Legal Research Guide: Forms

Finding Legal Forms
This research guide provides information on forms available in the Richmond Public Law Library as well as forms freely available online.  Most forms serve as models containing proper phrases, terminology, and other details required to create formal legal documents.  They must be tailored to meet individual needs and specific requirements of the jurisdiction where they will be used.

These requirements are contained in court rules, statutes, and sometimes, case law.  The Code of Virginia and The Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia (the court rules for Virginia) also provide the text of some sample forms.  Form books typically give you an overview of relevant procedures and instructions, often citing to the underlying primary law.   

Court Rules

Virginia Court Rules can be found online at: http://www.courts.state.va.us/courts/scv/rules.html

They are also available in print in the Richmond Public Law Library:

  • Volume 11 of the Code of Virginia
  • Virginia Rules Annotated, call number KFV 2929.A198
  • Virginia Court Rules and Procedure, Volume I – State,  Volume II – FederalVolume III – Local: call number KFV 2929.A2 V57

Court Forms

It is a good idea to check with the court to determine if it provides a relevant form.   Start with the link to Court Forms on the Virginia Courts website:   http://www.courts.state.va.us/forms/home.html

Form Books

There are 2 basic types of legal forms: (1) practice/procedural forms to be filed with the court (such as complaints, answers, and counterclaims); and (2) transactional/substantive forms, which are often between parties and create a legally enforceable agreement (such as contracts, wills, leases, powers of attorney, etc).

Print Sources of Forms Available in the Richmond Public Law Library:

  •    Virginia Forms:  Multi-volume set published by LexisNexis containing both practice and transactional forms
  •    Virginia Practice Series:  Covers many areas of Virginia law with sample forms in print & on disc
  •  Virginia CLE Publications: Broad coverage of Virginia law with sample forms in print & on disc
  •   American Jurisprudence Pleading and Practice Forms:  Comprehensive practice forms, national in scope
  •   American Jurisprudence Legal Forms:  contains thousands of both state and federal transactional forms

WestlawNext:

  • West’s Legal Forms: thousands of federal and state transactional forms
  • Virginia eForms: Courts and Agencies: hundreds of searchable official forms for state, local and federal courts and government agencies

Lexis Advance:

  • Virginia Legal Forms
  • Virginia Personal Injury Forms

Free Online Sources of Forms:

Courts:

Virginia: http://www.courts.state.va.us/forms/home.html

Federal: http://wwwuscourts.gov/FormsandFees/Forms/CourtFormsBycategory.aspx

Bankruptcy Courts

National:

http://www.uscourts.gov/FormsAndFees/Forms/BankruptcyForms.aspx

Local:

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Forms for the Eastern District of Virginia:

http://www.vaeb.uscourts.gov

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Forms for the Western District of Virginia:

http://www.vawb.uscourts.gov/BankruptcyInfo/localforms.html

State Agencies:

Virginia Government Agency Forms

Various National and Virginia Legal Forms:

Gale Legal Forms online

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