Legal Resources

Legal Resources


RTDNA: Cameras in Courts – A State-by-State Guide

National Center for State Courts
A non-profit organization charged with improving judicial administration in the United States and around the world. Journalist’s Guide to the Federal Courts
Offers state-by-state links to online court record search services at trial courts and government agencies. Find court locations, other legal services offered and more.

Free Public Records Directory
Free state court resources.

RTDNA: Cameras in Courts – A State-by-State Guide

SPJ Guide to Battling Sexual Misconduct in the Newsroom

Citizen Media Law Project Legal Guide

Journalist’s Resource: Recording Phone Calls and Conversations Legal Guide
Cites resources from the Citizen Media Law Project.

Journal of Empirical Legal Studies
A peer-edited, peer-refereed, interdisciplinary journal that publishes high-quality, empirically-oriented articles of interest to scholars in a diverse range of law and law-related fields.

National Center for State Courts
A non-profit organization charged with improving judicial administration in the United States and around the world.

Can I Use That? A Legal Primer for Journalists
A free app for high-risk journalists.

Guidelines to Help You with Copyright and Fair Use

Tips for Covering Lower-Level Courts
Kendall Taggart from Buzzfeed News at the 2016 IRE conference.

Working with Whistleblowers – A Guide for Journalists
Guide created by the Government Accountability Project, a whistleblower protection and advocacy organization.

SPLC: Tips for Covering Walkouts and Protests

Dart Center: Maintaining Boundaries with Sources, Colleagues and Supervisors

Free Expression Legal NetworkA nationwide coalition of law school clinics, academics, and practitioners focused on “promoting and protecting free speech, free press, and the free flow of information to an informed and engaged citizenry. Our members work on media law, transparency, and/or access issues, either as their primary focus or as it intersects with their work on other issues.”

New Media and Technology Law Blog

Campus Guide to Copyright

MuckRock: Guide to State Public Records Laws

Law Library of Congress
Links galore to research, other law centers, collections databases, reading room, bibliographies, etc.

Violence Policy Center
A libertarian public interest law firm offers several free legal resources off its site.
Run by a Loyola Law School professor.

Sunshine Week Open Meetings
Events the week of March 12 promote open records.

Oyez: U.S. Supreme Court Multimedia Database
Hundreds of hours of audio materials delivered through a free player available from as well as summaries of cases before the court, organized by year.

The Brennan Center for Justice
From NYU’s Law School, articles and research on voting rights, campaign finance reform, criminal justice and racial justice.

Copyright x
Twelve lectures were prepared and delivered by Prof. William Fisher at Harvard Law School.

Law and Policy Institutions
This site provides access for legal and legislative information. In addition to domestic legal topics, this site provides information on significant international treaties, journals and legal databases etc.
Database has more than 36,000 documents written to comply with the laws of each of the 50 states.

National District Attorneys Association

Ranchers and Cattlemen Action Legal Fund
R-CALF site offers industry info., links, contacts and an FAQ.

Institute for Justice
A libertarian public interest law firm offers several free legal resources off its site.

On the Issues: Rehnquist Decisions

Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP)
A non-profit network of investigative journalism centers in Europe and Eurasia.

OCCRP: Investigative Dashboard Research
Search across data and documents from previous investigations, official sources, and scraped databases. From the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, non-profit network of investigative journalism centers in Europe and Eurasia.

U.S. Courts 9-11 Legal Cases
A full listing of the civil and criminal cases. A valuable resource!
A good starting page for research on federal courts.

Pacer’s U.S. Courts
Search district and bankruptcy courts.

Supreme Court Collection
A database of upcoming Supreme Court cases compiled by Cornell Univeristy.

Copyright Database
Use this Library of Congress database to track who owns copyright material.

Supreme Court Historical Society

On the Issues: Rehnquist Decisions

Center for Information, Law and Policy
Information on federal and state courts. The U.S. Criminal Justice System
Perspectives on the U.S. justice system.

