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Real World Research: Home


The study and practice of law touches on all aspects of life.  Students should be aware of resources available in various disciplines.  Students should also be conscious of cost when performing research.  Disciplined, cost-effective research requires familiarity with a resource.  The cost for using fee-based databases can be prohibitive.  Depending on your work situation, you may not have access to databases and library resources that you have become accustomed to using during your law school career.

This guide provides a listing of mainly free Internet sites on a variety of information sources that may prove to be useful to practitioners.  In many cases, the information found on these Web sites are primary sources from the originating entities.  Sites charging a fee are indicated by $$$.


Local Public Libraries & County Law Libraries

  Public Libraries

Take advantage of the online databases offered through your local public library.  Many public libraries subscribe to databases that provide business and news information and full-text journal articles.  These databases are usually accessible from remote locations if you have a public library card.

  Free Library of Philadelphia  A Free Library card is available at no cost to anyone who lives, works, pays taxes, or goes to school in the City of Philadelphia. In addition, anyone who lives in the state of Pennsylvania can obtain a Free Library card without charge.  Access electronic databases, downloadable eBooks, Audiobooks, Magazines, Streaming Videos and Music, and Digital Learning Resources.

Need a book that you can't find in your library?  Check Worldcat to see if any other libraries in your area may have the book in its collection.

   County Law Libraries

Many Pennsylvania counties have law libraries which are open to the public during the hours that the Court House is open; circulation of materials, however, is generally limited to members of the County Bar.

 Cumberland County (Carlisle, Pennsylvania)

Jenkins Law Library (Philadelphia)
Montgomery County (Norristown, Pennsylvania)

York County Law Library (York, Pennsylvnia)


Pennsylvania Bar Association (Casemaker, etc.)


Search the Library Catalog

Widener Law Databases

Search Widener Law Databases

When accessing these databases off campus, you may be prompted for your name and library barcode number. The library barcode number is printed on the back of your student ID.