Skip to content

Low Cost or Free(!) State Law Legal Research Sites

March 19, 2010

3 Geeks and a Law Blog has a great post summarizing various low cost legal research sites.  The post can be found here.

The posting lists Fastcase, Loislaw, Casemaker, and Google Scholar as low-cost state law research providers. (Say that three times fast)

I hadn’t heard of Fastcase before, so I jetted over to their site.  They offer a 24 hour free trial, a “National Appellate” subscription for $65/month and $695/year, and a “National Premium” subscription for $95/month and $995/year.  They also have an iphone app (drool).

Loislaw is the grand-mommy of all Lexis/Westlaw alternatives.  They have various flat-rate subscription options including a one-day, weekly, monthly, and yearly subscription.

I hadn’t heard of Casemaker either, but 3 Geeks crowned it as the low cost state law legal research website to use, so my interest was piqued.  Unfortunately when I got to their page, I was greeted with this message:

We’re currently down while we improve the site.

Please pardon the mess while we improve the site. If you have any issues please email support@lawriter.net. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Oh well, I’ll check back later to see what all the fuss is about.

And finally, good old Google came up with a free(!) legal search engine of their own.  The site is intuitive and easy to use. Simply type in your keywords, indicate whether you want to search legal articles, state cases, or even patents, hit “enter,” and cross your fingers.  The downside to this search is that you have no way of knowing whether the cases you find are good law. The site does not have nifty multi-colored flags that LexisNexis and Westlaw have, so you’re left wondering whether that stellar case you found is even citable.  Having said that, Google Scholar is a good starting point if you want to run some quick searches.  And, hey, I have to give Google props for attempting to level the legal research playing field (a little bit).

Advertisements
2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 21, 2010 6:50 pm

    Casemaker is actually only available via the 28 bar associations that provide this service (for free) to their members. At this time, I don’t think that Casemaker is available for individual purchase (maybe you can convince the California Bar to purchase this for its members!)

    Here’s a link to the Casemaker FAQ.

  2. March 21, 2010 9:07 pm

    Thanks for the info and link, Greg!
    Keep up the great work with your site.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: