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Google Scholar: an Introduction to Google Scholar: Legal

Use this guide to help you begin your research using the search engine Google Scholar!

Court Opinions

Which court opinions are included?

Currently, Google Scholar allows you to search and read published opinions of US state appellate and supreme court cases since 1950, US federal district, appellate, tax and bankruptcy courts since 1923 and US Supreme Court cases since 1791. In addition, it includes citations for cases cited by indexed opinions or journal articles which allows you to find influential cases (usually older or international) which are not yet online or publicly available.

Legal opinions in Google Scholar are provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied on as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed lawyer. Google does not warrant that the information is complete or accurate.

Searching Legal

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How do I search for court opinions?

Select Legal opinions and journals on the Google Scholar homepage or in the dropdown menu on the search results page.

Legal opinions and journals

You can limit search to legal opinions and journals in several ways. From the Homepage, you can select the option marked legal opinions and journals. From search results pages, you can use the first dropdown menu, which allows you to select collections to search, to make this choice. Finally, you can also select this option from the Advanced Scholar Search page.

Searching in Particular Jurisdictions

How do I search for court opinions from a particular jurisdiction?

You can select specific jurisdictions on the Advanced Search page.

Jurisdiction restrict

You can limit search to legal opinions from one or more jurisdictions. The common options for jurisdiction-restricted searches (federal cases and cases from the state you are querying from) are available via the first dropdown menu on search results pages. To specify a list of jurisdictions to search over, you can use the Advanced Scholar Search page. Simply check the boxes for the jurisdictions you are interested in searching.

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