[blindlaw] Mass. law library online document delivery service (WL, Lexis, Hein, & books)

Sai sai at fiatfiendum.org
Mon Apr 30 14:48:31 UTC 2018

This is a really excellent service:


They can look up, and send you by email, nearly anything on Lexis,
Westlaw, or HeinOnline (including Sheparizations / KeyCite &
cross-refs); and scans of books in any of the 17 public trialcourt law
libraries in Massachusetts.

They can also do some law librarian level legal research.

Turnaround time is a usually few hours if M-F before 3pm Eastern.
About a day otherwise, 2 days max (not incl. weekend). They're also
very responsive to followup emails.

There are some limits.

The research librarian offering is fairly limited, as they can't do
legal advice or research, especially if it's something more obscure.
They can do e.g. WestlawNext & LexisAdvance searches if you say what
to look for, or basic things like "an article about X".

Their subscriptions are not comprehensive. E.g. they don't have access to:
* SCOTUS briefs, cert petitions, & motions; appellee/appellant briefs;
& other party filings
* various guidebooks (e.g. Guidebook to the Freedom of Information and
Privacy Acts, Federal Information Disclosure, Trial Handbook for
District of Columbia Lawyers, etc) - though they do have e.g. Am. Jur.
Trials, ALR, etc
* really old journal articles (e.g. pre 1900)
* non-legal journals (e.g. Am. J. Political Sci.)
* some major texts (e.g. Tribe's American Constitutional Law)

They won't scan huge amounts from books, but will do ToCs, indices,
and a specific chapter / section / page range.

They don't OCR or crop their page scans, so you'd have to do that
yourself (although they might if you request it).

I've only ever used Lexis / Westlaw as a judicial extern, using a
court-issued account, which is *nearly* unlimited. Otherwise, I mainly
use Google Scholar.

So, FWIW, that's my comparison set. Those of you who have more
conventional experience / access could perhaps comment on how it
compares to what you have.

Anyway, it's an amazing service that can give you access to a lot that
is not otherwise freely available. Highly recommended; check it out.

Please LMK if you know of any similar (free, online) services. This is
the only one I know of.

President, Fiat Fiendum, Inc.

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