Harvard Law School is digitizing its entire collection of U.S. case law and making it available for free online, the first time such a collection is available to the public.
The library is one of the largest collections of legal materials in the world, second only to the Library of Congress. It contains more than 40,000 books with about 40 million court decisions from both the federal government and each of the 50 states. The university has been building the collection for 200 years.
The “Free the Law” initiative is supported by Ravel Law, a legal research and analytics platform. “Driving this effort is a shared belief that the law should be free and open to all,” said Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow. “Using technology to create broad access to legal information will help create a more transparent and more just legal system.”