Legal Links – Public Law Library Resources

Legal Links

These legal links are divided into categories to help the researcher find the information he or she requires. General Legal Research links connect you to several websites that are good at organizing law-related information by subject. These websites are often a good starting point for the beginning researcher. Links are then divided into California legal research and Federal legal research. See the Mini Research Class page for more information on where to start your research. For local law questions involving a city or county, refer to the Local links. If you are looking for an attorney, consult with the Legal Directories links. And, finally, if you are looking for court forms, or court rules, check the links provided under Forms and Rules links.

General Legal Research:

Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute
This site is useful for researching your legal issues. The site contains many “Law About” topic entries with general background information on different legal subjects and a few “Topical Libraries” on issues such as social security and legal ethics. The site is especially useful for searching for United States Supreme Court opinions, Federal Circuit court opinions, and the United States Code.

FindLawThis site contains many subject guides to specific areas of law, links for finding lawyers, and law related news and information. For California users, the site contains California judicial opinions from 1934 forward. The site is a product of Thomson/West, a legal publishing company. Self-help law publisher site. Contains a useful law encyclopedia and dictionary geared toward the non-attorney. Since this is a commericial publisher’s site, some products are offered for sale.

California Resources:

California LegislatureFind your California senator or assemblyperson by zipcode. Links to all member’s webpages.

California ConstitutionKeyword searchable version of the text of the California Constitution. Users may also view the Constitution in a table of contents format.

California Codes (statutes) online Unannotated version of the current text of California’s state statutes. Users may display the text in a table of contents or search by keyword.

California Code of Regulations-the laws from California’s state agenciesThe text of the regulations of California’s state agencies. Users may view a listing of state agencies, view contents, or search the entire 28 titles (with the exception of Title 24, the building codes).

Updates to the California Code of Regulations/Regulatory Notice Register
Site contains notices of proposed action by state regulatory agencies to adopt, amend, or repeal regulations contained in the California Code of Regulations.

California state homepage-many links to law and government information sourcesIncludes links to all California State administrative agencies, courts, and the legislature. Use the state phone directory to contact any state official.

California Legislative Information (bills, analysis, committee reports)The official site of the legislative branch of California enables users to find bill information from the state assembly and state senate from 1993 to the current legislative session. Bill information includes the status, history, votes, analyses, and any veto messages. Users may search the site by bill number, author, keyword, or simply view an index of authors and bill numbers. Various legislative publications are also on this site, including state agency reports mandated by the legislature.

California Courts and case law finders-California judicial opinions from 1850-to the present. Click on the opinions link from the Judicial Council’s site. On FindLaw, navigate to US Law: cases and codes and select California.

California Secretary of StateFind many forms used in business filings and a wealth of information on California businesses by accessing the site’s Business Portal. Find the forms and fees for forming a California corporation, limited liability partnership, and more. Search for the status of a business entity to find out who owns the business and who to serve as the agent for service of process. Obtain access to UCC filings.

California Courts Self-Help CenterSite contains forms, rules, links to courts, and the self-help center for all California courts. Fill out forms on line for various types of cases. Get detailed information on how to proceed with your case. Find links that will help you complete your case without an attorney.

California state agencies-link to the state agency index

California Attorney General opinionsCalifornia Attorney General opinions from 1986 to the present. The attorney general provides advisory opinions to state, local officials, or government agencies on matters of law that arise in the course of their duties.

Federal Resources:

Federal Legislators-Senate and House Member SearchIdentify and contact federal officials using this website.

United States Constitution
Online text versions of the United States Constitution. The GPO version has additional analysis and interpretation done by the Congressional Research Service.

United States Code
These sites provide searchable versions of the United States Code. Codes can be searched by keyword, title, or section number.

