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Free and Low Cost Oregon Legal Research

Introduction

Effective legal research tools are essential to any serious engagement with the law -- but they can be prohibitively expensive. Luckily, there are an increasing number of free and low-cost legal research options available that can benefit lawyers and non-lawyers alike. 

This guide is split into four sections dealing with four areas of legal research.

  • Caselaw and Court Documents

Court opinions and documents are the meat and potatoes of legal research. New online databases provide sophisticated search and analysis tools for little or no cost. 

  • Legislative

Legislative sources, from statutes to legislative histories, can be found online and in local institutions. More and more legislative documents are available online if you know where to look. A quick visit to a local library or archive can often fill the gaps in online sources. 

  • Executive

State and federal agencies produce a wealth of materials in addition to administrative rules. Many of these documents can be used to support legal arguments. 

  • General and Non-Law Sources

Many research sources don't fit easily into any one category. Additionally, the effective researcher does not neglect academic and scientific sources. Ever since Muller v. Oregon courts has looked outside the bounds of legal information for guidance on difficult legal questions. An effective legal researcher should as well.

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