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Free Online Legal Research

This Guide describes a wide range of online legal research resources. It covers primary law, government resources, research guides, reference sources, forms, and legal news.

State Court Self-Help Guides

The California Judicial Council's California Courts Self-Help Guide is designed to provide the types of legal information needed by self-represented litigants. A Spanish version of this site is also available. 

Additional self-help information can be found on the main Judicial Council's California Courts website. While most of the topics under the "Self-Help" tab on this page will link to the California Courts Self-Help Guide referenced above, there are a few topics ("Problems with Money," "Criminal Law" and "Wills, Estates and Probate") that link to unique pages on the California Courts website.

The Self Help A-Z Index may also be worth browsing for additional information. Included on this page is a link to a Self-Help Glossary, which may provide helpful definitions of legal terms, as well as an Ask a Law Librarian link for live online reference assistance.

Links to comparable state court self-help guides for other states can be found on the Self-Represented Litigation Network's State-by-State webpage (scroll down to the chart at the bottom of the page). Self-Represented Litigation Network (SRLN) is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing access to the civil justice system in the United States.

California Self-Help Research Handbook

Other California Sources

Note to UCLA Law users: Many of Nolo's books are also available via the Legal Information Reference Center, one of the UCLA Law Library's Digital Resources.

County Law Library Classes & Clinics

Below are examples of the types of self-help classes/clinics offered by local California county law libraries. Use the Find a California Public Law Library page to locate the websites and explore similar offerings of other California law libraries.