As a 1L at Case Western Reserve University, Ethan Isaacson (LAW, 2021) identified a gap in the tools available to legal professionals. While working on the Journal of International Law and participating in writing courses, Isaacson and some of his classmates struggled with Bluebook citations.
“We searched for an existing solution to simplify the process but couldn't find one that met our needs. That's when I realized there was an opportunity to create a tool that could save time and effort for law students and legal professionals alike, and that's how LegalEase Citations was born.”
Isaacson, who took a three-year sabbatical from law school to develop the website, notes the particular challenge of translating the Bluebook rules into a comprehensive algorithm. “The process involved writing tens of thousands of lines of code. Additionally, we put a lot of effort into making the platform user-friendly and easy to use.”
LegalEase Citations now serves a diverse range of users, including law students, paralegals, young associate attorneys, law clerks and experienced lawyers with extensive legal writing requirements, such as appellate practitioners. Their user base spans across the United States and around the world, from 1L law students to legal professionals at major law firms.
But building this website was more than a one man job. Isaacson credits several Case Western Reserve professors and staff for their assistance and support on this undertaking. In particular, he highlights Robert Myers and Joseph Custer for providing invaluable guidance on legal software. Deans Polly and Cover were supportive of Isaacson’s sabbatical and helpful upon his return. Of course, he also commends his 1L legal writing professor, Carney, for introducing him to Bluebook citations.
“Overall, the entire CWRU community was supportive and encouraging throughout my time in law school and while building LegalEase Citations,” he remarks. “In particular, the late Professor Gerhart, my faculty adviser on the Journal of International Law, was incredibly supportive of my decision to start LegalEase Citations. His advice and mentorship are dearly missed.”
Thanks to Isaacson’s hard work over the years, LegalEase Citations was recently recognized by the ABA TECHSHOW Awards, receiving the second-highest number of votes out of the 40 legal technology startups in the semi-final round. As a result, the team had the opportunity to present and showcase their product in front of the legal tech community in Chicago.
“I want to extend my gratitude to everyone who voted, including many from the Case Western law school community. This recognition is a testament to the necessity and popularity of LegalEase Citations within the legal community and the dedication of our users. We're truly honored and excited to have had this recognition and opportunity,” Isaacson said.