Amplify Google Scholar with CiteStack

Many solo-small attorneys elect not to pay for Lexis or Westlaw and instead uselLower cost alternatives like Fastcase (free with bar membership) and Google Scholar (always free).

When I am researching I tend to use both Scholar and Fastcase, but CiteStack may tip the scales in favor of Google Scholar.

How it works

The majority of younger attorneys have learned to do research online. CiteStack makes it easy to keep track of cases while you are researching online.

You should be aware, however, the CiteStack only works with Google’s Chrome Browser and you must be researching with Google Scholar.

When you find a case that is useful to your project, you add it to your “stack.” The case, along with the full cite, will be added.

If you find text that is useful, you can also highlight text and add it to your stack. The program will add it, along with a pinpoint cite to the text you selected.

You can also input notes in a separate field—for when you find that one case that makes your brief.

Why it is useful

If your research method consists of highlighting, copying, and then pasting, you can end up with a bunch of formatted text containing hyperlinks and other junk.

If you are not good at making outlines or research memos, CiteStack makes it easy to generate a “stack report,” which is essentially the totality of your research, containing the various cases and important passages.

What are the downsides?

If you know how to make outlines and research, CiteStack really just makes it easier to highlight passages and organize your research. For some people, it may not be worth the price.

Speaking of which, there is a 30-day trial, but a one year license costs $69, which is relatively cheap.

Want to learn more about Google Scholar and other online legal research tools? We have a portal for that.



  1. Avatar Jason Grimes says:

    Curiously absent is any mention of the lack of an actual Citator (such as Shepard’s or KeyCite) in Google Scholar (or Fastcase or Casemaker for that matter).
    If you do more than a little bit of research each month, any cost gains made by not subscribing to Lexis or West will be gobbled up in the hours of extra billable time needed to ensure that you’re relying on good law.
    And, as you all know, a lawyer may be subject to sanction for not revealing adverse authority to the court.
    It never ceases to amaze me how many lawyers try to circumvent the need for a value-added legal research system – when you can get your state materials for about $100/month! Could SOMEONE please explain to me how this is not insane?
    (F.D.: I am employed by one of the value-added research providers mentioned above.)

  2. Sam Glover Sam G. says:

    I’ve never found the need for Westlaw or Lexis. Could someone please explain to me why I need them?

    (And, as you all know, a lawyer is only subject to sanction for not revealing adverse authority of which he or she is aware. If my research failed me and I happened to miss something, I guess I’d be okay as far as sanctions go.)

  3. Doesn’t currently work on a Mac, which I confirmed with them. It’s fixable, but not high on their priority list.

  4. Avatar Randall R. says:

    @ David – that stinks, thanks for checking on that!

  5. Avatar Larry Beedle says:

    I am just a pro se litigant with just two (2) precedent cases of record. Have gone against three (30 large law firms in the past. And what ceases to amaze me is the relevance, or lack thereof, cases that are used by these legal professionals are so far off point, as to sometimes be almost laughable, but of course out of respect I would never respond to any attorney’s citations as being humorous. How can this be? Is it the fact I lack a law degree, and attorney’s attitude toward pro se litigants is that base, or do professional attorneys sometimes miss the point in their research? This topic is very curious; and as a pro se litigant would like to know what the causes are; a bad research team, time constraints, or low esteem for a pro se litigant? Amazing?

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