AltLaw, the free legal research engine built by a dedicated group of academics at Columbia Law School, has announced that AltLaw, as we know it, will shut down in early 2010. This comes as a response to the new Legal Opinions and Journals (LOJ) search now available from Google Scholar. As Stuart Sierra, Assistant Director, Program on Law & Technology says:
"Everything we have done or planned to do with AltLaw, Google has does [sic] better."
"...we are happy to announce that Project AltLaw (Phase One) is complete. We will continue to maintain the website and search service for a few months, but we will not be adding new features of new content. AltLaw.org, in its current form, will shut down in early 2010."
What's next? Here's Sierra's response to that question:
"...what will Project AltLaw (Phase Two) be? To be honest, we don't know...yet. But we've got some cool ideas that have been sitting on the back burner for a while."
No doubt about it, Google LOJ works. But it is a shame to see any free legal search engine die.