There are several options when conducting legal research.
Most of us rely on Fastcase, Google Scholar, Westlaw or Lexis. A new website recently launched in beta that puts a new perspective on conducting legal research.
It’s called Ravel.
Results are presented within a graphical and interactive interface which allows users to review a large amount of information.
It appears that only U.S. Supreme Court and Court of Appeals decisions are available on the site. Researchers can enter a case name, case number, or conduct a keyword search. If you are searching by citation, it is important to put it in quotes (e.g. “125 F.3d 1”) in order to obtain a proper result list.
One clear use for the website is to quickly locate citing references. Using the citation above as a test (State Police Ass’n of Mass. v. C.I.R., 125 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 1997)), I was able to easily obtain a copy of the decision and a listing of other cases that cite to the case. Ravel did not, however, alert me if the case was or was not still “good law.”
Thanks to Megan at Marquette University Law Library for the tip.