Web Resources for Legal History
Summer Institute 2006

  Website Description  



Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute


This is a research activity of the Cornell Law School.  Click on “court opinions” to search historical Supreme Court opinions.  Click on “law about….” to find articles in many, many different categories such as labor law, legal ethics, immigration, and employment discrimination.



The Supreme Court Historical Society


The Supreme Court Historical Society is a private non-profit organization that conducts educational programs, supports research, and collects artifacts related to the history of the Supreme Court.  On this website, click on “History of the Court” to see a timeline of justices, “Court History Quizzes” to check your students’ understanding, or select the fantastic documentary features on the 1876 election and FDR’s Court-Packing Controversy.



The National Archives and Records Administration

This lesson plan illustrates the constitutional plan of “checks and balances” when highlighting Roosevelt’s plan to increase the number of Justices on the Supreme Court.  All of the National Archives lesson plans include primary sources that are well integrated into the lesson.
http://www.streetlaw.org/en/Audience.4.aspx This is a long list of Supreme Court Internet Sites.  If you scroll down to the bottom of the page, you will find sites for lesson plans that help students examine key issues of the Supreme Court’s past and present.



The Supreme Court of Illinois

Here you will find links to courts in Illinois as well as Illinois court documents and press releases.  Possibly the most interesting for you and your students are the court documents – you can find Supreme and Appellate Court opinions, rules, and policies.



The Southern Poverty Law Center

The Southern Poverty Law Center was founded in 1971 by Morris Dees and Joe Levin in Montgomery, Alabama as a small civil rights firm.  It is now known internationally for its tolerance programs and legal victories.  This organization also began publishing Teaching Tolerance (www.teachingtolerance.org), a magazine and set of curricula that are free to educators.



Women’s Legal History Biography Project

The Robert Crown Law Library at Stanford Law School has created this website for people interested in the subject of women lawyers in the U.S.  You will find a huge index of women lawyers and links to other websites, articles, and books that provide more information.



Library of Congress:  “By Popular Demand:  ‘Votes for Women’ Suffrage Pictures, 1850-1920”

This is a collection of 38 pictures, including portraits, photographs, and political cartoons commenting on the suffrage movement.



FindLaw for Legal Professionals

Here you may research a lawyer or browse the “practice area” for legal news, case law, and analytical articles relating to a specific topic.



National Association for the Advancement of Colored People


On this page of the NAACP’s website, you will find a timeline describing the development of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.  Although not mentioned specifically on this page, some identify the 1908 Springfield, IL Race Riot as being an event that directly led to the formation of the NAACP.  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NAACP)  On this timeline you will find descriptions of protests against the Supreme Court as well as cases brought by the NAACP.



Supreme Court of the United States

Here you can find out what’s on the Court’s docket, when they will hear cases, read opinions, and read rules of the court.




Ben’s Guide to U.S. Government for Kids

Great site for kids to explore the structure of U.S. Government.  There are pages for grades K-12, and students can learn about topics such as the branches of government, the election process, citizenship, and historical documents.  There is also a link that takes you to more U.S. Government sites for students.





This site has a tremendous variety of resources for those interested in the Supreme Court.  You can take a virtual tour of the building, find out what cases were decided on a particular day, and search cases by topic.  (Civil rights, criminal procedure, First Amendment, etc.) The “Top Cases” link gives a brief description of 20 of the most popular cases on Oyez.



American Civil Liberties Union


This site describes the series of civil liberties courses that are currently on the Supreme Court’s docket.  On the right side of the page, you can find cases centering on a certain topic – immigrant’s rights, criminal justice, disability rights, etc.  It also has a link “About the ACLU” that describes its mission and a brief history.


Abraham Lincoln Legal Career Links

This site is part of a project called “The Papers of Abraham Lincoln.”  The project is dedicated to identifying, imaging, and publishing all documents written to or by Lincoln.  On this site you and your students can learn about Abraham Lincoln’s Supreme Court and his legal career.



Lincoln Law Career Photo Tour

Take your students to this website to give them a brief background to Lincoln’s law career.  They can click on photos to see comments made by Lincoln’s colleagues and friends.



Duke Law:  Supreme Court Online

The goal of this site is to provide easy access (especially to teachers) to Supreme Court opinions.  There are readable summaries of pending cases and opinions.  Search by term or by featured court cases.



New York Times Learning Network Daily Lesson Plan

This site is a lesson plan for grades 6-12 that asks students to examine the top Supreme Court cases from the 1998-99 term.  They are asked to assess the issues behind the cases and the potential impact of the decisions.



Landmark Cases of the Supreme Court

“One-stop shopping for activities related to key Supreme Court cases and concepts mandated by state standards.”  Search this great site by case or the concept being studied.  Some examples include Brown v. Board, Miranda v. Arizona, and Korematsu v. United States.



University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law:  Famous Trials

This website is a fantastic resource for you and your students.  There are a variety of famous trials listed here, from the Salem Witchcraft trials to the Chicago 7 to the Moussaoui Trial.  Click on any of them to find a chronology, maps, images, other links, and primary documents.


The Papers of Abraham Lincoln

*Mentioned in Professor Bruce Smith's talk Wednesday, July 26. This is an initiative of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum to find and collect all documents written by Abraham Lincoln.


Homicide in Chicago, 1870-1930

*Mentioned in Professor Bruce Smith's talk Wednesday, July 26. This Northwestern University website hold a record index of the Chicago Police Department Homicide Division from 1870-1930. Click on a decade to see a timeline with pictures, search the interactive database, or view topics from the historical context of Chicago - "The Rule of Law," "Labor, Social and Reform Movements," and "Criminology" are only a few of the topics available.