Free and Low Cost Legal Research Guide

Think beyond Lexis, Westlaw & Bloomberg Law. This guides identifies resources for free or low cost legal research.

Low-Cost Legal Databases


Fastcase, depending on subscription plans, offers access to federal and state statutes, federal and state appellate cases, and federal district and bankruptcy court opinions. U.S. Supreme Court, federal circuit, and federal bankruptcy court case coverages are comprehensive. State court opinion coverages vary. Fastcase also offers a collection of cloud-based software for lawyers, such as DocketAlarm, and analytical tools, such as AI Sandbox.  A number of bar associations make Fastcase freely accessible to their members.


Casemaker provides unlimited access to the members of bar associations that join the Casemaker Consortium. A license fee is paid by each bar association, and there are no additional fees to use the service. Currently, 25 state bar associations are members. Consult the website of your bar association to find out if you have access. Individual subscriptions are currently unavailable.


Caselex provides over 16,000 decisions from 52 countries across 4 continents. National cases are provided from 2000 forward, and all dates are provided for EU cases. There are several licensing options and they offer a  free trial. 


Casetext is a low cost legal research and writing platform that lets researchers search millions of cases, statutes, and regulations annotated with analysis contributed by the members of the legal community.  The Casetext library includes federal published and unpublished cases (Supreme Court, appellate, and district court) since 1925, as well as appellate cases for all 50 states, updated daily to include recently issued opinions.  Users can also search federal statutes and regulations, and select state statutes.  Casetext offers a 14-day free trial.  For all currently enrolled law students, staff, and faculty, Casetext is free and unlimited. For access, go to Law School Access. You must sign up with your .edu email in order to receive free Casetext access.