Online search strategies for court cases

Think about the different approaches for researching case law using the Internet.

  • Review the article, “Legal Search: Get a Case,” focusing on the steps involved in finding a legal case on LexisNexis.
  • Peruse the FindLaw and Cornell University websites and consider how you might use each to research case law.

The assignment: (1–2 pages)

  • Using at least two of the databases available through the Walden Library or on the Internet (LexisNexis,, or the Cornell University Law School’s Legal Information Institute):
    • Find the following case by title: Rubin v. Coors Brewing Co. Then provide the citation for the case.
    • Find the following case by citation: 583 S.E.2d 780 (Va. Ct. App. 2003). Then provide the title of the case.
    • Find the following case by key word searching: Roe v. Wade. Then provide the key words and the citation of the case.
  • Explain your experience using the databases to find the cases, noting the strengths and weaknesses of the databases you used.

Support your Application Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. You are asked to provide a reference list only for those resources not included in the Learning Resources for this course.

The Internet has a wealth of knowledge readily available at your fingertips. When looking for legal resources, there are many websites that provide databases of court cases. These websites contain a great deal of information, but for this reason it can be difficult to find the information that you need. Knowing how to narrow down a search and knowing strategies that can be employed to locate a specific case may improve your research success.

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