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
Several tools for journalists needing legal resources.

Legal Directories

Powered by Google, the Web?s best search engine, it hunts down anything legal online.

Old Bailey Online: History Site
From the famous British courthouse, this online database covers more than 22,000 trials dating between 1714 and 1759. Read the actual transcripts from historic proceedings, view the original documents, etc.

Federal Judicial Center: Judge Bios
Search federal court judge bios, past and present.

Attorney Finder
Database has more than 36,000 documents written to comply with the laws of each of the 50 states.

American Law Sources Online (ALSO)
This site provides “a comprehensive, uniform, and useful compilation of links to all online sources of American law.”
A comprehensive source of legal information, tools and news covering 30 topics. The site features a newsletter, forms, FAQs, checklists, bookstore, legal plans, Find an Attorney, attorney marketing services and helpful links.

Internet Legal Research Guide
More than 4,000 sites from 238 countries, this site lists law firms, legal experts, journals and more. Agent Database
A great shortcut for sourcing, enter celebrity names into the database and get the managers or agents who represents them.

The Law Engine
A free site with dozens of legal resources.

All Law
Search engine and legal directory that has state resources.
What have you agreed to today? This site goes over fine print in contracts that many of us never even read.

Medical Privacy State Laws

Legal Transcript Library, Inc.
A legal research tool for medical defense attorneys containing thousands of transcripts of medical expert testimony.

Bankruptcy Law
A directory of state, national and international bankruptcy laws.

National Association of Drug Court Professionals

Electronic Law Library
Targeted to small business owners, but it has a lot of helpful research for anyone.
Run by a Loyola Law School professor.

HG Law Directory
Search more than 500 law directories worldwide.

Strategic Research Investigative Services
Specializes in discrete, sophisticated, and cost-effective fact-finding for law firms, corporations, governments, news organizations and individuals.

Class Action Database
A collection of class action lawsuits broken down by topics.

BRB Public Records online.
A huge sites with links to free and pay public records sites.

Cornell University: Legal Information Institute
Links, libraries, constitutions, codes, legal opinions and some legal news.

Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool
Analyze college campus crime statistics with this resource from the Office of Postsecondary Education, part of the U.S. Department of Education.

Fagan Finder
A great search tool that added several new features in May 2002. Journalists will be especially interested in the search engines, reference, news and law sections.

Jaffe Legal News Service
The JLNS is a free weekly email tipsheet with sources and story ideas from some of the top law firms in North America and the UK. Each issue has a section providing expert commentary on some of the key issues of the day, an area where by-lined articles written by some of the top legal experts on North America and the UK are available for free, and a wire-like service that lists law firm press releases. Each e-mail also features a link to a form where reporters can request help with specific stories.

Legal Databases, Documents and Statistics

Bureau of Justice Statistics

State Laws Database
Searchable index of state laws and legislation for all 50 states.

[email protected] (Working to Halt Online Abuse)
Resources, stats, facts and protection tips about online stalking.

Gender Law Library

National Women’s Law Center
Blog, health care, expert sources, information center and recent publications on issues.

National Asian American Bar Association
A database of thousands of free legal forms.

Legacy Tobacco Documents Library
A great database from Cal-San Francisco that contains 11.2 million fully searchable documents from the1930s to the 1990s — previously secret stuff from tobacco industry files obtained as part of the Minnesota AG and Blue Cross lawsuit settled in 1998.

Legacy Drug Industry Document Archive
More than 2,500 documents from drug companies about industry-sponsored clinical trials, publication of study results, pricing, marketing, relations with physicians and involvement in continuing medical education.

Sunshine Week Open Meetings
Events the week of March 12 promote open records.

