Note: I did not create this guide. This guide was created by Kim June at UCLA who graciously allowed USD to use and adapt the original guide. I have tried to adapt this guide so that it is useful for South Dakota legal research. This guide is not completely finished and will probably change from day to day.
The original guide can be found here.
As the title indicates, the primary focus of this guide is to spotlight free (or low cost) online legal resources. Sources available through Westlaw or Lexis are not included. However, please note that I may have included subscription databases available to the USD community. Lastly, except for the short selected bibliography on this page, print resources are not covered.
As the length of this guide suggests, there is no shortage of law-related materials available on the Internet. The challenge is to locate accurate and authoritative sources of legal information. Please keep in mind that you won't find everything you need for free on the Internet. For example, West's annotated codes and most legal treatises/practice guides (e.g. Rutter Group and Matthew Bender publications) are not freely available on the Web.
Also keep in mind that it may be easier to start your research using print sources. This is especially true if you are having difficulty identifying search terms. Using a print source allows you to flip through pages and scan the index and table of contents. Hence, when applicable, there will be links to other libguides that describe the use of print resources.
Other Legal Research Sites
These "one stop shopping" sites provide users with a myraid of links to law-related materials on the Internet. They provide users with a catalog of Web sites, a search engine or both.
- Hieros Gamos
- Internet Legal Research Group
- American Law Sources Online
None of these sites are featured extensively in this guide but are worth a mention. Their aim is to expand public access to legal information.
414 E Clark St.
Vermillion, SD 57069
Ard, Constantce. "Legal Research in the Age of Open Law," Online (Oct. 2010), 34(5): 29-32.
Chandler, Yvonne J. "Accessing Legal and Regulatory Information in Internet Resources and Documents," Journal of Library Administration (2006), 44 (1/2): 263-324.
Ebbinghouse, Carol. "The New Surge of Open Legal Information on the Internet," Searcher (June 2008), 16(6): 8-16.
________. "The People's Law: Free Legal Help and Legal Research on the Web," Searcher (April 2006), 14(4): 38-44.
Markoff, John. "A Quest to Get More Court Rulings Online, and Free," New York Times, Aug. 20, 2007: 6.
Pike, George H. "Evaluating Free Online Legal Information," Online (Sept/Oct. 2008), 32(5): 20-23.