Ravel and Casetext – A New Generation of Legal Research Tools

Katrina June Lee , Susan Azyndar , and Ingrid Mattson have published A New Era: Integrating Today’s ‘Next Gen’ Research Tools Ravel and Casetext in the Law School Classroom, forthcoming in Rutgers University Computer & Technology Law Journal .

Here’s the abstract:

The legal research landscape is changing…again. In recent years, law school professors introduced Google, WestlawNext, and LexisAdvance into their classrooms. Now, a new generation of legal research tools that include the innovative Ravel and Casetext will have law school professors grappling with the questions: Should law professors teach these next gen research tools as part of the skills curriculum? If so, how? In this article, the authors respond with a resounding “Yes” and propose a set of teaching ideas for doing so without sacrificing precious class time. They conclude that Ravel and Casetext pose an intriguing and exciting possibility for achieving the pedagogical goals of legal skills classrooms. In Spring 2014, the authors implemented a teaching and assessment classroom pilot module in the legal writing classroom using Ravel and Casetext, and this article builds from the lessons of that pilot. The authors contend that integrating these legal research innovations in the law school classroom advances significant pedagogical goals: teaching law students information literacy (e.g., research strategy, context, and source evaluation); teaching metacognitive skills; preparing students for law practice; and exploring professionalism and ethics issues. This article provides an overview of the pedagogical goals of teaching legal research skills, describes the newest “next gen” tools Ravel and Casetext, and discusses how teaching these tools furthers the pedagogical goals. Finally, the article describes in detail the pilot module used in one of the authors’ first-year legal writing classroom and suggests many possibilities for the integration of the newest “next gen” research tools in the legal skills classroom.

What is Casetext?

From their website – https://casetext.com:

By leveraging contributions from an active community of law professors and attorneys, Casetext is able to provide the public with free access to legal research, linked to an online legal community designed to connect you with colleagues in your field.

Want to learn more? Take a video tour of the site, read about our tools for sharing and discovery, or learn about searching on Casetext.

What is Ravel?

From their website – https://www.ravellaw.com:

Ravel Law is a new legal search, analytics, and visualization platform. Ravel enables lawyers to find, contextualize, and interpret information that turns legal data into legal insights. Ravel’s array of powerful tools – which include data-driven, interactive visualizations and analytics – transforms how lawyers understand the law and prepare for litigation. In today’s global and increasingly digital world, Ravel empowers attorneys to benefit from this huge influx of information and find value in it.

In 2012, Ravel spun out of Stanford University’s Law School, Computer Science Department, and d.school, with the support of CodeX (Stanford’s Center for Legal Informatics).

We’re based in San Francisco, California.

Are any law schools out there teaching these or other new legal research tools?

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One Response to Ravel and Casetext – A New Generation of Legal Research Tools

  1. Great insight! Here’s another great legal research tool that’s poised to be a game-changer. It packs both strengths of data analytics as well as automatic file organisation to mine knowledge from even a company’s local document database. Check it out http://juritool.com/features.html

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