Redesigned VersusLaw

Not long after its 1995 launch, Web research service VersusLaw adopted the slogan, “Revolutionizing the way America does law.” This was no exaggerated boast. In an era when online legal research still required expensive and cumbersome dial-up access to Westlaw and Lexis-Nexis, VersusLaw pioneered use of the Web to offer lawyers an alternative. At the time, it was the only place on the Internet where a lawyer could find housed under one roof decisions of the Supreme Court, all federal circuit courts and all 50 state appellate courts. In fact, it was the only place to find many of these courts’ opinions anywhere on the Internet. Most revolutionary of all, it offered all this entirely free.Recently, VersusLaw underwent its most extensive retooling since 1996, featuring a more sophisticated design and a more powerful search engine. While no longer free, it remains one of the best deals in legal research, with a standard subscription costing just $8.95 a month. For basic caselaw research at an affordable price, VersusLaw is hard to beat. Subscribers get access to opinions from the Supreme Court, U.S. circuit courts, U.S. district courts, state appellate courts, tribal courts and foreign courts, along with AdvanceLinks, a weekly e-mail case alert. Higher-priced subscriptions — a $19.95 a month Premium Plan and a $34.95 a month Professional Plan — add selected state and federal statutes and regulations, constitutions, court rules, and other material.My longer review recently appeared in Law Technology News, along with a list of the libraries it includes. (Sorry: If you have never been to the LTN site before, you will have to register to see the full article.)