About This Site
The law is meant to belong to the people, but it can be surprisingly hard to find. Case reports, a major part of the laws of the United States, are hard to get at, and even when on the Internet, rarely searchable. To get full access you generally need either a library of law reports, or an expensive subscription to an online database, which can cost hundreds of dollars per hour.
AltLaw is a small effort to change that—to make the common law a bit more common. AltLaw provides the first free, full-text searchable database of Supreme Court and Federal Appellate case reports. It is a resource for attorneys, legal scholars, and the general public.
- Full text search of the last few decades of appellate and Supreme Court opinions.
- Advanced search options (proximity searching, Boolean, concentration, wildcards, etc.)
- Fast and free
- Updated daily
- Coverage, for most Circuits, limited to about the last 40 to 50 years
- West Reporter Citations (i.e., 23 F.3d 178) not available for the most recent cases (last 1-2 years)
- As of yet, no state law or district court cases
AltLaw 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. AltLaw was written by Stuart Sierra and Paul Ohm, with help from Luis Villa and Dana Powers, and produced by Tim Wu.