Posted on October 25, 2007 in altlaw, findlaw, Westlaw, wikipedia by Brian RoweComments Off

Several years ago FindLaw was the best free website for legal research. This is the Findlaw I fondly miss:


Look at the great features on the front page search for case, Supreme Court case, Laws and Code.

Now look at the FindLaw of today:

Since Westlaw purchased Findlaw it has been striped of utility and litterd with obtrusive advertising. WestLaw has even locked some of FindLaw’s content behind logins. That is just what we need, our privacy striped away when viewing law. FindLaw has become an advertising service with limited functionality and atrocious usability.

What is worse is that FindLaw has a page rank of 8! WT%. For a long time FindLaw was the only public resourse for online codes and caselaw. Many wikipedia entries still link to findlaw cases that have been transformed from pages of useful text to pages full of ads and pop-ups. Here is one example from the wikipedia entry for International Shoe Co. v. Washington

This is not the quality of external link Wikipedia is known for. Legal contributors to Wikipedia should serious consider other options before linking to FindLaw. The best alternative for case law right now is A free service from Columbia Law School’s Program on Law and Technology, and the Silicon Flatirons Program at the University of Colorado Law School.

Has Westlaw learned nothing from Google? In purchasing Findlaw, WestLaw had an opportunity to provide an amazing service to the public, free accessible case law and code, but they have blown it, with too many ads and too little useful information.

Vote against Findlaw online, remove your links and send a message about quality online. FFIP will be removing Findlaw from our links page.