Robert Ambrogi recently published an article in the May issue of the ABA Journal which reviewed the beta research tool, RAVEL. RAVEL was created by two Stanford Law students, Daniel Lewis and Nicholas Reed. Lewis says that he developed RAVEL to create “…sort of a visual process of trying to figure out where on this map I needed to locate myself and what other cases were that I needed to be aware of.”
RAVEL is a different sort of computer assisted legal research (CALR) tool. It provides a visual map of cases that result from a search query and displays a textual list of cases adjacent to the map. According to its founders, this research tool is designed to “…show the relationships among cases and their relative importance to each other….”
RAVEL can be accessed here. Subscriptions include a basic service which is free and a premium service which is fee based. Coverage is described as providing access to over 5 million cases that can be searched via a Google type tool bar by case name, docket number or keyword. Keyword searching can use either natural language or Boolean operators.
A basic subscription provides access to decisions from the United States Supreme Court from 1789 onwards and decisions from all U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal from 1925 onwards. Decisions from United States District Courts (1933) and state Supreme Courts (1950) are available for the premium subscription.
The research tool is designed to allow legal researchers to:
* search and map, applying filters to limit search results;
* analyze and reveal; and
* annotate and track, marking it up and then exporting annotations to another document.
Again, a basic subscription is free so sign up here.
Hat Tip: ABA Journal