Harvard and Ravel Law Collaborate to Free the Law

Daniel Lewis
Oct 29, 2015 · 2 min read

For too long, our country’s court records have been closed off to public access. They’ve been unreachable behind paywalls, locked up in archives, and left behind as books in a world that’s gone digital. Today we are announcing that we’ve teamed up with Harvard Law School and launched the “Free the Law” project to change that. Together with Harvard, we will make America’s court opinions available online, for free, to anyone in the world.

Working with the Harvard Law library, the world’s largest academic law library, we’re digitizing its entire collection of U.S. court opinions, from the start of the republic to the present. We are so glad to be working with Jonathan Zittrain in this effort. For the first time ever, practitioners, nonprofits, researchers, and law students will be able to freely and comprehensively search and read case law from every jurisdiction, from any time period.

(c) Lorin Granger

Harvard’s world-class collection of legal materials will be added to Ravel’s platform, where we use data science, machine learning, and visualization to help people quickly sift through millions of documents to find what matters.

“Harvard and Ravel Law’s project to make American case law openly available is a signal that the practice of law is entering a new era of technological innovation and provides the foundation for new analytics tools that empower lawyers with data-driven research in crafting legal strategy.” — Bill Cavanaugh, Co-Chair of Patterson Belknap

Anyone can search and read court opinions for free using our visualization tools and gain data-driven insights with our analytics.

“Technology is changing the legal landscape, and the law firm of the future will need to be more efficient, more agile, and more opportunistic in finding new ways to deliver legal services. The collaboration between Harvard Law School and Ravel Law offers a new and exciting resource that lawyers can deploy to improve how they practice law.” — Ralph Baxter, Fmr. Chairman of Orrick

Increasing public access to American court opinions through technology opens up a world of possibilities for new applications and new ways of understanding the law. While immense, this project is just the beginning, and we’re excited for what comes next.

Daniel Lewis

Written by

Co-founder and CEO @ravellaw