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SMU Libraries

Legal Internship Research Toolkit: Case Law


Case law is judge-made law and considered a primary resource.

The best resources for cases would be the databases your law firm subscribes to so do check what subscriptions there are. Some cases are also in physical law reports in libraries. You should check if your law firm has a corporate membership to any library (eg. SMU Libraries). If so, you will be able to access these law reports. Bear in mind that some law reports are for use within the library only so do check the library policy.


If your firm is a corporate member of SMU Libraries, you will be able to access its print collection. Do note the loan policies of the individual items as some items are for use within the library only. The following are available in SMU Libraries but are for in-library use only. Nevertheless, you can still make photocopies of the relevant cases subject to copyright licensing rules

Foreign cases

The best resources to locate foreign legal cases would be the relevant databases (eg. Westlaw, Manupatra) so do check what databases your law firm subscribes to. If you can't find the cases you're looking for, you can always consult free legal resources like the ones listed below. If you're looking at cases from a specific jurisdiction, you can also consider checking the court websites of that specific jurisdiction as these sometimes do give you access to cases.

Research guides

Research guides are compiled by subject experts and highlight helpful resources around a specific topic or jurisdiction. They are an excellent starting point if you're doing research in an unfamiliar area.

The use of electronic resources must comply with the Appropriate Use of Electronic Resources Policy and Singapore Management University Acceptable Use Policy