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Introduction to Legal Research



By format, we mean the medium in which an item is published.  You may need to adopt a different approach, depending upon the format.  There are a variety of formats, but the two which we will be talking about are hard copy options (print resources in the library) and electroni coptions (resources in databases and via the web).  Electronic formats will include those available on the internet via educational institutions, non-profit organizations and state and federal government sites; as well as paid subscription databases (E.g.  Bloomberg Law, Lexis Advance and WestlawNextand HeinOnline).  Bloomberg Law, Lexis Advance, WestlawNext and other legal subscription databases, provide access to a tremendous amount of business and legal information often with great editorial enhancements. 

However, at lot of information is also readily available for free these days via government entities websites. FDsys and both provide access to Congressional materials.  Most courts maintain websites from which you can obtain a copy of an opinion the same day it is released!

However, not everything may be available online! A visit to a near by law library might be worth a visit.