Skip to Main Content

Finding Case Law

Sources and strategies for finding case law about a topic.


This guide will help you find case law from a variety of starting points--from a citation, a legal topic, primary law, or secondary sources.

Though there are many documents (such as the complaint, motions, briefs, etc.) involved in a litigation, case law refers to the final disposition of a case after it has been decided and published. Cases are published in a "reporter," or a compilation of cases decided by a particular jurisdiction. Most reporters are now accessed electronically. To find documents filed within a case, such as a particular motion, you must consult a docket.

Please note: Most sources mentioned on this guide are only available to University of Chicago Law School students. If you are not a law student, please see the U.S. Legal Research for Non-Lawyers guide for alternative sources.

Using This Guide

Which of these situations apply to you? This will help determine your starting point.

Whatever your starting point, be sure to check if your cases are still good law by using a citator. See the Citators page for help with using these tools.