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.