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. The services below aim to make searching of the PACER data more efficient or save costs.
State and federal case and statutory law offered in a variety of low cost plans. Free for law students and faculty.
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|
|Casemaker||Yes, but get a list of cases that cite the statute. This list of cases is not available on the app version.||
Yes– OH Supreme Ct. (1894-); Ohio App.(1934-); Ohio Misc.(1999)
Ohio unreported 1981-
Some Jurisdictions - Jury Instruc., Jury Verdicts, More.
Can sort by relevance, date decided or most cited. Sorting not available in app.
Can click on linked case names and statute citations to go to case or statute. Not available in app.
|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.
|Versuslaw - See help, Content/
|Fed if pay more, no state||Ohio 1950 -. Ohio unreporteds 1995 -. Older Fed District More $||Fed if pay more, no State||Yes||----|
|Boolean||Natural Language||Fields||Search databases together||Saves Searches,
|Bloomberg Law||Yes - s/, p/||Yes||Advanced Searches on the right side||All-in-One Search Box||
Saves Searches and
|Casemaker||Yes - w/n||Yes||
Yes, but not on app.
Can search within searches for jurisdiction and keywords, but not on app.
|All-in-One Search Box||Saves Searches, but not on app.||
Yes, but not on app.
Can assign searches to Clients, see time spent, but not on 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.|
|Versuslaw||Yes - w/n||Yes default connector is ADJ||4 fields, see help||For additional fee||No||No|
Casemaker, Fastcase, Bloomberg, although with limited functionality.
According to an ABA Survey, lawyers spend an average of 20 percent of their work time conducting legal research, and when they start a research project, they generally turn first to free online research services before using fee-based services or research materials in print or on CD-ROM.
You can find all of these types of legal research resources at the Franklin County Law Library.