Answered By: Kate Britt
Last Updated: Mar 29, 2018     Views: 5

Not every law firm subscribes to the major commercial databases to which MLaw students have access (e.g., Westlaw, Lexis, Bloomberg). You can start preparing for practice by using the legal databases that are available to a wider range of attorneys.

Many bar associations provide their members with access to one of two databases of U.S. case law, statutes, regulations, and other legal material. These are Fastcase and Casemaker, and MLaw students have access to both of them as well. 

  • Fastcase
    • State bars that provide members with Fastcase access include Illinois, Massachusetts, and New York. The complete list is here: https://www.fastcase.com/bar-associations/
    • Access through the Law Library does not require a password.
  • Casemaker
    • State bars that provide members with Casemaker access include Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Colorado.
    • MLaw students and faculty must create an account using your umich.edu address to access Casemaker.

Check the website of a bar association to see if it provide access to one of these services. If you expect to practice in a jurisdiction that provides such access, you can get a head start on efficient and cost-effective case research by familiarizing yourself with the appropriate database.

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