Above the Law has recently reported that mega-firm Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell is now requiring the use of Loislaw before the use of Westlaw or Lexis in many instances. What does this mean for law students? It means you should get to know some low-cost or free alternatives to Lexis and Westlaw. In a time when firms are trying to cut costs in any way possible, you may be using them more than you think.

Loislaw, Versuslaw, and FastCase are all low-cost alternatives. As a law student you can get free access to Loislaw (contact me for our access code) and Versuslaw. Fastcase has a free 24 hour trial for anyone.

In Utah, a resource you will want to be familiar with is Casemaker. The Utah Bar provides its members with free access to Casemaker. Law students can get a free affiliate membership with the Utah Bar and get access to Casemaker.

Other free legal research sites include Find Law, LexisOne (expanded coverage and options for a fee), Utah State Courts website (other court websites are useful as well), PreCYdent, AltLaw, Justia, the Public Library of Law, Legal Information Institute (Cornell), Thomas, GPO Access (being migrated to FDsys). I’m sure there are some I’ve left out, but that should get you started.

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