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Guide to Free Online Legal Resources: Our Legal System

This guide directs legal researchers to the best websites for locating legal information for free on the Web. It includes finding tools and legal search engines as well as primary sources from our three branches of government, both state and federal.

Introduction to Our Legal System

Our nation's legal system is divided into many different pieces. Many of us have heard of "checks and balances" but maybe don't fully understand what that means. Simply put, it means that we have 3 branches of government - the executive, the legislative, and the judicial. Each of these branches serves to balance the other two and to check them in their powers. But is this all of our government? Not quite. We are also governed on both a state level and a federal (national) level, both of which have their 3 separate branches. The links below provide more in-depth information on our nation's legal system.

Three Branches

Three Branches of Government Tree