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Cost-Effective Legal Research: Low-Cost Databases


Fastcase, depending on subscription plans, offers access to federal and state statutes, federal, and state appellate cases, and federal district and bankruptcy court opinions. U.S. Supreme Court, federal circuit, and federal bankruptcy court case coverages are comprehensive. State court opinion coverages vary. A number of bar associations make Fastcase freely accessible to their members, including the Columbus Bar Association, Toledo Bar Association, Dayton Bar Association, and Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association.


Caselex is a legal information service opening up national case law and other important decisions (like those of competition authorities) with a European connotation to legal professions covering 56 jurisdictions. National cases are provided from 2000 forward, and all dates are provided for EU cases. There are several licensing options and they offer a free trial. 


Casetext is a low-cost legal research and writing platform that lets researchers search millions of cases, statutes, and regulations annotated with analysis contributed by the members of the legal community.  The Casetext library includes federal published and unpublished cases (Supreme Court, appellate, and district court) since 1925, as well as appellate cases for all 50 states, updated daily to include recently issued opinions.  Users can also search federal statutes and regulations, and select state statutes.  Casetext offers a 14-day free trial.  For all currently enrolled law students, staff, and faculty, Casetext is free and unlimited. For access, go to Law School Access. You must sign up with your .edu email in order to receive free Casetext access.


Decisis is an online legal research tool backed by a large, robust database of local and federal caselaw by Lexis. It was created to help ease the research process by providing users an efficient search experience. Ohio Bar Association coverage includes: Ohio Administrative Code (Archive from 2015), Ohio Constitution, Ohio Courts of Appeals Cases (1926 - Current), Ohio Local, State & Federal Court Rules (Archive from 2013), Ohio Supreme Court Cases (1855 - Current), and Page's Ohio Revised Code (Archive from 2012).


Reference Appointments

The Taggart Law Library is here to help! Schedule an appointment with a librarian or chat with us using our online chat feature. Open to ONU Law students, faculty, staff, and alumni. 

CALI Lessons

Other Resources

Remember to check state and local public law libraries for access to secondary sources and potential access to Westlaw/Lexis Nexis/Bloomberg. Due to COVID, some local public law libraries have negotiated access to these services for patrons without going into the library. One of our local public law libraries provides access to HeinOnline with a county library card.

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