How to Use Google Scholar to Search Court Case Law


Google Scholar is a free legal research platform that offers access to case law. However, unlike subscription resources, it does not provide editorial enhancements and finding aids. How do you find the Contextual Links?

One such feature is Shepard’s Citator, which shows how cases similar to your own have been addressed in other jurisdictions. Another option is Ravel View, which visually represents search results.

Shepard’s citator

Shepard’s Citator is a legal service that tracks how cases have been dealt with over time, providing researchers with an in-depth look into how decisions have interpreted a particular case, thereby verifying its precedential value and verifying its precedential value. Attorneys and judges use Shepard’s to make sure their research relies on sound authority while offering a comprehensive analysis of a case’s foundations, including reasoning results and arguments of each argument presented against an accused party.

To effectively utilize Shepard’s, researchers must first understand its operation. Once this step has been accomplished, using appropriate filters is key to finding relevant information. One especially helpful filter is Citing Decisions, which shows any cases that have addressed or discussed a case being Shepardized, providing researchers with access to details about its history and treatment.

The Table of Authorities, an invaluable research aid, compiles all cases, statutes, and agencies that cite a case being Shepardized. Shepard provides subsequent appellate history as well as additional sources, such as law reviews and Restatements that refer back to it. Citations are organized by jurisdiction so researchers can easily focus their search.

Shepard’s service can also determine if a case has been overruled, modified, or disapproved of by a higher court. Furthermore, it will indicate whether another citation disagrees with either its reasoning or result, although such disagreement may not impact its precedential value. If it has been overruled or modified, it will be marked as bad law, while otherwise, it will be labeled good law. Find the best Authority Backlinks.

Shepard’s is a valuable tool for uncovering subsequent treatment of cases, but it does have some restrictions. For example, it does not contain any court decisions that simply cite the original cited case without discussing its reasoning or results. Therefore, Shepard’s should be used alongside services like LexisNexis and Westlaw; these allow researchers to narrow their searches more easily by jurisdiction and date.

Ravel View

Ravel View is an intuitive search visualization tool that instantly maps your top 75 case law search results onto a graph for easy analysis of their relationships between cases. The larger a circle appears, the more frequently that case was mentioned during your search results; you can also click any one of them to display more detail about it.

Lexis Advance users will gradually receive access to this tool over the coming weeks; once fully implemented, all subscribers will be eligible. According to the company, they intend that this will save lawyers time by eliminating manual cross-referencing cases, as well as allow for discovering subtle insights such as success rates of arguments before specific judges.

Legal analytics has quickly become a trending technology area, with multiple companies providing innovative ways to analyze data. Some are explicitly exploring how judges perceive and articulate their decisions; the results may be quite telling.

Ravel is one such company, making it easier to quickly spot important Supreme Court cases from search results in an accessible list view format and showing how often other cases cited those decisions.

Daniel Lewis, the Founder and CEO of this tool, says it was created to assist attorneys with research faster and more confidently. Young attorneys spend up to 30% of their time doing research—one of the most stressful parts of their jobs!

This company has raised millions in funding to accelerate its expansion. Visuals can make sense of massive volumes of complex and unstructured data using visual analysis technology. Hagan, who graduated from Stanford Law, had an intense passion for making information more accessible to non-lawyers and students. Creating comiclike flowcharts to assist her classmates in understanding legal concepts was only the start; eventually, she discovered something useful! Best way to find the Classified Profile Links.

This company is using an impressive 10 million court decisions database to help users gain insight into the law. Leveraging their backgrounds in design, its founders are using this data to predict how cases will unfold using factors such as case outcomes, motion patterns, and judge behavior.

Post-search filters

Post-search filters enable you to refine the search results from a list of documents. They appear on the left side of your results list after running a search and can be used to narrow any content type, including primary and secondary materials. Multiple filters may also be applied simultaneously at various parts of the results list: for example, you could filter results based on citations and authors in one part and further narrow them by choosing jurisdiction in another section.

Some of the available post-search filters include:

Subject – Refine results to articles related to a specific topic using Nexis Indexing. Industry – Limit search results to articles discussing specific industries. Timeline – Adds date restrictions by normalizing law review/journal dates into specific month/day/year values for this filter. Keyword – Narrow results by selecting keywords appearing five or more times; People – Focuses search results to attorneys/law firms identified within court documents where names could appear multiple ways, so this filter normalizes them for this filter.

Certain filters may not apply to all Content Types. For instance, the Timeline filter is unavailable when applied to Statutes, Regulations, and Treatise Sections because these documents lack dates.


Google Scholar provides an intuitive interface for searching court case law. It enables users to search by keyword, full text, or any combination thereof, as well as exact phrases or groups of words found within titles and body text documents—even using the “intitle” search operator! Likewise, cases and opinions by jurisdiction are searchable via quotations, while cases and opinions using Bluebook Citations can also be easily located using quotations.

Google Scholar’s simple interface makes it an effortless search tool, but be wary of some details. Not all information provided through the search is reliable or up-to-date – therefore, it is wise to cross-reference sources from multiple reliable resources before trusting one source exclusively. Keeping track of searches and results is also critical.

Use the arrows on the left side of your screen to filter and expand/narrow your search results, discovering new scholarly articles. Clicking any search result opens a new tab displaying that article along with its source and link back to its source. Alternatively, use arrows to expand/narrow search results further.

Google Scholar may be free, but it doesn’t provide access to all court decisions and does not cover statutes and regulations. While the court case database provides a good starting point, be sure to double-check its source before acting upon it, as it could contain false information.

Google Court Case Database offers federal and state case law as well as journals for reference. This comprehensive resource serves as an invaluable resource for attorneys and academics looking for case law.

The database features an assortment of court opinions from across all levels of jurisdiction – the Supreme Court, district courts, and appellate courts alike – as well as non-judicial articles and books. To locate a specific case quickly, navigate the list of cases until you come to its section and scroll down accordingly.

Clicking a case title provides additional details. In some instances, its name will be highlighted and linked to read its full opinion; otherwise, a brief synopsis will show how other courts viewed its proceedings.

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