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Links to legal search engines, law journals and catalogs, and pro bono litigation.


General legal tools explain civil rights; Journals include legal publications; Law Catalogs are websites that collect legal resources; Legal Search Engines and Legislative Research Search Engines are websites that allow for direct Google-like searching and contain legal resources; and Securing Legal Representation will point seekers to organizations that may be helpful in finding a lawyer.

 

General

Civil Rights: An Overview. Legal Information Institute, Cornell University: This Wiki entry provides a definition of civil rights and examples of landmark laws and statutes that supported the rights of those discriminated against, such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Wiki’s intended audience is “law novices,” for whom it seeks to provide useful and objective law information. (A wiki is a website with multiple webpages that can be created and edited by many members; the best-known example is Wikipedia.)

 

Journals

The National Law Journal, a weekly publication as well as a website, “provides timely legal information of national importance to attorneys that other publications don't.” This includes news articles, coverage of legislative issues, verdicts, and many other types of resources for legal professionals.

LLRX is a free Web journal that consists of “the most up-to-date information on a wide range of Internet research and technology-related issues, applications, resources and tools” for professionals in law and related fields. It was founded in 1996 by Sabrina I. Pacifici, a legal librarian who acts as editor and publisher; LLRX also draws on the expertise of “nationally recognized librarians, attorneys, information technology specialists and public interest professionals”.

 

Law Catalogs

CATALAW organizes all of the law website indexes from various countries around the world. Drop-down menus on the home page allow one to search  for legal information by topic, region, legal experience or specific facet of legal information (i.e., Law Societies & Associations).

LAWSOURCE is the home of American Law Services Online (ALSO) and provides links to free and inexpensive online law sources such as commentaries and practice aids for the United States, Canada, and a few for Mexico that are in English. The intended audience is North Americans who are not legal experts, and while the majority of the sources and information are in English, some of the links are in French or Spanish.

Wrightslaw is a website for special education resources and information. Its intended audience is parents with special needs children and it focuses on information on legal cases and includes resources such as a blog and newsletter.

 

Legal Search Engines

ALLLAW is a law portal website run by ExpertHub.com. It provides information on legal topics, tools such as child custody calculators, and attorney directories.

FINDLAW provides legal information in the form of articles, videos, a Wiki, an online community, and a lawyer directory. It seeks to inform those who wish to gain knowledge about legal matters.

PUBLICLEGAL (formerly INTERNET LEGAL RESOURCE GUIDE) is a quality-controlled index of legal information and resources. While it does focus on the United States, it also contains legal links from many other countries, and is designed for “everyone, lay persons and legal scholars alike.”

LAWGURU provides legal advice by allowing users to ask questions for free or view the database of past questions. It also has legal tools like a legal dictionary and Wiki, an attorney directory, and legal forms; tabs at the top divide the website into sections for the public, professionals, and students.

MORELAW: The site's Lexapedia allows users to search for verdicts and decisions, lawyers, court reporters, etc., by database, subject, or recent occurrence or listing. MoreLaw is aimed at people who wish to find a lawyer or learn more about the law system as well as lawyers wishing to advertise themselves; it is run by Kent Morlan, an attorney.

 

Legislative Research Engines

Congress.gov, which is run by the Library of Congress, aims to provide federal legislative information to the public. This includes government resources, bills and resolutions, current activity in Congress, presidential nominations, etc.

USA.GOV (formerly FIRSTGOV) is the official web portal of the United States government. Its objective is to enable “the global community to easily and rapidly find U.S. government information that has been posted on the Internet.”

 

Securing Legal Representation

Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to using the bar to uphold equal justice under the law. It focuses on policy or class actions in fields such as education or voting rights that will help large groups of people, rather than individuals.

American Bar Association: Pro Bono Programs by State lists many pro bono programs, which provide free legal services to those who can’t afford them, organized by state.

NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund fights for racial justice through litigation, advocacy, and public education, as well as by upholding the advances made by the prior 70 years of civil rights struggles. They usually focus on cases that affect large groups of people and the legal protections of African Americans.

Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) is a legal civil rights organization that aims to bring about “social change through advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights, and political access.” MALDEF focuses on equalizing society for members of the Latino and Hispanic communities, especially immigrants.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) seeks to protect First Amendment, due process, privacy, and equal protection rights, especially those of traditionally oppressed Americans such as minorities and LGBT individuals.

Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is the largest civil rights organization with the goal of achieving LGBT equality through advocacy, legislation, education, and partnering with other organizations.

 

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