How To Find Federal And State Laws And Free Legal Information
Free legal information is available from a variety of sources whether you are looking for a particular federal, state or local law, or for legal assistance.
Federal, State and Local Laws
You can find a federal or state law at:
- www.findlaw.com (state laws)
- www.lawsource.com/also/usa.cgi?ny (New York law and decisions)
If the law is local to your state, check your state government's web site. If you don't know the URL address for the state government:
- In your favorite search engine, type: www. (state postal abbreviation).gov -- or type the state's name followed by "government web site." For example, type www.MD.gov or type: Maryland government web site.
- Type in your state's name and "laws" or "attorney general" into a search engine.
Type in the name of your state plus key words related to the specific topic in which you're interested.
Free Legal Information And Legal Services
A variety of choices are available online. For instance:
- At Lawyers.com you can post legal questions on the site's message board. Questions will be answered by practicing lawyers. When you go to the site, click on "Research Legal Information"). The site is from the publishers of Martindale-Hubbell law directory. You can also search for a lawyer in your area.
- Elderlawanswers.com provides information about legal issues facing seniors. The information is provided by a nationwide network of elder law attorneys
- For people with cancer:
- Patient Advocate Foundation provides education, legal counseling, and referrals to cancer survivors concerning managed care, insurance, financial issues, job discrimination and debt crisis matters. See www.patientadvocate.org .
- The Cancer Legal Resource Center, Tel.: 213. 736.1455 provides seminars and educational outreach programs to cancer patients and their families. The center also provides assistance to callers through informative and educational material, as well as access to a volunteer panel of lawyers and other professionals. The Center is a community based joint program of the Western Law Center for Disability Rights and Loyola Law School.
- National Cancer Legal Services Network locates free legal services to address insurance, employment and financial issues. Go to www.nclsn.org or legalhealth.org
- Non-Profit Legal Assistance Agencies -- There are many nonprofit agencies that provide legal services in different areas of the law. Most are local. Use your network and local listings to see if there is one in your area.
- Legal Aid Foundations provide low cost or free legal services in many areas of the law. Digital Media Law Project provides a list of nonprofit legal assistance agencies by state.
- There may be a nonprofit organization that works with your particular issue. For example, a person with HIV may be able to find assistance through the Lesbian and Gay Community Center or Gay Men's Health Crisis, www.gmhc.org . In Minnesota, people with cancer can get information through Cancer Legal Line Tel. 651.472.5599
- www.Public.FindLaw.com provides legal information on a wide range of subjects.
- www.Nolo.com, the website of the publisher, offers free online legal information.
To Learn More
More InformationLawyers 101