The supremely expensive Supreme Court Reporter Advance Sheets Service


Our friend Carl Malamud just sent out a tweet:

If law librarians remain content to be purchasing agents, law libraries will die. *do* something! talk is easy, action requires effort.

Carl’s tweet arrived while I was reviewing our latest West monthly invoice.  I see that the Supreme Court Reporter advance sheet subscription has jumped up 34% from $ 547 last year to $ 730.69, and that’s with a $ 120.83 “Product Dependency Discount” (whatever that is).  Apparently the full sticker price for this subscription is $ 851.52.

I remember well when professors would sit in the faculty library,  smoke their pipes and read the advance sheets.  But those days are long, long gone.  Arguably and its wiki have more up-to-date information than the West advance sheets.  And SCOTUS itself does an admirable job of posting opinions.

Isn’t this service really quite obsolete?  If you think otherwise, I would welcome comments posted as we mull over whether or not we will cancel.

3 thoughts on “The supremely expensive Supreme Court Reporter Advance Sheets Service

  1. And I might just add: Last year we paid Lexis only $ 226 for its competitor product, United States Supreme Court Reports, Lawyers’ Edition. That’s less than half the price of the West product. Arguably Lexis quality is just as good as Westlaw quality.

  2. Belatedly: I think I’m about to cancel our subscription. S Ct material is all freely available (and text-searchable) on the Internet. The only time I used S. Ct. in the past year was one day when our Internet was down. Did you cancel?

    Arthur B. Spitzer
    Legal Director
    American Civil Liberties Union of the Nation’s Capital
    1400 20th Street, N.W., Suite 119
    Washington, D.C. 20036
    Tel. 202-457-0800
    Fax 202-452-1868

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