In law school we focus a lot on Westlaw and LexisNexis, and with good reason. They are the leading legal research systems available. However, they also cost a lot of money– something law students can’t always grasp while in law school when the library is paying for access and you don’t have clients to bill. As the economy has suffered, there has been a greater focus on free and low-cost alternatives to Westlaw and Lexis. (I’ve blogged about them here, here, here, and here.) It’s to your advantage to become familiar with some of these resources before you head out into the real world of legal research. To help I’ve written a column for Student Lawyer magazine you may want to take a look at: Free and Low-Cost Research Resources For Any Budget. Here’s the abstract:
Legal research inside the ivory tower is cushy. Students don’t have to bill anyone for the research they perform and their libraries provide them with nearly unlimited access to LexisNexis and Westlaw. Outside the ivory tower things aren’t quite as plush – especially these days. Fortunately there are many free and low-cost legal research resources that can be of use. Written for Student Lawyer magazine, this column examines several of these resources and provides tips on using them.