Legal Information Management

Selected Papers Delivered at the BIALL Conference, June 2011

No-Cost and Low-Cost U.S. Legal Research

Alison Shea


When faced with a U.S. legal research question, what options does the non-U.S. based researcher have, short of purchasing a subscription to one of the fee-based databases or visiting a major research library? This article will briefly discuss a number of no-cost and low-cost resources in the context of the process required to perform U.S. legal research and will also provide explanations of the different types of primary sources that a legal researcher might encounter.


  • legal research;
  • United States

Alison Shea joined the Fordham Law Library as a Reference Librarian in August 2007 after receiving her JD and MLS from Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. Her particular interest is in foreign, international and comparative law with a focus on European competition law. She also specializes in UK and Irish legal research. In addition to normal academic reference duties, Alison teaches a number of sections of both basic and advanced legal research on a number of topics, including U.S. legal research, electronic resources and a course specifically on foreign and international legal research. Alison has been a member of BIALL since 2006 and is also a member of AALL, IALL and the EIA.