a list of federal court cases interpreting the U.S. Constitution, see the first 17 volumes
of the U.S. Code Annotated, which is published by West Publishing Company.
- Ronald D. Rotunda and John E. Nowak, Treatise on Constitutional Law.
- Laurence H. Tribe, American Constitutional Law.
U.S. Federal Statutes
U.S. Code (from Government Printing Office)
U.S. Code (from House of Representatives)
Title 17 of U.S. Code (from Copyright Office with their endnotes
and their presentation of amendments since 1976).
U.S. Statutes at Large
The Statutes at Large are used mostly for historical research. Printed volumes are available
in every law school library.
1995-current (from GPO/NARA)
(from Library of Congress)
C.F.R. & Federal Register
Code of Federal Regulations (from GPO/NARA)
Federal Register (from GPO/NARA)
The Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, Civil Procedure, and Evidence are statutes,
part of 28 U.S.C. The Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure are statutes,
part of 18 U.S.C.
Federal Rules in PDF (from House of Representatives, Judiciary Committee).
Also available from the Government Printing Office
The Legal Information Institute at
Cornell University has HTML versions
of all five sets of Federal Rules, including a useful Overview of each set of rules.
2. Commonwealth of Massachusetts
A. Massachusetts Statutes
Massachusetts Secretary of State
E. Attorney Regulation
links to Massachusetts legal resources
by law libraries
Massachusetts Laws (commercial website)
- Boston College
- Boston University
- Harvard Law School
- New England School of Law
- Social Law Library in the John Adams courthouse in Boston
- Suffolk Univ. Law School
Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly newspaper
3. Professional Responsibility
Professional Responsibility in the USA denotes the legal rules that regulate
conduct of lawyers. including punishment such as disbarment.
The rules of Professional Responsibility are promulgated by each state's
Legal ethics is a related topic that denotes how lawyers should
behave, even if not required.
The American Bar Association
Center for Professional Responsibility
publishes the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, which are the basis for
the legal rules adopted in most states.
American Bar Association
to Legal Ethics & Professional Responsibility
The Massachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct are given
Cornell Legal Ethics Library
ended March 2013, but old documents still available.
by Peter Krakaur and Professor David Hricik of Mercer University School of Law
Resources for Students:
PDF copies of Fourth Amendment cases
at U.S. Supreme Court. For Criminal Procedure Class taught by Prof. Carlton Bailey at Univ. Arkansas
School of Law.
Search and Seizure by John Wesley Hall, Jr.,
a trial lawyer in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Prof. Joel Samaha at the University of Minnesota
has posted a collection of documents including briefs, transcripts, arguments, opinions, and contemporary newspaper accounts of the
U.S. Supreme Court cases in Olmstead, Katz, White, Miller, and Kullo.
Search & Seizure by Prof. Tom O'Connor, Ph.D. at North Carolina
Wesleyan College. A terse summary of Fourth Amendment law.
FindLaw Resources, arranged by practice area.
arranged by practice area.
Cornell Legal Information Institute
was one of the first collections of legal information on the Internet.
CourtTV has a collection of documents
in highly publicized cases in the USA since about 1990.
The Smoking Gun has documents on
crimes by celebrities or politicians.
Avalon Project at Yale Law School has
copies of documents in law, history, and diplomacy.
Collections of Links
U.S. Court of Appeals for 7th Circuit Library's links
Library of Congress law links to federal, state, and foreign law
American Bar Association, Legal Technology Resource Center
Jurist, legal news with links to sources,
a website supervised by Prof. Bernard J. Hibbitts at the Univ. of Pittsburgh Law School
New York links
Links at Law Schools
Librarians in law schools often post a collection of links at the library website, of which the
following are particularly noteworthy. These links are presented alphabetically by the name of
the law school, city, or state.
Boston University Law Research Guides
Emory Law School Electronic Reference Desk
Franklin Pierce Law Center library links
FPLC Intellectual Property Mall (click on "web resources")
Georgetown Univ. Law Library links to specific topics
and jurisdictions (federal, state, international)
Georgia State Univ. Metaindex for Legal Research
Harvard Law School Research Guides
Univ. Montana law library homepage
Univ. Montana links to federal law
Univ. Montana links to state resources
Washburn Univ. (Kansas) large collection of legal links
Univ. Washington legal links
Yale Law School legal links
Excellent State Court Websites
The following state courts have distinguished themselves by placing their judicial opinions
on the Internet in an easily searchable way:
If your state has not posted an archive of its judicial opinions on the Internet for free searching,
please write to your state legislators and ask that they fund and require such a website.
- Oklahoma in the year 2002, this website had complete coverage back to the year 1890
- North Dakota in Jan 2009, this website had
complete coverage back to Dec 1965.
Copyright 1996-2015 Ronald B. Standler
First posted 9 Oct 2004, revised 9 May 2015
If you are an attorney who needs assistance with legal research, I provide
legal research services.
If you are seeking an attorney, I have posted hints for how to
find an attorney.
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