At Fastcase, one of our missions is to make the law more accessible to people. So it’s natural for us to give a tip of the cap this week to the granddaddy of free law online, Cornell’s Legal Information Institute (LII).
If you’ve ever searched for law on the Web, you probably already know about the LII — since 1992, Tom Bruce and Peter Martin, as well as a group of dedicated law students, have been publishing judicial opinions and the U.S. Code online. They have also been involved more recently with a collaborative legal dictionary and encyclopedia called Wex, as well as a very good e-mail alert system for U.S. Supreme Court arguments and opinions.
In short, LII is awesome, and here are three good reasons why. 1) They were first. And by first, I mean LII was around when the Web wasn’t even a web. Tom Bruce wrote one of the very first web browsers — that’s how early these guys were on the scene.
2) Cornell’s LII started a movement around the world. Literally — there are LIIs all across the world modeled after Cornell’s. There’s also a cool (okay, geeky-cool) documentary discussing this on YouTube (3 very short parts).
3) It’s free — not even ad supported. Cornell’s LII calls itself the “law-not-com,” and it’s entirely funded by “grants, the consulting work of its co-directors, and gifts. No subscription fee limits access to LII services. They are not cluttered with commercial messages or banner advertising.”
On that third point, if you’ve used LII’s great resources, we encourage you to support their work. No strong pitch (click here for Tom Bruce’s great anti-pitch on his blog) — just links if you’re inclined in that direction.
Source: LII’s Blog
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