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How We Work With Startups

Free Law Project is a non-profit that's on a mission to make the legal sector better.

We have two strategies to do this. First, we establish a foundational layer of legal data and technology that can benefit every American. Second, we provide data, services, and software to other organizations so that they can succeed and join us as force multipliers for our mission.

Over the years, we have worked with early- and late-stage organizations from a variety of sectors including FinTech, climate tech, security, AI, legal tech, litigation finance, firm management, and more. Using our services, these organizations develop prototypes, MVPs, and complex products.

If you're starting or running an organization in one of these fields, we'd love to talk. Reach out today to learn more, or read on to learn more about our offerings.

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We provide the following types of data:

  • Case Law — Since 2009, we have been building a database of every decision in U.S. history. It's not yet perfect, but it's getting close and many are already using it. Learn more here.

  • Federal Filings and Attorneys — The RECAP Archive is our collection of PACER data. It has millions of documents, a huge collection of attorneys, and is kept up to date with every federal case. It can be used to train models, build systems, and more. No PACER archive is ever complete — it'd cost billions of dollars — but we are experts at gathering data and can help startups make and maintain datasets they need. Learn more here.

  • Oral Argument Data — We have the largest collection of oral argument audio files and transcripts on the Internet. We have been collecting this data for a decade, but it has not been useful until recently, when AI made accurate transcripts possible. We anticipate more innovation with this data. Learn more here.

  • Judge Data — For those building judicial analytics products, we have structured biographical data about thousands of state and federal judges. Learn more here.


Accessing the data can be done in one of three ways:

  • Bulk Data — Many of our objects are available as bulk data. This is great for MVPs, prototyping, etc, but is only updated monthly, and takes a fair bit of work to get into a database.

  • APIs and Webhooks — Our APIs allow you to slice, dice, and search the data we have available. One API helps look up citations and prevent AI hallucinations. Our webhooks allow you to get updates when we have new content or when other events happen on our servers. These APIs are powerful, but they can fall short if you need vast amounts of data, since they only return 20 items at a time.

  • Hosted Database — Our best solution for startups is a database that we host for you, which contains all of our data and is updated in real time. This is the most expensive option, but there's nothing else like it on the market. Just use SQL to access everything in your dedicated database.

To learn more about these options, read the documentation.


We also offer open source software:

  • RECAP Suite — Use this to work with PACER data. Scrape it, gather it, parse it, search it, and more.

  • Juriscraper — Use this to scrape case law, PACER data, oral argument data, and more.

  • Eyecite — Use this to pull citations out of blocks of text.

  • Doctor — Use this to extract content from documents, generate thumbnails, convert audio files, and more.

  • X-Ray — Use this to identify bad redactions in PDFs.

How the Money Works

We're a non-profit, but helping organizations succeed is a part of our mission to make the legal sector better. By charging for our services, we can continue supporting and enhancing them.

When we work with for-profit organizations, we generally set up a licensing agreement for monthly payments. These are priced based on means and mission — how much you can pay and how much your mission aligns with ours. Prices start at free and go up from there. It can really depend, but we always try to find a place that works for everybody we talk to.

Some organizations want to support our work beyond the usual licensing fees. You can learn more about being a sponsor of our work here, or you can talk to our director of philanthropy to discuss options.

Questions & Answers

1. Is Free Law Project competing with my startup?

Sometimes, but that's not our goal. Our goal is to provide base layer features that every system should have. By doing this, we dogfood the data, and we learn first-hand how to improve it.

In general, if we build a feature, we package it as an API or service for others to use too.

2. If my organization works with FLP to gather data, doesn't that provide it to my competitors?

Kind of, but:

  1. Public domain data is not a reliable moat. Instead of relying on exclusive access to public domain data, build a moat with your expertise, innovative technology, marketing, reputation, sales, and business practices. If all you have is access to data, you're in trouble.

  2. We have so much data, your small addition to it probably won't be noticed by anybody, and we treat client secrecy as an inviolate priority.

  3. In over a decade of working with organizations and gathering data for them, we don't know of any issues due to this.

3. Does FLP do partnerships?

From time to time, our systems will take a startup 90% of the way to what they need, but there's some feature or data that isn't quite enough.

When this happens, we're happy to partner with organizations to build out features. We can do it for a fee, or we can guide your developers through our open source code. If you build it, and it's something on our roadmap anyway, we'll usually give you some kind of discount for using it, or some other perk that makes sense.

4. How about rev-share or partial ownership?

We don't usually do either of these things, but we're getting to the point where it could make sense. We have to be careful though, as a non-profit.

5. Does FLP ever join the boards of the organizations it works with?

No. We wouldn't want to have a bias towards any organization.

6. Something else or ready to chat?

We'd love to talk with you and get things going.

Get In Touch!

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