We’re now several weeks in to our “new normal.” The world is trying to find ways to cope in the midst of a pandemic, and legal education is no exception. There is a lot of uncertainty about the future, but in the meantime, we can and should keep learning. Society needs good legal professionals, and AdaptiBar is here to help you get there, even if all you have is the screen in front of you.
So, welcome to the next installment of our blog series, “Your Guide to Being a Virtual Law Student.” In last week’s Tech Edition, we discussed ways to maximize technology so you can dominate your virtual study plan. This week, we turn to the law itself. Here we’ll offer a sampling of online resources with free legal content. That is, black letter law to help bolster your virtual studying!
The Caselaw Access Project (“CAP”) from Harvard Law School
Looking for caselaw? Check out Harvard’s Caselaw Access Project, which has 6.7 million cases in its database. You can see the case name, citation, court, and more, all free and accessible. If you register for a free account, you can view and/or download up to 500 cases per day.
CALI (The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction)
Almost every law school has a subscription to CALI, which is a non-profit organization that offers a variety of tools and resources for learning the law digitally. If you register on the CALI website, you can find tons of lessons for all types of law school classes, podcasts, outlines, and books.
The Legal Information Institute (LII) of Cornell Law School – Wex Database
The Wex database allows you to search using a legal dictionary and encyclopedia for common terms of art. You can also use the LII website to look up statutes, Rules, and cases.
Law School Outline Databases
Many law schools have databases containing law outlines for free, open for use, such as this one from Santa Clara University School of Law. Try conducting a search for the type of outline you need, such as “Property outline free database.”
Justia prides itself on offering free legal research for law students and lawyers. You may have to sift through some of the news-related resources to find strict black letter law, but Justia’s database is huge so it’s worth taking a look!
This may seem overly general, but you’d be surprised at how many law school lectures have been posted on YouTube. For example, Yale Law School has a series of lectures on Contracts law. Another channel called The Law Simplified offers mini lectures on subjects like criminal law and property. Granted, they will try to get you to spend money for the full versions of some courses, but the free video snippets can be super helpful if you’re looking for a particular concept. When in doubt, just search whichever rule or term you’re trying to understand, and YouTube might very well have the answer!
Law School Toolbox
Law School Toolbox is a good resource for all-things law school. From law school 101 tips to podcasts and resources for tutoring, keep this in your back pocket if you feel overwhelmed or just need to know that law school can be tough, and there are ways to get help!
Feel free to use this list as a jumping off point to get creative about how you learn the law in the coming months. Don’t forget to take a deep breath if you feel overwhelmed and remember, AdaptiBar has your back.
Stay tuned for next week’s installment of our blog series, “Your Guide to Being a Virtual Law Student: ‘Mental Health’ Edition.”