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Free Legal Research on the Web: Getting Started

Starting Your Research

Is your issue state or federal? Is the matter civil or criminal; of primary or secondary authority? The answers to these questions will determine where you look for information.

You may decide to go to a law library or consult a legal expert for background information or help with your issue. Hopefully this guide will connect you to sources of information helpful to you in your research.

Secondary Sources

  • Florida Law Help - Administered by Florida Legal Services, Inc., this site can help with understanding legal issues and finding an expert.
  • Google Scholar - Google Scholar searches full text articles and abstracts, not all results will lead to full articles.
  • The Law Dictionary - free online legal dictionary featuring Black's Law Dictionary, 2nd edition.
  • Legal Information Institute (Cornell University Law School) - includes primary and secondary materials, Wex Legal Dictionary and Encyclopedia.
  • - Includes business and personal legal forms, a legal encyclopedia, and a lawyer directory.
  • This site features information related to the U.S. Supreme Court, including historical information about justices and court cases and audio recordings of oral arguments (all arguments - 1968 to 2010, select audio prior to 1968).
  • Zimmerman's Online Encyclopedia for Legal Researchers


This guide is informational only, including items related to legal research and sources of legal information for educational purposes, and is no substitute for legal counsel or advice. If you require legal advice, please contact an attorney or legal expert.

Also note that the information included in this guide is a sampling, not an exhaustive list of the resources available to you online.