Law and Legal Resources

The La Crosse County Law Library is a service of the La Crosse Public Library and funded, in part, by the County of La Crosse. Resources are housed in the Reference Department at Main. Users are responsible for understanding and interpreting the materials. While library staff will help you navigate the resources, they cannot give legal advice or opinions.

Additional resources: 2 simultaneous log-ins to WestLaw; 40 internet computers; printer (.10); one dedicated law laptop; free, unrestricted wifi access; photocopier; scanner (to email or USB); fee-based fax machine.

Print Resources

(Funded by La Crosse Public Library unless otherwise noted.)

  • Wisconsin Statutes
  • Callaghan’s Wisconsin Reports –Current 5 years
  • United States Code – 2006 edition
  • United States Statutes at Large – most current; older editions are in closed stacks.
  • United States Reports – latest five volumes; older editions are in closed stacks.
  • Federal Register—Current year + 1 in Reference
  • Code of Federal Regulations--Current year in Reference
  • Wisconsin Administrative Code
  • Nolo Books –Consumer-oriented titles to check out.
  • State of Wisconsin CLE books:
    • Contract Law in Wisconsin
    • Wisconsin Guide to Citation
    • Wisconsin Civil Litigation Codebook
    • New Wisconsin Family Code and related Statutes
    • Wisconsin Real Estate and Real Property Codebook
  •  Wisconsin Pleading and Practice (funding provided by La Crosse County)

Where to find materials the library does not own:

  • Wisconsin Statutes Annotated - Available in print at Western Technical College & UW-L Murphy Library.  It is also available online.
  • Wisconsin Jury Instructions: Civil, Criminal and Children’s - Civil and Criminal Jury Instructions in paper at Western Technical College. Select jury instructions can be ordered through the Wisconsin State Law Library. Wisconsin jury instructions are commercially published and not available online for free.
  • Wisconsin Judicial Benchbooks (Criminal/Traffic, Civil, Family, Juvenile and Probate - La Crosse Public Library does own them through Wisconsin Books Unbound).
  • LEXIS/NEXIS - Available for students at Western Technical College and UW-L Murphy Library. 

Online Resources

WESTLAW (Ask a Reference staff member to log you in. Available only at Main to 2 users at a time.)

  • Wisconsin - Under “Search for database” select “View Westlaw Directory.” This is divided into four main components:
  • Journals and Law Reviews:

Journals and Law Reviews Pro includes all available law reviews and bar journals excluding ABA and Aspen Law and Business publications. Full coverage for most of these journals does not begin until 1994. Consult the directory to see what law reviews are included.

There are also a number of international law review journals available outside the “Journal and Law Reviews Pro” series.

To search law reviews for a specific jurisdiction such as Wisconsin, go to My Database >Journals and Law Reviews > Journals & Law Reviews by Jurisdiction > Wisconsin

Included in this directory are:

  • Wisconsin Journals and Law Reviews (mega search)
  • Journal of Law in Society, (full coverage begins with 2001 (vol. 2)
  • Marquette Elder’s Advisor (full coverage begins with 2003 (vol. 5)
  • Marquette Intellectual Property Law Review (full coverage begins with 1997, vol. 1)
  • Marquette Law Review (full coverage begins with 1992 (vol. 76)
  • Marquette Sports Law Review (full coverage begins with 1993 (vol. 4)
  • Sports Lawyers Journal (full coverage begins with 1994)
  • Wisconsin Environmental Law Journal (full coverage begins with 1994 and ends with 2002)
  • Wisconsin International Law Journal (full coverage begins with 1995)
  • Wisconsin Journal of Law, Gender and Society (full coverage begins with 1995)
  • Wisconsin Law Review (selected coverage begins with 1981 and full coverage begins with 1985)
  • Wisconsin Lawyer (selected coverage begins with 1983)

Narrow your search by looking at the directory of “Journals & Law Reviews by Title” if you want to find something very specific or to find out what the coverage is available on Westlaw. Other databases that are included are International U.S. Database and World JLR.

