Conducting California Legal Research for Free -- Some Cost-Effective Alternatives to Fee-Based Databases
(This is a modification of a 2009 legal research blog post that you may find useful)
Going to California to clerk for the summer or to begin a full-time practice? Given today’s challenging economic climate, you may want to consider eschewing traditional fee-based databases (e.g. Lexis and Westlaw) and instead take advantage of free (and reliable) internet resources to conduct basic California research.
Although not appropriate for every situation, a number of free California legal research databases offer an attractive and cost-effective alternative for many researchers who are simply searching for basic legislative, regulatory, and judicial information. Some of the more useful sites follow:
Attorney General Opinions
If you still are unable to locate the information you are looking for, be sure to consult some of the excellent research guides produced by academic law libraries that delineate an array of free California legal resources. UCLA
and UC Berkeley
law libraries are two great examples of these easy-to-use California Legal Research guides that are chock full of useful information.
Penn Law students and recent alumni entering the California workplace this summer would be well-served knowing the basics of finding and utilizing these free research materials. Good luck and happy researching!