The Law and Legal Help

Legal Assistance & Research

  • Greater Boston Legal Services - Cambridge/Somerville Legal Services. Provides free legal assistance to low income families and individuals residing in Cambridge, Somerville, Arlington, Belmont, Woburn, and Winchester.
  • Massachusetts Courts Self-Help. Find information on how the Massachusetts Court System operates, how to find a lawyer, and how to locate other services that might be available to you.
  • Middlesex Law Library. Trial Court Library for Middlesex County. Offers help with legal research, books and materials to borrow, free public wifi, and online databases for no charge, including Westlaw and Lexis.
  • Other Mass Trial Court Libraries. There are 15 Trial Court Law Libraries located across Massachusetts to serve the courts, attorneys and the public. Just like local public libraries, the law libraries are open to everyone. You can receive legal reference assistance, borrow books, and use print and electronic resources.
  • Massachusetts Court System. Find a courthouse, search basic case information and scheduled court dates or recently published opinions.

State Laws

  • Massachusetts General Laws. Provides an unofficial version of the General Laws. General Laws are codified according to subject matter in a multi-volume publication entitled the General Laws of Massachusetts. The official version of the General Laws is now published every two years, with cumulative pamphlets released periodically.
  • Code of Massachusetts Regulations (CMR). Find regulations issued by all state agencies by number or by subject.
  • Massachusetts Acts and Resolves (session laws). Provides an unofficial version of the Session Laws from 1997 to the present, updated regularly. Each bill that becomes law is given a chapter number based on the chronological order in which it was adopted. These chapters are called Session Laws and are compiled on an annual basis. View digitized volumes Acts and Resolves from 1692 to 2010 at the State Library's electronic repository.
  • Massachusetts State Library. The State Library houses a specialized collection of books and other items that focuses on Massachusetts state and municipal publications and histories, legislative research materials, and other law volumes.

Federal Laws

  • United States Code. The Code contains the general and permanent laws of the United States, organized into titles based on subject matter. 
  • National Archives. (CFR and Federal Register) The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) presents the official and complete text of agency regulations in an organized fashion in a single publication. It is divided into 50 titles covering broad subject areas of Federal regulations, and it is updated by amendments appearing in the daily Federal Register. Used together, these two publications establish the latest version of any given rule.
  • govinfo. A service of the United States Government Publishing Office (GPO), which is a Federal agency in the legislative branch. govinfo provides free public access to official publications from all three branches of the Federal Government, including the CFR, Federal Register, Congressional Record, Congressional bills, Presidential documents, and more.

Updated June 2020