  • Wisconsin Analytical Library

Wisconsin Forms – Full text of Wisconsin Civil Practice Forms, Wisconsin Legal Forms, and Wisconsin Pleading and Practice Forms. Coverage varies by source.

Within this category, forms are also broken down by subject:

  • Business & Commercial
  • Construction Law
  • Elder Law
  • Estate Planning and Probate
  • Real Property

You will also find the Pleading and Practice forms within this folder. Pleading and Practice is an authoritative source covering WI civil practice from summons to final appeal, including a comprehensive collection of court-tested forms and practice pointers. You can also search Pleading and Practice independently from the consolidated folder. Construction Law, Family Law and Worker’s compensation all have individual folders to search.

You will also have access to the Wisconsin Practice series, written by local experts with a practical and informative survey of core legal topics in Wisconsin civil and criminal practice.

  • Wisconsin PRO Plan databases includes sections on case law, statutes, court rules and orders, administrative code (2002-2010), attorney general opinions (begins 1977), Wisconsin insurance materials, and Wisconsin texts and periodicals.
  • WestlawPRO Primary Law Library covers Federal materials, such as Supreme Court Justice databases, cases and judicial materials.

State Bar of Wisconsin

Wisconsin Books Unbound (funded by La Crosse Public Library) (In-house use only)

A subscription-based online library of State Bar of Wisconsin CLE books (the "brown binders").  Ask at the reference desk to use.

Included in the subscription are the following titles:

  • Advising Older Clients and Their Families (Vol 1 & 2)
  • Alcohol Beverages Regulation in Wisconsin
  • Annual Survey of Wisconsin Law
  • Appellate Practice and Procedure in Wisconsin (includes forms)
  • Arbitration & Mediation of Business Disputes (Wisconsin Business Advisor Series:  Vol. 10)
  • Business Litigation (Wisconsin Business Advisor Series:  Vol. 6)
  • Business Organizations (Wisconsin Business Advisor Series:  Vol. 7)
  • Civil Procedure before Trial
  • Collections and Bankruptcy (Wisconsin Business Advisor Series:  Vol. 4)
  • Commercial and Consumer Transactions (Wisconsin Business Advisor Series:  Vol. 3)
  • Commercial Real Estate Transactions in Wisconsin (includes forms)
  • Condemnation Law and Practice in Wisconsin
  • Condominium Documents, Drafter's Guide to (includes forms)
  • Contract Law in WI
  • Critical Terms in Criminal Proceedings in Spanish & English
  • Damages, Law of (Vols. 1-3)
  • Discovery Law and Practice
  • Easements, Law of (includes forms)
  • Eckhardt's Workbook for Wisconsin Estate Planners (includes forms)
  • Employment Discrimination Law, A Guide to
  • Employment Law
  • Employment Law (Wisconsin Business Advisor Series:  Vol. 8)
  • Environmental and Real Estate (Wisconsin Business Advisor Series:  Vol. 2)
  • Fair Dealership Law
  • Family Law Casenotes and Quotes
  • General Business Issues (Wisconsin Business Advisor Series:  Vol. 9)
  • Guardian ad Litem Handbook (includes forms)
  • A Guide for Wisconsin Nonprofit Organizations
  • Hiring and Firing in Wisconsin
  • Insurance Law
  • Intellectural Property Law (Wisconsin Business Advisor Series:  Vol. 5)
  • LLCs and LLPs:  A Wisconsin Handbook (includes forms)
  • The Marital Property Classification Handbook
  • Marital Property Law in Wisconsin
  • Organizing a Wisconsin Buiness Corporation (includes forms)
  • Real Estate Transactions System
  • Securities, Mergersm and Acquisitions (Wisconsin Business Advisor Series:  Vol. 1)
  • Seventh Circuit, Attorneys Guide to the
  • System Book for Family Law
  • Traffic Law and Practice
  • Trial Practice
  • Voluntary Termination of Parental Rights and Adoption
  • Wages and Hours Handbook
  • WI Judicial Benchbook Vol 1:  Criminal/Traffic
  • WI Judicial Benchbook Vol 2:  Civil
  • WI Judicial Benchbook Vol. 3:  Family
  • WI Judicial Benchbook Vol. 4:  Juvenile
  • WI Judicial Benchbook Vol. 5:  Probate
  • Wisconsin Attorney's Desk Reference
  • Wiconsin Civil Litigation Forms Manual (includes forms)
  • Wisconsin Condominium Law Handbook
  • Wisconsin Construction Lien Law Handbook (includes forms)
  • Wisconsin Criminal Defense Manual (includes forms)
  • Wisconsin Ethics Opinions
  • Wisconsin Juvenile Law Handbook (includes forms)
  • Wisconsin Probate System Forms and Procedures Handbook (includes forms)
  • The Wisconsin Public Records and Open Meetings Handbook
  • The Wisconsin Rules of Evidence:  A Courtroom Handbook
  • Worker's Compensation Handbook

