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Law: QuickStart Guide

This guide is intended to serve as a starting point for finding legal information and is intended for public library users and librarians.

Legal Blogs & Podcasts

Legal Feeds & Blogs from LOC

Links from the Law Library Division of The Library of Congress to RSS feeds and Email Subscriptions.

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Legal News Websites - Keyword or Topic

Jurist is one source for keeping up with national legal news of interest.

Search for news by topic or keyword using the links below.

Massachusetts Laws in the News

For recent legislation, search the Session Laws which are arranged in chronological order.  For current bills before the Massachusetts General Court (legislature), click on Bills Search.  Sign up to receive a free State House newsletter called MASSterList.

For a specific day's legislative information, search the Senate and House Journals.

Cases in the News

Federal News

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Historical News

The main index generally covers the years 1878-1937, although there are selected entries for earlier and later dates. Entries include obituaries, coverage of political events, speeches, dedications, visits of foreign dignitaries and general news events. The Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Boston Journal, and Boston Transcript were indexed most consistently, although there are entries for other newspapers as well. A later index, covering the years 1960 to 1983, includes articles from the Boston Globe and Boston Herald which are primarily political or governmental in nature.

Legal Periodicals Searching

Use the advanced search feature in Gale's Academic OneFile database to limit search to legal journals.  Also try Google Advanced Scholar Search for searching legal journals. If you have a Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries library card, search HeinOnline.

What's New or Timely

When Can I Sign Up for the Benefit?

As of May 12, 2021, eligible households will be able to enroll in the program to receive a monthly discount off the cost of broadband service from an approved provider. Eligible households can enroll through an approved provider or by visiting

Congressional Record Daily Digest

Most-Viewed Bills | Top 10

If you didn’t get the full Economic Impact Payment, you may be eligible to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit

American Rescue Plan Act Provisions: What It Means for States / prepared by NCLS (National Council of State Legislatures) . Topics: State and Local Aid; Direct Payment to Citizens; Tax Provisions; Expanded Unemployment Benefits; Small Business Provisions; Health and Human Services Provisions; Medicaid/Medicare Policy Funding; Nutrition Provisions; Homeland Security Provisions; Agriculture Provisions; Transportation and Infrastructure Provisions; Education Provisions;  Environmental Provisions; Energy and Utility Provisions; Consumer Protection Provisions; Housing Provisions; Veterans; Technology, Broadband and Cyber

Governor Baker-Polito Administration VIDEO Updates - current and previous live-stream events

SHNS Coronovirus Tracker

Daily COVID-19 facts for Massachusetts from the State House News Service is currently free. Click here.

City of Newton COVID-19 Vaccine 



Get the answers you need!   It's Free.  Confidential.  Multilingual. Dial 2-1-1 or search online.

COVID-19 VACCINATION LOCATIONSSearch by zip code or by map.

COVID-19 WEEKLY PUBLIC HEALTH REPORT.  Alphabetical list town-by-town, color-coded.  Updated each Thursday by 5 p.m.


COVID-19 RELIEF BILLS in the Massachusetts Legislature

COMMUNITY TRACING COLLABORATIVE -  Getting a call and other information.  Click here 

How can I verify MA COVID Team or my local health department is calling? Calls from the MA COVID Team will use the prefix 833 and 857 and your phone will say the call is from “MA COVID Team.” Calls will be made daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Your local health department will use their local phone numbers to contact you.

City of Newton Health & Human Services Department information, orders, guidance and more 

Form to report COVID-19 compliance concerns.  




Massachusetts Bar Association's Dial-A-Lawyer

Call (617) 338-0610 between 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Dial-A-Lawyer is monthly on the first Wednesday

2021: May 5 ; June 2 ; July 7 ; August 4 ; September 1


  • What legal problem are you facing? 
  • Click here to use Massachusetts Legal Resource Finder.

Example: Massachusetts Legal Resource Finder  Guide Me - I have a housing problem interactive guide

Example: Housing Topic.  Find RAFT Program (Residential Assistance for Families in Transition)

New! Trial Court Help  Call 833-91COURT (833-912-6878)  8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. 


If you need to hire a lawyer:

  1. Get an instant online referral here
  2. Call us to speak to a trained LRS representative*
  3. (Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.) at (617) 654-0400 or (866) 627-7577

Massachusetts: Virtual Court Services court users can receive face-to-face virtual assistance from court staff while remaining in the safety of their own homes.  Help with Housing, Land, Middlesex  Juvenile, Probate & Family Courts and much more.

American Association of Law Libraries.  Public Library Toolkit. Beginning with a section on general legal research, scroll down for STATE-SPECIFIC PUBLIC LIBRARY TOOLKITS.  Click on the state you need, example: Massachusetts, for listings with links to resources.



If you would like to use Ask a Law Librarian a question, you may chat, send an email, or request a document.

Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries Document Delivery Service 

Locations and Contact Information for Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries

Social Law Library

New! Ask  your Massachusetts public librarian to search Social Law Library databases

Massachusetts Public Libraries: LIBRARIANS LOGIN ONLY.


MASSterList - your go-to source for Massachusetts political news and commentary. Every day.

MASSterList.  News stories from Beacon Hill.  ALSO: Job Seekers: On Mondays, check the Job Board Listings!

In Your Opinion

Want to write an op ed or letter to the editor?  Try this box for guidelines and contact information.

Massachusetts Legal Newspaper

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly ONLINE is available on Newton Free Library online with our e-journal logon, and through Gales's Massachusetts History Online (Gale)

  Date restrictions apply for accessing full text.  Allow 6 weeks for current issues.  Database begins with 2001.

HeinOnline is available with a Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries library card.  You must apply in person for a library card.

Look for IMPORTANT OPINIONS OF THE WEEK on the front page column on Monday's print format.

THOMAS (Library of Congress) Daily Digest

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