September 26, 2017

FYI: Online Legal Research Options for Solo/Small Firms

There are abundant options when choosing an online legal research provider. Several companies offer competitive pricing, with multiple options. For a comparison chart highlighting pricing and primary legal research material availability see the LTRC Legal Research Database Chart. If your firm is in need of secondary materials, annotated citation research capabilities, and other resources, there are a few options for online research. The following companies offer options focused on the solo/small firm community. Free trial versions are often available so test out the service to see if it meets your firm's research needs.

  • LexisONE
    This site provides free caselaw - state and federal - from the last five years and all Supreme Court cases from 1790. You can search for cases or do a cite search. Other free resources include legal forms, U.S. court forms, legal website directory and a directory from Martindale-Hubbell.
  • Lexis Nexis Research for Small Law Firms
  • LexisNexis® research priced by the day, week or month for the Small Law Firm.
  • Shepard's® Citations Online
  • Access to the Full Shepard's® Citations Service - Validate Citations, Law Reviews, Statutes, Case History, Editorial Analysis, Citing References and more for one day, one week or one or more months.
  • Lexis Pay-As-You-Go by credit card
    Access specific articles - there is no charge to search, only pay for the text of an article, case, statute, or other document. You'll also be able to get news articles, SEC filings, and other useful resources.
  • Lexis Alliance Partners
    LexisNexis works with bar associations to offer special LexisNexis services and benefits. The program offers research solutions and the list of participating bar associations can be found at the Lexis website or by calling LexisNexis at 866-836-8116.
  • WestlawNext; With you have access to all legal material: primary law, analytical materials, practice area insights, litigation resources, public records, and more. WestlawNext offers unlimited access to any or all of this content for a fixed monthly fee.
  • WestlawNext for Solo/Small Firms: Fixed-fee, customizable resources available to solo/small firms.  Some plans are even available to purchase online, including practice area content and primary law for your state or all 50 states containing cases, codes, annotated statutes, and KeyCite, as well as federal and circuit cases, Supreme Court cases, and U.S. Court of Appeals. 
  • Loislaw
    An online research service offering flat fee pricing. A free trial is available. Loislaw also partners with local bar associations to offer members a discount on their services. Contact your bar association to find out if they participate in the program.
  • Fastcase
  • Fastcase offers unlimited access to a comprehensive 50-state and federal case law database. Fastcase also works with local bar associations to offer Fastcase online research services to bar association members. Check with your bar association to see if Fastcase is available as a member benefit.
  • Free Full-text Online Law Review/Law Journal Search Engine
    This free search engine searches the free full-text of over 300 online law reviews and law journals, as well as document repositories hosting academic papers and related publications such as Congressional Research Service reports. Several of the law reviews (such as the Stanford Technology Law Review), working papers, and reports are available online only. Coverage may vary; for more complete coverage visit your local law library and fee-based online legal research services.