External Resources

Local Online Resources

Wisconsin Online Resources

  • LegalExplorer—LegalExplorer is maintained by the Wisconsin State Bar Association, and its mission is to educate citizens about the Wisconsin legal system. Find a lawyer, ask a legal question, and find informational pamphlets on specific legal topics.
  • Wisconsin Statutes
  • Wisconsin Adminstrative Code
  • Wisconsin State Law Library—The Wisconsin Law Library has resources on statutory, administrative, and case law for federal, state and tribal jurisdictions.

Federal Online Resources

Judicial Branch:

  • U.S. Supreme Court—Current court opinions and details on how the court works. Past court opinions in Findlaw. Findlaw contains opinions from 1893 to current.
  • Federal Courts Opinions—The Cornell University Law School maintains an opinion directory to the U.S. Court of Appeals, U.S. District and Bankruptcy Courts, and the U.S. Courts of Special Jurisdiction.

Legislative Branch

  • Thomas--Find bills, resolutions, public laws, House/Senate roll call votes, activity in Congress, the Congressional Record, committee reports, and treaties.
  • United States Code—General and permanent laws of the United States divided by subject matter.

Executive Branch

  • Code of Federal Regulations—Codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the executive departments and agencies of the federal government.
  • Federal Register—Official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as executive orders and other presidential documents.
  • Executive Orders—Official documents through which the President of the United States manages the operations of the federal government.

Legal Forms

Public Records


Organizations/Contacts

Legal Action of Wisconsin, 608.785.2809.  Legal Action of Wisconsin handles only civil law for low-income people.  For example:

  • Family Law - Divorces, custody & placement disputes
  • Consumer Law - Bankruptcy, collections, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
  • Housing Law - Eviction, denial or termination of public housing benefits, security deposits, foreclosures
  • Public Benefits - Unemployment insurance, disability benefits & supplement security income (SSI) , W-2, food stamps, Kinship Care, Medicaid, Badger Care and Energy Assistance.

Wisconsin State Law Library, 800.322.9755

Law Information Center – located on the second floor of the La Crosse County Courthouse; free guidance from volunteer attorneys, retirees and paralegal students for La Crosse County residents who want to represent themselves in court; call
608.785.5886 for information and hours. Sponsored by the La Crosse Bar Association.

Family Law Information Center, La Crosse County Courthouse, 333 Vine St., First Floor, 608.785.5886. Volunteer attorneys are available every Tuesday and Thursday from 11:45 am to 1 pm; every other Monday from 11:45 am-1 pm. For questions about court forms, family court procedures, and make referrals to community resources.

Free Legal Advice Clinics: Free legal advice for low-income people will be provided by attorneys from 6 to 7:30 pm on the third Wednesday of each month, at First Baptist Church, 1209 Main St. Sponsored by the La Crosse County Bar Association.