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April 9th, 2001
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Law-Specific Search Engines & Portals

As anyone who has ever searched the Internet knows, finding relevant, authoritative information can be very difficult. With the help of a few good law-specific search engines/portals, you can save yourself some valuable time.

For a list of recommended sites, go to the Law Library Web site (http://library.law.wisc.edu) and choose "Electronic Resources." Click on "Internet Sites," then "Search Engines and Portals." The following is a selective list of those sites.

FindLaw (http://www.findlaw.com/)

This legal search engine, one of the oldest and best known on the web, offers a variety of suggested links by subject area. It also includes links to law-related news, forms, sources of primary law, law reviews online, study tools for law students, sources of business information, and directories.

Especially useful is FindLaw's Supreme Court Center, a collection of primary materials by and about the US Supreme Court from the October 1999 term forward. It includes full text decisions, orders, briefs, rules, court docket, etc. (http://supreme.lp.findlaw.com/supreme_court/resources.html)

FindLaw offers a combination of keyword searching and topical browsing. Users may also register for the MyFindLaw portal, which provides customized links based on personal preference. FindLaw was recently purchased by West Group so watch for additional changes.

JURIST (http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/)

This legal education portal hosted by the University of Pittsburgh School of Law is a gateway to authoritative legal information, instruction and scholarship online. Edited by a team of law professors from across the United States and around the world, JURIST is designed for individuals learning, teaching or researching law.

Many US law professors have posted publicly-accessible Web pages for specific law school courses. These pages generally offer reading lists and/or links to relevant online materials and resources.

In addition to the US site listed above, there are also Canadian, UK, and Australian JURIST sites. Links to these sites are located at the bottom of US JURIST home page.

Hieros Gamos (http://www.hg.org/)

Another Internet veteran, this search engine organizes legal information by category. Although the large number of categories can be a bit overwhelming, many of the pages are quite useful. Look for a list of Law Journals Online, information on US State and Federal Government, topical compilations of links, legal news and discussion groups, etc. Hieros Gamos also maintains a large collection of international resources in many languages.

In addition to browsing by category, Hieros Gamos users can also search by keyword. (See box on the top left of each page within the site).

*Congratulations to Joel Wirtz, winner of last week's Movies and the Law contest!
 

Written by: Bonnie Shucha
Reference & Electronic Services Librarian
bjshucha@facstaff.wisc.edu

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