In 2010, we wrote our first scraper. It was a nasty affair that could do nothing more than download PDFs from a webpage — any webpage. Since that point, we’ve come a long way and today we’re extremely excited to announce that the Juriscraper library now supports every state court of last resort. In most states this is the “Supreme Court”, though some states call their highest court the “Court of Appeals” or similar.
This means that no matter what jurisdiction interests you, no matter what area of the law you work in, you can follow the works of your state’s highest court in real time, getting emails or RSS feeds of the latest cases that interest you. And, of course, as new opinions are issued by these courts, we will keep adding them to our system, continuing to build the biggest repository of cases we can. As of today, Juriscraper has collected more than 400,000 opinions, and we expect that number to grow and grow.
On top of this, we also support dozens of intermediate State appellate courts and all of the federal courts of appeals. Check our list to see if a specific court is supported and let us know if there’s one we should add — user requests are often how we prioritize our work! There are already a few administrative bodies and other specialized courts that we plan to add soon.
Completing our appellate court coverage is a milestone we’ve been working towards for a very long time, and we could never have gotten here without lots of support, both financial and social. The following people have contributed code, presentations and time to help get Juriscraper where it is today (let me know if I forgot you!):
- Asadullah Baig
- Brian Carver
- Ben Cassedy
- Andrei Chelaru
- Alan deLevie
- Bo Jin (Krist)
- Deb Linton
- Andrew McConachie
- Matt Meiske
- Taliah B. Mirmalek
- Polya Pelova
- Raymond Yee
- David Zvenyach
And the following organizations have provided generous support for this project:
Thank you all very much for the great work you’ve done and the support you’ve provided. We now have a complete and free system for efficiently gathering opinions from state courts of last resort.
This is truly a momentous day and you might be wondering what’s next for Juriscraper. The first thing we’ve begun doing already is to collect oral argument audio. An important feature of Juriscraper’s design is modularity and after a few minor re-workings, the code is now well-positioned to archive more than just court opinions. We are currently working on expanding Juriscraper’s reach to audio files and we soon expect to build an archive of oral arguments.
Beyond this, Juriscraper’s design allows it to be easily turned to other document types or jurisdictions entirely. We have long thought that we’d also like to archive open access law journal articles and incorporate those into CourtListener. (Get in touch if you’d like to help!) Or you might have some entirely different archiving project in mind, the Juriscraper code can take much of the heavy lifting out of your way and allow you to focus on the unique aspects of the documents you’re hoping to archive. If you put the code to some such alternative use, please get in touch to let us know!