Official State of Iowa Website

Accessing Subscription Legal Research Websites

Our legal research pages suggest many free options for accessing state and federal legal information, including, the Iowa Legislature website, and Google Scholar.Icon of a hand typing on a keyboard

In addition to free legal research resources like those mentioned above, online legal research resources exist that require a paid subscription. Two examples are Lexis and Westlaw. These resources offer special search functions and research tools that can make legal research faster and easier.

Unfortunately, these resources can be expensive. If you would like to use a specialized legal research resource like Westlaw without paying for your own subscription, you will need to find a library that offers public access to the resource.

The State Law Library of Iowa provides access to Westlaw for members of the public, but you can only access this resource within the State Law Library during regular business hours. More information is available at the State Library of Iowa’s page Online Resources for Iowans.

If you are not able to visit the State Law Library in Des Moines, you may be able to find a college or university that is closer to you that offers a subscription legal research option. For example, both the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa libraries subscribe to Nexis Uni, which is a version of Lexis designed for colleges and universities. Before visiting a library, make sure to call or email the library to find out if the resource you want to use is available to members of the public.

Visit our page Getting Help from Librarians for more information.