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Environmental Studies: Legal Resources

Subject guide for Environmental Studies


Free Secondary Sources

ABA Journal  - Free legal news magazine with archived issues beginning in 2004. Dictionary  Not as extensive nor authoritative as Black's Law Dictionary, offers a legal dictionary that is both searchable by major legal topics. Dictionary Not as extensive nor authoritative as Black's Law Dictionary, provides basic definitions to thousands of legal terms and concepts. 

Wex Legal Dictionary/Encyclopedia  Brief overviews of legal topics, arranged alphabetically and offer introductions to  important concepts in these areas of law, along with citations to principal sources of primary law.   Information related to the U.S. Supreme Court and includes some information about past and present justices and the Court's cases, and a collection of audio recordings of oral arguments. All arguments from 1981 to the present are included.



Where to find Court Cases online

U.S. Supreme Court Cases

Library of Congress -  (1754-2003) Browsable by year, justice, and major case topics. Searchable by case title.

FindLaw (1893-present)  Browsable by year and U.S. Reports volume number, and searchable by citation, party name, and keyword.

Google Scholar (all)  Click "case law" then "select courts" to choose the jurisdiction

Justia (all)  Browsable by year and U.S. Reports volume number

Supreme Court (all) Searchable by citation and keyword. Search can be limited by jurisdiction and date.

Federal Circuit Court Cases (Reported) / Federal District Court Cases

Federal Court Finder 

Google Scholar  (1923- present)


Justia  (1901-present) / Justia (1924- present)

Code of Federal Regulations -  e-CFR

Federal Regulations and Federal Register

Web resources


A listing of freely available federal legislative materials collections can be found under Free Sources of Legislative History on Free and Low Cost Legal Research Guide.     U.S. federal legislative information, including information on Members of Congress, committees, the Congressional Record, and nominations and treaty documents. Create an account and set up alerts to track and monitor legislation. 

EPA Laws and Regulations - Covering topics from Acid Rain to Wildfire Smoke.    Official, authenticated publications from all three branches of the Federal Government, including select legislative materials. From the United States Government Publishing Office (GPO).   1993 - present.

Govtracks- Environmental Protection Bills -  Browse bills in the U.S. Congress related to the subject Environmental Protection.

An Index to In Custodia Legis Legal Research Guides  Organizes research guides published on the Law Librarians of Congress blog, In Custodia Legis.   Beginners guide to Federal Legislative History

Justia-  Free case law, codes, regulations and legal information.

LLSDC Legislative Law Book Compiled by the Law Librarians' Society of Washington, D.C.,  contains discussions of legislative process, legislative documents and their publishing.     Links to House & Senate Committee Hearings & publications

Legal Information Institute  Free access to law- i.e. State Regulations, Executive Orders, Primary Sources.

LII Environmental Law Violations 

Popular Name tool   Search the United States Code Table of Acts Cited by Popular Name. 

Non-Government Sites

Many non-governmental organizations produce extensive amounts of research material; while much of it can be biased, mining the bibliographies for information sources can be very helpful.  Below are links to non-governmental organizations working within environmental law or environmental issues.

Audubon                                                          Earth First!                        

Environmental Defense Fund                         Environmental Investigation Agency           

Forest Stewardship Council                           Friends of the Earth          

Greenpeace USA                                           National Geographic Society

National Resources Defense Council            National Wildlife Federation                                                      

Nature Conservancy                                      Rainforest Action Network                   

 Sierra Club                                                   Water Education Foundation

Wildlife Conservation Society                        WorldWatch                                                 

World Wildlife Fund

Environmental Law blogs from Justia


California Resources from Justia

Guide to Law Online from Library of Congress

California Legislative Information

California State Archives

California Code of Regulations

California Legal Research from Findlaw

Legislative Analyst's Office -analysis of ballot propositions and a searchable database of LAO publications.