2021 Research Associates

Like most things at LIL, our visiting researcher program has taken many forms over the years. This year, despite our team being spread across the East and Midwest Coasts (shout out to Lake Michigan) we were thrilled to welcome five research associates to the virtual LILsphere, to explore their interests through the lens of our projects and mission.

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Interface Upgrade | Integrating Queries into Search and Case View

With expanded feature capabilities, users may find writing these queries to be more difficult, especially as researchers increase the complexity of their investigations. To make usage easier, we have integrated the Trends query language into the Search and Case View features. From a search query, users can click the Trends button, upon which our servers will automatically convert an existing query into a Trends timeline.

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New Feature | Flexible Citation Queries

Expand your ability to visualize citation practices with the latest support added to our Trends tool. Trends now supports flexible queries of how cases cite other cases in addition to the other ways in which cases can be filtered. By appending the name of any acceptable filter parameter to cites_to__{parameter name here}, users can retrieve all cases citing to cases matching said filter. The parameter name, like before, can be any parameter accepted by the Cases API.

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Feature Update | Extension of Trend Search Capability

Today, we are announcing an update to the Caselaw Access Project (CAP) API and Trends tool to help users better investigate changes in the law over time. These new features enable users to easily generate timelines of cases and explore patterns in case citations. We hope that they can help researchers uncover new insights about American caselaw.

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Exploring Caselaw Interfaces

Courts and the legal publishers that serve them, by necessity, are creatures of habit. A case's fundamental structure hasn't changed much, whether published early in the 19th century or during the COVID pandemic. Even when publishers started taking their wares online, they didn't stray far from their well-worn model. In many ways, that's a good thing. I imagine legal research and writing would be much more arduous if fundamental case elements were as inconsistent as citation schema over the years.

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