Info – Encyclopedia and Reference Resource
Browse articles in all areas of topics within Earth & Environment, History, Literature & Arts, Health & Medicine, People, Philosophy & Religion, Places, Plants & Animals, Science & Technology, Social Science, Law, Sports, Everyday Life, and more. Includes Country Studies and North America Gazetteer.

North America’s Largest Class Action Law Site
Lots of pending class actions and class action settlements. Updated daily. Also offers ability to register for possible class actions.

Organizes legal and government sites into a basic catalog.

Supreme Court Preview
The Supreme Court forwards its briefs to the American Bar Association as they are filed. This site makes them available to the public for free.

LexisWeb Legal Search Engine

Legal Associations and Organizations

American Bar Association

American Bar Association

American Civil Liberties Union
Material on FOI and Sunshine laws.

National Board of Trial Advocacy

Digital Media Law Project
Formerly the Citizen Media Law Project, this organization supports the vibrant online culture of citizen media and independent journalism by providing free legal advice and information on a wide range of media law, intellectual property and business law issues.

The Innocence Project
A searchable database of states offering projects to free wrongfully accused prisoners through DNA and other evidence. Run by the Cardozo School of Law in NYC.

National District Attorneys Association

National Court Reporters Association (NCRA)

National Women’s Law Center
A great resource with tips, research and news stories on a variety of topics, including sexual harassment, athletics, women in the military and more.

Ranchers and Cattlemen Action Legal Fund
R-CALF site offers industry info., links, contacts and an FAQ.

National Resources Defense Council
Environmental issues

Student Press Law Center
Legal issues facing high school and college students.

Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund

SPJ: Prison Access Policies
State-by-state list of media access policies for prisons.

Center for Identity Management and Information Protection
Part of Utica College, the site offers a media center, research projects and can connect you with expert sources.

Identity Theft Resource Center
A nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to the understanding and prevention of identity theft. Site includes a media page and a resource library.
Allows users to upload locations of photo-enforced traffic lights around the country.

National Campaign to Stop Red Light Running

U.S. Public Interest Research Groups
Transportation, healthcare, money and politics, media reform, tax and budget, law, higher education and environmental issues.

Child Welfare Information Gateway
A service of the Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and
Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Has sections on abuse, library search, statistics, online catalog, adoption information and more.

Copyscape Plagiarism Checker
Search for copies of your page on the web. Helps you defend your site from plagiarism. Just type in your site’s web address.

Law Journals and News

Legal Journals Online
A listing of hundreds of journals from all over the world.
Legal publications and state/local bar association information.

Findlaw News

NPR: Justice Talking
Debates, polls, resources on justice issues.

The Business Lawyer
An online business law magazine from the American Bar Association.

University Law Review: Search Law Journals
Links, listings and search.

States with Sex-Offender Registries

In the News
Blog by a forensic psychologist about psychology and the law.
A super legal site.’s Law Page
Several good trend pieces, some breaking news.

Medical Liability Monitor
A monthly online publication on trends and issues in medical malpractice.

JustInfo Newsletter
An online newsletter sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Government Sites

Securities legal resource includes message boards, links to other sites, bookstore and more.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
The official government site has a myriad of resources, including a way to track the status of patents and trademarks pending.

Library of Congress: A Century of Law Making
Annals of the House and Senate, bills and resolutions.

Cyberspace Law

Electronic Frontier Foundation: Legal Guide for Bloggers

TechnoLawyer Community
Free subscriptions to TechnoRelease Tuesdays.

Treatment Advocacy Center
Studies on mental illness, treatments, and various laws and legal interpretations.

Copyright Law

Internet Law Library
A free collection of articles, statutes, cases and resources on Internet issues such as copyright law, trademark law, domain name law, cookies, data retrieval, etc.

U.S. Copyright Office

Copyright Renewals

Copyright Law and Fair Use

Miscellaneous Sites
Tips for filing FOIAs, “Document of the Week.”

The Stanford University School of Law
The school’s site has full-text complaints, summaries and briefs on securities class action complaints.

Law and Policy Institutions Guide
A great collection of legal and legislative information.

PI Newslink
A blog for private investigators/researchers.

Cool Sites for Lawyers

PBS Frontline: Criminal Justice
A collection of companion Web sites on various crime, legal system and justice topics.

Law Library of Congress
Law guides, databases and historical documents back to 1774.
Site features cops from large jurisdictions and has done lots of stuff on police shootings, etc.

Stanford University: Prison Experiment
An online tour of a 1971 psychology experiment on California college students sent to prison. Photos, video, background. Interesting research.
The site contains an informative guide to the lemon law as well as answers to frequently asked questions. Focuses on New Jersey and Pennsylvania law, but it has helpful resources for anyone.
This site can quickly assist you in sorting the myths from the half-truths and the actual facts. The site consists of database search engines to check keywords from e-mails you have received, the latest headlines on hoaxes, special reports on 9-11 misinformation, and links to official and commercial sites on fraud, hoaxes and scams.

Legal issues behind TV shows.
Laws on auto purchasing.
This site chronicles the high cost of the legal system.

The Florida Medical Malpractice Web Site
Focuses on medical malpractice matters, primarily from a Florida perspective, but also contains info of more national interest. Handy for looking up malpractice information about doctors.

A collection of legal links for lawyers and people not associated with the legal system.

Web Journal of Current Legal Issues
Site from the UK.

Capital Defense Network
The ultimate resource for federal death penalty defense practitioners.

Military Law and Justice

ProCon: Sports and Drugs Media Links
Links to stories and cases of national and local interest. Great place to look for offbeat trend stories. Also has a media center, other links.
Legal resource center with expert links, policy and research links.

National Coalition Against Censorship

Benedict Copyright Site

Copyright Clearance Center

CyberLaw Encylopedia: Copyright Law

Intellectual Property Primer

Medicine Malpractice Links
Part of the Electric Law Library.

Index of State Malpractice Laws

Malpractice Litigation News
This site offers legal, insurance and medical advice (regional and national) for people facing elder-care options.

Lemon Law America
Lists legal rights for car buyers.

Chicago Council of Lawyers
Evaluations of judicial candidates and much more.

National Assn. of Legal Professionals
Resource center, studies on employment, etc.

Law Library of Congress
Links galore to research, other law centers, collections databases, reading room, bibliographies, etc.

Insurance Information Institute
Public safety, crime and other stats.

NFL Player Arrests 2000-Present
List compiled by the San Diego Tribune and published in May 2007. Great for reference.

Courts and Law Coverage Beat Guide
From the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. Simply go to the website and page click on “Learn more” on the “New Resource” box.

Death Penalty Information Center
Opposes capital punishment.
Search through top class-action lawsuits. Includes an RSS news feed.

Brennan Center for Justice

Center on Wrongful Convictions
Northwestern University School of Law site about a group freeing prisoners wrongfully accused of serious crimes. Includes resources, experts, news and events page and bios of many of the people freed.

Electronic Frontier Foundation: Legal Guide for Bloggers

Podcasting Legal Guide

Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society

E-Justice Blog

Cornell: Courts Federal Law Materials and Judicial Opinions

Cornell Law: State Courts Opinions

National Runaway Switchboard
Media page and expert sources on the topic.

National Legal Aid & Defenders Association

Legal Information Institute: First Amendment Overview

Federal Citizens’ Information Center: Privacy Resources

Electronic Frontier Foundation
Technology/civil rights site. Great for finding cases against the FCC and the record industry.

Citizen Media Law Project Legal Guide
Search by keyword or state-by-state map.

World Intellectual Property Organization

Library of Congress: Sonia Sotomayor Resources
Articles and books by her, congressional documents, cases and web resources by the Supreme Court nominee.

Chicago Law Blog
Chicago Tribune blog on legal issues in the city.


Return to Legal | Crime | First Amendment