Services for Law Alumni: Low Cost Legal Research

The resources listed on this page represent major low cost legal research platforms, many of which may be available for free to bar, county, or subscription library members. The Internet can also be a good resource for locating known items, although it does not offer updating services like many of the databases listed here.

Major Subscription Databases

Bloomberg Law

  • All 50 states and federal law included
  • Includes case law, statutes, regulations, and selected secondary sources
  • Includes case law updating service (BCite)

Casemaker

  • Free to members of the Mass Bar Association and other participating bars
  • All 50 states and federal libraries included
  • Strongest for case law and statutes, but may also include court rules, jury instructions, bar journals, etc.
  • Includes case law and statute updating services (CASECheck+ and SUPERCode)

Fastcase

  • BU Law has a subscription which can be accessed from any computer in the library.
  • Free to members of Social Law Library and many other state bars/subscription libraries
  • All 50 states and federal
  • Strongest for appellate case law
  • Includes updating service (Authority Check)

Loislaw

  • BU Law has a subscription which can be accessed from any terminal in the library.
  • Subscription includes treatises, practice materials, and CLE publications
  • Includes updating service (GlobalCite)

Others (fee or free)

  • RetrieveLaw
    • Subscription database
    • Free to Massachusetts Trial Court Law Library card holders.
    • Offers Massachusetts and Federal primary materials.
    • Strongest for case law
    • Recent statutes and regulations
    • Mass Trial Court Law Libraries access and more information
  • Social Law Library
    • BU Law has a subscription which can be accessed from any computer in the library.
    • Basic collection free to members of Social Law Library (most Boston firms are)
    • Strongest for Massachusetts law
  • VersusLaw
    • Subscription database
    • Standard plan includes appellate case law
    • Federal statutes and regulations available via Professional plan
  • Check with your local bar, state, county or subscription law library. Many of them offer one of the major alternatives or may offer other databases not listed here. Some examples of these libraries include:

Updated: August 2014