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Case Finding and Advanced Searching Strategies

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Case Finding Strategies

This guide contains tips and strategies for all stages of your case research process.  It focuses on Westlaw and Lexis, but other case research platforms (such as CaseText and FastCase) often have similar features and tools.  See the list of topics below for help finding where to start in this guide. 

Are you just getting started with your research?

  • Start with secondary sources (Westlaw and Lexis, plus print and other research platforms)

Is the area of law governed by a statute, regulation, or court rule?

Do you already have a relevant case but need to find more?

Have you already attempted the above strategies?  Or, are you nearing the end of your research?


These flowcharts can help you find cases when you've already identified a relevant statue or case.  The rest of this guide provides more detail on the steps they outline.

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Westlaw and Lexis accounts are available for current Stanford Law School faculty, staff, and students only.  If you need to register for an account, please email us at