Another Valuable Resource for Online Judicial Decisions

Following up on our post about Carl Malamud's project to create a free resource for court decisions online, there's been another important advance in this area this week. On Wednesday, AltLaw launched its free legal search engine, which lets users perform full-text searches of the last 10 years of federal appellate and Supreme Court opinions. Tim Wu, a Columbia law professor and one of the heads of the project, writes about AltLaw:

Obviously the program is beta and unfinished. We don't think, in its present form, that Altlaw can serve as a full substitute for a commercial legal database. But the crucial word is YET. With help or on our own we're going to do at least the following before we consider Altlaw beyond beta:

  • Expand coverage; both in terms of dates and jurisdictions;
  • Link citations with cases; and
  • Create smart, advanced searches, beyond which other databases have.

This is another important step forward for citizen access to the decisions of our nation's courts. The CMLP applauds AltLaw, which is is a joint project of Columbia Law School’s Program on Law and Technology, and the Silicon Flatirons Program at the University of Colorado Law School.

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