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Free Online Legal Research Database: Public Library of Law (PLoS)

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We love all the hoopla about Public Resource dot com and their commitment to making the law accessible to all, without cost (or too many bells and whistles we don’t always need).

However, there is another legal research database that does almost the same thing, but seems quite happy to stay quietly under the radar:

The PLoL is a portion of the Fastcase database, and is offered freely by their owners.

Heretofore, keyword searching of case law for most jurisdictions was available only to people with access to (usually fairly pricey) subscription-only legal research databases.You can now, however, “keyword” search the law at the Public Library of Law?Use their Advanced Options drop-down menu to limit your search to Oregon (or whatever state you want to search) and specified years (1997 forward is free).

I last blogged about PLoL: here and here.

Isn’t it nice to have options? But, caveat emptor: if you search for laws at unofficial websites, do your homework, as I blogged about here, before relying on them absolutely in a crunch.