On LawNext: How The Free Law Project Works To Expand Access To Legal Information, With Cofounder Michael Lissner

Since 2010, the nonprofit Free Law Project has been working to make the legal ecosystem more equitable and competitive using technology, data and advocacy. It may be best known for CourtListener, its flagship project that houses an immense collection of court orders and opinions, and for its RECAP suite, which is the largest free collection on the internet of court filings and dockets. 

But there is a lot more to the Free Law Project, as you will hear from our guest on today’s episode, Michael Lissner, the Free Law Project’s cofounder, executive director, and chief technology officer. Lissner started the Free Law Project while earning his master’s degree at the University of California Berkeley School of Information, with the assistance of cofounder Brian Carver, who was then an assistant professor at the school and who is now copyright counsel at Google.

Since then, the Free Law Project has expanded into a multifaceted source of legal data and tools, all with the goals of providing free access to legal materials and developing technology to enhance legal research and innovation. 

The Free Law Project’s data also supports a range of academic research and investigative journalism, including having provided data that fueled the recent Pulitzer Prize awarded to news organization ProPublica for its reporting on the financial conflicts of Supreme Court justices. 

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