Skip to main content
Tarlton Law Library logo Texas Law Home Tarlton Law Library Home
Today's Hours:
Today's Hours
More Hours

Legal Research Process

What is the ABA Law Journal Search Engine?

The ABA Law Journal Search Engine is a free search engine that searches the full text of over 400 law reviews and law journals, as well as document databases that host academic papers and related publications. 

Several of the documents that can be searched via the ABA search engine’s database are available online only. On its homepage, the ABA search engine provides a list of the journals that are included in its full-text search, followed by a list of journals that have full text available for free online but must be searched/browsed manually. The website for each journal is provided as well. 

Coverage varies for each source, but the extent of coverage for any given source is not spelled out.

When and How to Use the ABA Law Journal Search Engine

The ABA Law Journal Search Engine has been put together using Google's Custom Search Engine and can be used with general keyword searching.

Although this search engine runs on Google, results will probably vary from those returned from the same search on Google Scholar. Thus, it is worth trying both free resources before turning to subscription databases, whether indexes like LegalTrac or full-text like Lexis and Westlaw.

Strengths & Weaknesses

One of the major downsides to the ABA Law Journal Search Engine is that it has very limited access.  It is also unclear how far back its coverage goes—for example, it is impossible to tell whether it extends back to the first year of each publication.  It is therefore a good way to obtain free full-text copies of law review articles that you have identified first through other databases or search engines, but would not be an ideal starting point for your research.