We are a small research, engineering, and editorial group housed at the Cornell Law School in Ithaca, NY. Our collaborators include publishers, legal scholars, computer scientists, government agencies, and other groups and individuals that promote open access to law, worldwide.
We are a not-for-profit group that believes everyone should be able to read and understand the laws that govern them, without cost. We carry out this vision by:
- Publishing law online, for free.
- Creating materials that help people understand law.
- Exploring new technologies that make it easier for people to find the law.
The Legal Information Institute (LII) was founded in 1992 by co-directors Thomas R. Bruce and Peter W. Martin (now Director and Director Emeritus, respectively). Its work is supported by the National Center for Automated Information Research, a growing number of corporate sponsors, and the Keck Foundation through grants and funded joint studies.
The LII publishes electronic versions of core materials in numerous areas of the law, both on the web and in other electronic products. They range from the Constitution to the U.S. Code, from Supreme Court decisions to the Code of Federal Regulations. It maintains this Internet site and its many resources. It builds software tools assisting Internet users and publishers. And through workshops and consultation it works to aid others who want to explore the full potential of electronic publication and communication.
The LII is known internationally as a leading “law-not-com” provider of public legal information. We offer all opinions of the United States Supreme Court handed down since 1992, together with over 600 earlier decisions selected for their historic importance, over a decade of opinions of the New York Court of Appeals, and the full United States Code. We also publish important secondary sources: libraries in two important areas (legal ethics and social security) and a series of “topical” pages that serve as concise explanatory guides and Internet resource listings for roughly 100 areas of law.
Search engines and ranking systems identify the LII as the most linked-to web resource in the field of law (see, for example, Google). Sites ranging from CSPAN to Fedlaw to the Dow Jones Business Directory, as well as numerous off-line references, e.g., Web Feet, the New York Times, and The National Jurist (4/2000), recommend starting with the LII for law.