Thomas (federal legislative information)
Congressional bills, Congressional Record, committee reports and more. Users may track bills as they move through the House and Senate, read and download the text of pending bills and see how their representatives and senators vote. The search feature allows users to look for bills by name, number, subject, sponsor and other criteria. The site contains bill summaries from 1973 to the present; bill text from 1989 to the present; public laws from 1973 forward; the Congressional Record from 1989 to the present; committee reports from the 104th Congress to the current Congress; and historical documents and presidential nomination information.

GPO Access (access to federal administrative law and information)
Code of Federal Regulations, Federal Register
Full text of the Federal Register from 1994 forward. Full text of the Code of Federal Regulations from 1996 to the present.

Federal Agency index

Federal administrative agency opinionsSearch for federal agency opinions by agency or by subject.

Supreme Court of the United StatesAccess the official site of the United States Supreme Court. Find information on cases pending in front of the court, schedules for argument on various pending cases, and the full text of the court’s rules. The site also contains opinions of the court from 1991-2001 in their bound volume format; a case citation-finder; and the slip opinions of the 2001-current terms.

Federal Judiciary HomepageDetailed links to all federal courts, federal court publications, and information on the federal judiciary.

Federal Case lawFindLaw contains United States Supreme Court opinions from 1893-current. Users may search by name, citation, or keyword search the text. Federal Circuit court opinions may be accessed through Cornell’s Legal Information Institute.

Pacer (Public Access to Court Electronic Records)
Electronic (for fee) access to U.S. District, Bankruptcy, and Appellate court records.

Local Law:

Seattle Public Library site linking to municipal law-nationwide Links to city and county codes available online from municipalities across the nation.

UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Affairs-links to California local law resourcesLocal codes, ordinances, and charters from California local governments.

Legal Directories:

California State Bar website-attorney finder and records of attorney disciplineLink to California attorney information using the member search feature. Also the site provides links to attorney referral services statewide, and lists of state certified specialists.

Martindale Hubbell Lawyer LocatorFind attorneys by location, area of practice, and many other criteria such as the language they speak, where they went to school, etc. This site provides rating information for attorneys.

West’s Legal DirectoryOnline attorney directory.

Finding Law Schools, Law Library Catalogs Online, and California Public Libraries (law school finder) (law library catalogs online) (California Library Directory)

Forms and Rules links:

LexisOne LexisOne provides many links of use to the legal researcher. Among those links provided are some to free legal forms and also forms for purchase. LexisOne allows users to purchase access to Shepard’s to update their legal research. The site also provides access to free case law (five years of state and federal court opinions; United States Supreme Court opinions from 1790). This site is operated by LexisNexis, a legal publishing company.

I-CAN! Legal Modules
I-CAN! is a web-based system that helps users create court paperwork and educate themselves about how to proceed in their own legal matters. The site contains a video guide that helps the user select and fill out appropriate court forms in civil matters such as Domestic Violence, Unlawful Detainer, Paternity, and more. I-CAN! is free of charge and is available in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese. I-CAN! was developed by the Legal Aid Society of Orange County and was sponsored by organizations including: Legal Services Corporation, Judicial Council of California, State Bar of California, Orange County Superior Court, Orange County District Attorney, Orange County Public Library System, Disneyland, City of Irvine, and the City of Fullerton.

San Mateo Superior Court-EZ Legal File Site
Fill out court forms using an interactive program designed to help non-attorneys properly fill out forms for family law, small claims, eviction, and guardianship/probate. Many California counties are included in this site. Users select the county in which they are going to file and then answer questions in order to fill out the forms.

State Judicial Council Forms-CaliforniaOfficial site for California’s Judicial Council forms. Fill out online or print.

Forms from the FedsLinks to downloadable federal agency forms, listed by agency. Useful place to access forms from the INS, Copyright Office, and more.

USCourtforms.comLinks to over 60,000 court forms nationwide. Some free forms are available and many are interactive forms that may be filled in online.

California State Court Rules
Links to California Supreme Court, Courts of Appeal, Trial Court and Local court rules.

Court Rules-Law Library Resource Xchange
Links to over 1,400 sources for state and federal court rules. Browse or search by keyword.