Project: Free The Law

What does Free The Law do?

Free The Law is making all U.S. case law freely accessible online.

Why does Free The Law exist?

Our common law - the written decisions issued by our state and federal courts - is not freely accessible online. This lack of access harms justice and equality and stifles innovation in legal services.

The Harvard Law School Library has one of the world's largest, most comprehensive collections of court decisions in print form. Our collection totals over 42,000 volumes and roughly 40 million pages. The Free The Law project aims to transform the official print versions of these court decisions into digital files made freely accessible online.

To realize this ambitious vision, we're teaming up with Ravel Law, an innovative legal research and analytics company. Ravel is funding the costs of digitization and will be making all of the resulting cases publicly available for free search and API access. You can learn more about the key terms of our collaboration with Ravel by reading a detailed overview here.

Free The Law is possible only because of the dedicated work of a long, distinguished line of librarians and other staff members over the last 200 years, who expertly collected and preserved the print volumes now available for digitization. The project continues to rely heavily on huge contributions from many at the Law School Library, the Law School and from across the University.

We also express our deepest appreciation for the brilliant advice and extraordinary efforts of Jeffrey P. Cunard, Maxine Sharavsky and their colleagues Michael Gillespie, Sarah A.W. Fitts and Robert Williams, Jr. at Debevoise & Plimpton, Henry B. Gutman and colleagues at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, and Jonathan H. Hulbert and his fellow members of the Office of the General Counsel.

How can I learn more?

If you’re interested in using Free The Law or contributing to the project, contact us with this simple form.