Learn About Free Legal Info Resources At Fort Bend County Law Library


Fort Bend County Libraries’ Law Librarian, Andrew Bennett, will present demonstrations of the informational legal resources that are available to the public at the Fort Bend County Law Library. Brief, introductory classes will take place on Thursdays April 6, 20, and 27, between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon, in 15-minute increments, or by appointment.

Non-lawyers who want to find out how to begin legal research can learn basic database-searching tips and the use of form-finder tools. The material that will be discussed is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. Librarians cannot provide legal advice or recommend specific forms. 

Individuals may sign up to receive free one-on-one instruction on any one of these legal resources at the library: WestlawNext, Lexis Advance, HeinOnline, O’ Connor’s Online, and Legal Resources. These “express” classes last about 10-15 minutes each, and there are four class-options to choose from for each resource.

WestlawNext is a legal resource that includes federal and state cases, United States legal code, state statutes and code, briefs, legislative history and citators, forms, practice guides, legal encyclopedias, and treatises. The Law Library’s subscription to Westlaw Next focuses on Texas Law. The Texas Form Finder in this resource is particularly helpful for those who are unsure of what form they need since it has a natural-language search tool that does not require legal terminology to perform a search.

The four class-options to choose from for WestlawNext instruction include “Introduction to WestlawNext,” “Document Retrieval,” “Keyword Searching,” and “Advanced Template Searching.”

Like WestlawNext, the Lexis Advance resource provides information on federal and state cases, U.S. code, state statues and codes, legislative history, and practice guides. In addition, it includes secondary sources like the Matthew Bender practice-guide series of publications.

The four class-options to choose from for the Lexis Advance resource include “Introduction to LexisOnline,” “Document Retrieval,” “Searching Multiple Sources,” and “Access Guided-Search Form.”

HeinOnline is a database that includes a more complete law-journal collection than the other two resources. It also includes the Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. and United Nations Treaties, and Fastcase (a case database).

The four class-options to choose from for the HeinOnline resource include “Introduction to HeinOnline,” “Document Retrieval,” “Browsing Collections,” and “Advanced Searching.”

The classes are free and open to the public. Registration for these one-on-one classes is required, and will open 2 weeks prior to each class date. To register, call the Law Library at 281-341-3718.

The Law Library is located in the Fort Bend County Justice Center at 1422 Eugene Heimann Circle, Room 30298, in Richmond.