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Innocence Project Northwest Clinic: Finding People & Public Records

Updated Oct. 20, 2014.
Prepared by Cheryl Nyberg.

This guide is part of a series for students in Prof. Jackie McMurtrie's Innocence Project Northwest Clinic. Companion guides include:

LexisNexis and Westlaw access is limited to individuals with their own IDs or passwords.


People

Privacy concerns have lead restricted access to public records assembled by commercial vendors. Law school subscribers used to have access to several public records databases on LexisNexis; that is no longer true. A separate LexisNexis product, Accurint, is not available under the academic contract, nor is it available through the UW Libraries.

Researchers who do not have "permissible uses" for the largest and most useful databases are left with an assortment of publicly available resources.

Lists

Marcus P. Zillman, Finding People Resources and Sites
An extensive list of free and fee-based sources.

Selected Online People Tracking Sources
Part of a longer guide on Competitive Intelligence; briefly describes the sources listed.

See also the Gallagher guide on People-Finding.

Free Sources

The Public Law Library of King County (formerly the King County Law Library) offers a class on Skiptracing: Finding Business and Personal Information. The class is offer about once a quarter. Check the schedule of Upcoming Class Sessions to learn when the class will be offered next.

Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media sites are also good sources, as well as newspapers and online telephone directories.

See also the Gallagher guide on People-Finding, which covers print and online directories for attorneys, businesses, corporate counsel, government employees and officials, law firms, law school professors, and legislators and legislative staff.

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Public Records

SearchSystems identifies online public records on a wide variety of topics, including births and deaths, businesses and corporations, court and criminal records, inmates, licenses, property, and voters. Links to free sources of records; also offers a fee-based "premium" service.

The Sourcebook to Public Record Information: The Comprehensive Guide to County, State & Federal Public Records Sources, 6th ed.
JK2445.P82S64 2005 at Reference Office

The Manual to Online Public Records: The Researcher's Tool to Online Resources of Public Records and Public Information.
JK468.P76H343 2008 at Foster Business Library, Reference

See also the Gallagher guides on:

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