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Mobile Apps for Lawyers and Legal Researchers: Low Cost Databases

New Databases Incorporating Advanced Search Technologies

Ravel (owned by Lexis)

Uses data visualization to present results as a diagram showing case results as circles on a chronological grid, which can be arranged by court level. The larger circles indicate how many times the case was sited, showing the key cases at a glance. Lines between the cases show the relationships between them. Users report that they can complete research 66% faster if they start with Ravel, because it gives them an overview of the state of the law.

Paid subscribers can get star reading case clusters, which analyze key passages in a case, and identify subsequent cases which discuss the same topic. Advanced statistics, natural language technology and machine learning are used to create these. The clusters appear directly in the case.
Incorporates law firm client alerts and other secondary sources from the web.

Low Cost PACER Alternatives

PACER, the federal court system's online filing and docket system, provides huge amounts of documents from federal cases.  PACER charges ten cents a page.

Comparison of Low Cost Alternatives to Lexis & Westlaw


Unannotated Regulations “Shepard’s –Like Feature” Other
Bloomberg Law Yes, but click on Related Content to get court opinions citing the statute for federal - adding this feature for states

Yes - OH - Supreme 1852-; App. 1912-; Misc. 1946-2001; Selected unreporteds 2005-

Federal - 1789 for Supreme and District, 1891 for Circuit.

Yes - but click on Related Content to get court opinions citing the federal regulations- adding this feature for states Yes Dockets, Forms, Practice Books, News, Company Info, Legislation/reg tracking
Casetext Yes Yes Yes Yes Also includes an AI assistant
Decisis Yes. Also includes superseded versions of Page's Ohio Revised Code back to 2012

Yes– OH Supreme Ct. (1855-); Ohio App.(1926-); .

Yes, including superseded Ohio Administrative Codes back to 2015 Yes, but only reports negative treatment.

Also includes Ohio Constitution and Ohio Local, State & Federal Court Rules, including superseded back to 2013.

Forms, dockets, legal news.

Fastcase Yes, but get a list of cases that cite the statute. Not available in free app. Fed. App. 1924-, Ohio Supreme court & appellate 1936-,  Ohio unreporteds 2000-.Coverage Yes, but just Internet Links for 13 states, including Ohio Yes, more advanced in the paid version.

For some jurisdictions - Constitutions, AG opinions, administrative decisions, court rules.

Free app has no print or email function, but can save within the app. 

Both paid and app versions have hyperlinks to other cases and statutes.

App now syncs with desktop version, so that favorites and search history are available and updated on both versions.


  Boolean Natural Language Fields Search databases together Saves Searches,
Alert Searches



Bloomberg Law Yes - s/, p/ Yes Advanced Searches on the right side All-in-One Search Box

Saves Searches and

Alert Searches

Casetext Yes Yes Does not appear to have field searching Yes Yes Yes
Decisis Yes  Yes




.Yes Saves Searches, does not appear to have an app. 


Fastcase Yes - w/n Yes, but the faq from Fastcase warns that "natural language searches are much less precise"...than boolean. Date, cite look-up only Yes

Saves last 10 searches and recent documents, even on free app.

Alert feature, but not on app.

Save documents in favorites. On app, document just saves within the app.