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Free and Low-Cost Legal Research

Scope

This guide is intended to help legal researchers utilize widely available, free, and low-cost electronic sources efficiently and effectively. The guide provides information on where Arizona primary law can be accessed online and lists a number of Arizona law libraries where legal information can be accessed for free in person. It also offers information on accessing the primary law of other states online, lists resources for federal primary law, and provides information on a number of low-cost legal databases.

Research Tips

General Tips

  • Keep a research log of where you've searched, when the sources were last updated, what search terms you used, and what you found. 
  • Know when to stop. When certain themes, cases, and/or statutes begin to recur, it's a good indication that you've found what there is to find.
  • Always update your research - before completing your work, do one last update to make sure all resources are still good.

Research Tips for Online Commercial Databases

  • Learn the practice area resources each electronic service has before you begin your research.
  • Understand the different pricing structures offered by the electronic services and learn when each one would be appropriate to your search.
  • Use the vendors' customer service numbers and online help.
  • Use available law librarian expertise.
  • Attend training opportunities that are available to you.