The time has come once again for an announcement of something I’ve been working on at Justia. Actually this is a double announcement of not one but two new services that I can finally mention today.

The first is a whole new way to Search Justia’s massive amounts of free legal information, and it’s thanks to a brand new service by Google (which is a commercial version of a service that has been available for free for some time) called Google Custom Search Business Edition. At it’s core, this is the same as the Google Coop: Custom Search Engine that has been available for some months. Some time ago I created hundreds of these custom search engines on Justia to search a variety of legal topics and sites, and you can find these custom search engines scattered around justia.com and it’s various subdomains. From search engines that search all law school web sites in California (or any other state) to search engines that search all of the blogs in Justia BlawgSearch, these cses have been a fantastic way to use the power of Justia’s free Legal information to search the web for legal information.

But now it gets better. When I first started working at Justia there were a few hundred thousand pages of free legal information put up, including our Supreme Court Center which indexes cases, to Auto Recalls which tracks all safety recall information on cars and other automobiles, not to mention the fantastic portal of free information at the main justia.com site. But what I’m most proud of since I started working here are the projects I’ve gotten to work on that have grown that wealth of information, Justia Blawgsearch daily indexes well over a thousand legal blogs and makes the information searchable and trackable in a variety of ways, Justia Federal Court Filings and Dockets which adds in every civil case filed in a Federal District Court and makes the information searchable by party, case type, location, and more, and Justia Regulation Tracker which parses the Federal Register and makes all of the regulations passed by the government searchable and trackable daily. I didn’t do any of these tasks alone of course, and they aren’t really what I’m talking about here, but the point is that Justia.com and it’s subdomains now account for well over a million pages of content, almost all of which is free legal information.

While each of these projects have their own search engines that work well, sometimes you want to just be able to search all of these sites at once, and thanks to the new CSBE service from Google, we can now do that.

On the Home Page of Justia is a search box that searches all Justia.com subdomains, and thanks to the new XML results API in the CSBE, returns the results using AJAX and some special changes of our own to make the results easy to identify. Sure a Google site:justia.com search would allow you to search all justia.com subdomains, but some of our free information is split out onto other subdomains, and even when you get the results, it becomes hard to see the difference between one justia page and another.

Try the same search on our new Justia Search powered by Google CSBE and you’ll see the same results, but marked up with the sites, and with the results flowing cleanly using AJAX.

The second new service Justia has released today is our brand new Justia Lawyer Directory, which differs from every other lawyer directory on the market thanks to our powerfully easy user interface and AJAX based results. No other Lawyer Directory in the world lets you get fast, relevant results with only one click. On the Justia Lawyer Directory home page you can simply click the practice area that you are interested in, and immediately be given a list of lawyers in your area that match that practice area.

If you want to see more lawyers, simply click the zoom out link on our Google Map, or drag the map to a new location, your results will change immediately to show you new results.

Google Maps aren’t the only service of Google’s that we use to set our lawyer directory apart from the rest, we also tie into the Google AJAX Search API to do google local searches to provide additional results to help you find exactly the lawyer you are looking for, even if we don’t have them in our database.

Add in several other dynamic features and the end result is the world’s easiest to use lawyer directory, in my humble opinion, and the culmination of work from me and the rest of the Justia team. Check it out!

Both of these services would be possible, but completely different if it weren’t for the powerful free and commercial services put out by Google. Amazing how the giant in the web industry, is the company that helps other companies succeed. Thank you Google for providing your great services that make the web a better place.

To find out more about Google’s new Custom Search Business Edition, check out this News Article on Reuters and be sure to notice the mention of Justia in the article!


Nick Moline

Nick is a Senior Software Engineer at Justia.com, a company that makes legal information freely available online. Besides his work, Nick is an avid enthusiast in areas of Technology, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Musical Theater, and everything Disney.

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