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Casetext: Making an impact on the legal industry one citation at a time

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Last semester, I saw a Facebook post from one of my classmates encouraging everyone to join her in WeCiting. I had no idea what WeCiting was or why I should be doing it, but the post intrigued me, so I decided to check it out.

Between the mission to build a free citator, the excitement of the competition between law schools, and the added bonus of prizes, WeCite immediately had me hooked. I not only became an avid WeCiter, but I also applied and became the Casetext law student ambassador at my school this semester.

WeCite is Casetext’s citator, which is like Shepard’s or Keycite – except Casetext is taking a different approach, and members of the legal community are working together to help build it as a free, public resource. Get it? “We” cite. Lawyers, law librarians, professors, and law students are joining in this effort to review case relationships and indicate how a case has treated an earlier case. The concept is that many WeCites together will grow into a public resource unlike any that ever existed – and will transform the way we understand the law.

WeCite is by far one of my favorite features on Casetext because it gives students the opportunity to make a contribution to the legal field before we are practicing lawyers, and we get the opportunity to learn firsthand how cases relate to one another. To WeCite, just read the sections of a decision that cite to an earlier case and choose the relationship (i.e. positive, distinguishing, etc.) that best describes the overall treatment of that earlier case in the decision. You also get the chance to explain your reasoning, which is great because it encourages you think about your answer and articulate it in a way that will help future researchers.

Students … get the opportunity to learn firsthand how cases relate to one another.

Besides aiding in the #FreeTheLaw movement, WeCite is a friendly competition between law students and law schools. For every WeCite, you earn a point or more depending on how many times that particular case is cited, and if you submit an explanation of your reasoning, you can earn up to 5 more points. These points accumulate over the whole semester, and there is a leaderboard so you can see where you stand against your peers and other law students across the country.

Just for signing up and doing one WeCite, you earn a $5 giftcard and you have the opportunity to earn more prizes after hitting certain milestones.  Also, each week the top WeCiter earns a special prize, and it is typically something very cool like an Amazon Kindle Fire or a statue of lady justice.  (Pro tip: the leaderboard resets each week so anyone can win!)  The highest position I have ever been on the leaderboard is third place. Getting that close to winning motivates me each week to try harder to earn the top spot. It is always exciting to find out what the next prize will be as it never disappoints.

If you are interested in joining Casetext’s efforts to free the law, there are a couple different ways you can get involved.  First, sign up for Casetext and start WeCiting!  Just visit and create your profile for free.  Second, apply to become the Casetext Ambassador at your school.  I became the ambassador at Loyola Chicago this semester and I have thoroughly enjoyed it.  Being an ambassador has given me the opportunity to share my enthusiasm for Casetext and WeCite with my classmates.  It has also given me some amazing opportunities, such as helping to promote Casetext at the ABA Techshow in March.

If you’re interested in being a Casetext Ambassador for the fall 2016 semester, you can apply.

Happy WeCiting!

Claire Ocana Claire is a JD candidate at Loyola University Chicago School of Law and is currently a 1L. She is the Loyola ambassador for Casetext. She graduated with a B.A. from Southern Methodist University and hopes to pursue a career in child law, hopefully working with juvenile offenders in the legal system.