Friday, August 3, 2018

Free Legal-Research Tools through the Law Library of Congress and Other Sources

ABA Standing Committee LLOC LogoThe American Bar Association Annual Meeting continues in Chicago with hundreds of meetings and programs. One of those programs is "How to LLOC Logo (Tree)Conduct FREE Legal Research Online," presented by Barbara Bavis, the Bibliographic and Research Instruction Librarian at the Law Library of Congress. The program was sponsored by the ABA Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress. Here's some of the information that was shared during the two-hour program:

The Law Library of Congress is the world's largest law library. It was established by law in 1832 as a separate department of the Library of Congress to serve the legal research needs of all three branches of government. It is the largest law library in the world with more than 2.9 million volumes of federal, state, and foreign materials, including codes, constitutions, official gazettes, law journals, secondary sources, and other legal materials from 267 nations and jurisdictions. It includes research materials from countries that no longer exist as separate countries (such as Sikkim).

Barbara BavisThe Guide to Law Online is a legal portal with more than 9,000 links to annotated compilations of Internet links. It is organized by jurisdiction and topic and includes international, U.S., and state materials. It provides links to the full text of laws, regulations, and court decisions. There's also a link to the Indigenous Law Portal, which includes links to American Indian constitutions and legal materials.

Current Legal Topics is a resource with current international issues, in-depth legal commentary and comparisons of international and foreign laws, and extensive bibliographic resources.

The Global Legal Monitor provides worldwide legal news and is frequently updated. It may be searched by topic, country, keywords, author, date, and other terms.

In Custodia Legis is the blog for the Law Library of Congress. It publishes new posts on research guides, current legal trends, information about changes and additions to, significant international law developments, legal history, and "arcana" (inspired by rare items in the collection of the Law Library of Congress.

The program on cost-effective legal research also included information on free legislative and regulatory research, judicial opinions and citators, judicial records and briefs, and presidential documents. 

Photo: Barbara Bavis (Bibliographic and Research Instruction Librarian at the Law Library of Congress) and Professor Mark E. Wojcik (Incoming Chair of the American Bar Association Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress).


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