Legal research. I’m compulsive. I want it and I want it right now. It needs to be current and for my practice I need access to legal resources from around the country.
The Major "Brands:" A long time ago, I used each of the two "name brand" legal research tools. At first, the service arrived on CDs on a quarterly basis. As a sole practitioner working part-time, it was expensive. My database was limited to Michigan case law and statutes. But it was convenient because I could access it from my desk. Current? In this day, no one would call a quarterly update current. My niche practice in interstate jurisdictional controversies requires access to cases and statutes in all 50 states. Often I need copies of law review articles.
Later, I switched to the other name-brand legal research tool. This one was very expensive for a sole practitioner and my selected database was limited geographically. I was able “opt-out” of Michigan searches and do a search for other states—law review articles, treatises—all at an incredibly high price. One month, my bill from the service was over $700—all because an electrical storm had interrupted my law review search, I’d logged on three times, and I was billed $50 for each access and by the minute for each download.
Finally, along came TheLaw.net. This was an amazing find! At the time (2005 or 2006), it cost me $1/day! For that $1/day, I had access to law, statutes, court rules, rules of evidence, etc. from all federal and all state resources.