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This guide is intended as an aid for non-lawyers and self-represented litigants in finding and decoding legal information. Please browse the tabs on the top of this page to get started.
The MU Law Library has several computers that are freely available to the public with limited access to Westlaw. Additionally, we have a multitude of print resources designed to assist Missourians with understanding their legal rights. Please browse this guide and contact us (see "Need Help?" tab), or stop in if you have any questions.
Free Research Tools
Computers for public Westlaw access are located in the reference alcove in the Mizzou Law Library. To utilize this service, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment for use.
Temporary Remote Access
During the COVID-19 crisis, Lexis and Westlaw are providing temporary free remote public access to their legal research platforms. Under the arrangement, many state and federal legal resources are available, including cases, statutes, regulations, treatises, and more. Contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information regarding this service.
How to Research a Legal Problem: A Guide for Non-Lawyers
(American Association of Law Libraries)
This guide offers sequential steps and sources intended to help a person with a legal problem find information to resolve or prevent conflict.
Locating the Law: A Handbook for Non-Law Librarians
(Southern California Association of Law Libraries) This guide provides an explanation of basic legal research techniques. Although it focuses on California law, it contains much information that is not California specific.
Introduction to Legal Materials: A Manual for Non-Law Librarians in Wisconsin
(Law Librarians Association of Wisconsin) This excellent and comprehensive guide to legal materials is aimed primarily at public librarians. Although it focuses on Wisconsin law, it contains much information that is not Wisconsin specific.
Public Library Toolkit
(American Association of Law Libraries) Provides information designed to "help public librarians understand the process of legal research...with the end goal of helping the patron locate the legal information they need." State specific information is also provided for selected states.
Articles About Self-Representation