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Legal Research Databases


Check with your local libraries (public and/or academic) for their subscription database services.  Many Oregon county law libraries provide free access to legal research databases.  Researchers whose own public libraries do not offer the needed databases can find libraries in other communities that allow non-residents to apply for membership for a nominal fee and then have access to databases.  The public can also access legal research databases at Oregon univeristy law libraries; more information can be found at the Oregon Legal Research Blog. 

Georgetown University Law Library Free/Low Cost Legal Research
The first part of this guide provides an overview and links to different types of free materials and the second part summarizes the features and costs of less expensive databases.


HeinOnline is a specialized legal research database. Remote access is free for anyone with a public library card from any Washington County Cooperative Library Services(WCCLS) member library. To access the database with your library card from the WCCLS website: under Online Resources, click on the Government/Law link; follow the instructions there to log onto HeinOnline.

(Residents who live in Multnomah, Clackamas, or Hood River counties in Oregon, or reside in the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District or the City of Camas in Washington, may obtain a WCCLS library card without paying a non-resident fee. Call your local public library for more details.)

Thomas (Library of Congress)

The Library of Congress THOMAS site is the source for federal legislative information.  THOMAS provides several options for finding bills, resolutions, and legislative histories from 1973 to the present.  THOMAS is also the source for presidential nominations, treaties, committee reports, and other legislative resources.

University of Washington Law Library's Guide to Low-Cost Legal Databases

This guide describes three low-cost online legal services that are available to current UW School of Law students and faculty and that may be available to other legal researchers.

For information on how to find a case for free online, visit the Oregon Legal Research Blog