Casetext: Using Artificial Intelligence to Make Research Easier and Faster

By Andres Y. Gonzalez, WSRSL J.D. Candidate, Class of 2019

A few weeks ago, I woke up to a tweet that alarmed me quite a bit. My phone was not mistaken this time when it told me a #robotfight was about to take place during Legal Week, an event where companies showcase the newest technology in the market. Although it was a better tweet to wake up to than many others I have received since opening my account less than a year ago, I had no idea what it entailed but was confident Casetext was not going to let me down.

I learned about Casetext through an email Prof. Huffman shared with the student body letting us know we had free access to this tool. Taking advantage of the opportunity to procrastinate on my reading, I went to the website to learn more about the company. Casetext’s mission to use technology to increase access to justice sparked my curiosity, so I decided to register. And I am so glad I did it! Looking back, those few minutes I spent learning more about the company have since been recovered and I would like an opportunity to share my experience with you.

Have you ever been working on an assignment and thought about how great it would be to have more time? You may be wondering, how can Casetext help if they cannot give you time?

Well, one of the reasons Casetext attended Legal Week in San Francisco last month is not only because of robot fights, but also because some of its products are revolutionizing the legal industry. By using artificial intelligence (AI) to make searches more efficient, Casetext can shorten the time you spend doing research. AI enables machines to accomplish tasks humans can do but at an exponentially higher speed. When it comes to access to justice, increased speed and high quality results can enable attorneys to assist more clients. Alternatively, attorneys may chose to spend more time to ensure their clients have a good understanding of the legal problems and possible outcomes or they may be able to reduce overall costs by factoring out the time saved on research.

Even though Casetext cannot give you time, it can make things easier for you. CARA, for instance, allows you to upload a legal memo or brief and will provide you with a detailed list of additional sources to consider, including other briefs relevant to yours. Just like other emerging types of AI we see today, CARA cannot do your work nor it can replace attorneys. At this time, it cannot interview a prospective client, write a legal brief or litigate a case in court. What CARA succeeds at is ensuring all relevant sources are taken into account in order to put forward the best legal argument one can make.

What I like about Casetext is that they know legal knowledge cannot be exclusive to people in the legal profession. Because they believe access to justice requires making the information available to everyone in our communities, most Casetext’s products are not only accessible for free to law students but also to the general public. For my classmates who will be graduating in a few months, this is a very important tool to be familiar with. When the WestLaw and LexisNexis memberships expire after you are done with law school, but not yet settled in your new job, know that Casetext has your back.

I recently joined the Casetext team as an ambassador and would like to share with you what I have learned thus far. Please be on the lookout for upcoming events and maybe even some robot fights. If you have questions and would like to meet, do not hesitate to reach out at andresyg@hawaii.edu.  Click here to claim your free account.


Andres will be tabling in the law library lobby, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018 from 2-4pm. Be sure to see him then.

Third Thursday Talks: The U.S. Congressional Serial Set, Congressional Documents 1817-Present

Joining us for our first “Third Thursday Talks” is Andrea Sevetson, a ProQuest Congressional trainer, who also edited the book, The Serial Set, Its Make-up and Content (2013). In it, she states, “The Serial Set is probably the most important series of publications on all aspects of American life from 1789-Present.” You might me wondering, “What is this publication and why haven’t I heard of it before now?”

Reports of special investigations and research authorized by the president are included in the Set as well as congressional reports and documents, and Senate Treaty Documents.

U.S. interest in Hawaii or the Sandwich Islands began in the first part of the nineteenth century. In 1807, Congress created the Survey of the Coast, the first U.S. scientific agency to complete a survey of the coasts of the United States. In 1946, after a disastrous tsunami struck Hilo, Hawaii, the agency instituted the west coast tsunami information warning system.

The number of publications in the Serial Set 1817-2010:

  • 275,000 House and Senate Reports
  • 100,000 House and Senate Documents
  • 700 Hearings 300 Journals (Both House and Senate)
  • 300 Court of Claims Reports

Also, the Serial Set has its own numbering scheme, which is one reason it seems difficult to use. To demystify the Serial Set and launch your next research project, come to the Law Library Lobby for its “Third Thursday Talks” on Thursday, November 16th at Noon in the Law Library Lobby.

This is a “Lunch & Learn Research” session, thus, lunch will be provided.

Please RSVP to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/third-thursday-talks-the-us-congressional-serial-set-congressional-documents-1817-present-tickets-39202222904 by Monday, November 13.

This session is ideal for students contemplating SYS, Law Thesis, Native Hawaiian Law Certificate, and Environmental Law Certificate.