Letter of Interest — Federal Trade Commission May 4, 2010
Update on Registration of Law.Gov — AALL February 19, 2010
Registration of Law.Gov — Department of Justice January 15, 2010
Registration of Law.Gov — American Bar Association January 14, 2010
Registration of Law.Gov — Government Printing Office January 14, 2010
Registration of Law.Gov — Library of Congress January 7, 2010
Resolution of Endorsement — Mid-America Law Library Consortium October 26, 2009 [ scribd | pdf ]
Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs — Senator Lieberman October 13, 2009 [ scribd | pdf ]
Preliminary Response of the Deputy CTO — Andrew McLaughlin September 10, 2009
Call to Action at the Gov 2.0 Summit — Carl Malamud September 10, 2009


Several public officials have indicated a desire to see the results of this process: a report on the feasibility of creating a system. Please note that this interest in seeing the results of the workshops should not be taken as a commitment by any officials to create, merely a willingness to listen.

A Nation of Laws

The Report

Law.Gov is an effort to create a report documenting exactly what it would take to create a distributed registry and repository of all primary legal materials in the United States.

By primary legal materials, we mean all materials that have the force of law and are part of the law-making process including: briefs and opinions from the judiciary; reports, hearings, and laws from the legislative branch; and regulations, audits, grants, and other materials from the executive branch. Creating the system from open source software building blocks will allow states and municipalities to make their materials available as well.

Law.Gov would be similar to Data.Gov, providing bulk data and feeds to commercial, non-commercial, and governmental organizations wishing to build web sites, operate legal information services, or otherwise use the raw materials of our democracy.

Anybody who cares to submit concurring opinions, dissenting opinions, appendices, specifications, or other materials to this report will be invited to do so. It is understood that on a subject as complex as the functioning of our system of justice and our system of legal education there will be many views, and our hope in this process is to stimulate a robust discussion and dialogue on how to move our legal system forward.

Can an effort of workshops, a report, and briefings spur real change in Washington, D.C.? We won't know if we don't try.

This is an opportunity for citizens to help change the way we distribute America's Operating System.


Co-conveners will assist by hosting workshops, symposiums, and other activities during Q1/2010 that will be used as input to the report. Confirmed co-conveners presently include:

Contact carl at by email or @carlmalamud on Twitter for more information.
A mailing list is available for announcements.
Our hashtag is #lawgov.

TECH TALK: A Note On Authenticity. With the law, close just isn't good enough. Primary legal materials need to be authentic and digitally signed. As the American Association of Law Librarians said in their ground-breaking report at the AALL National Summit on Authentic Legal Information in the Digital Age, “it is time to save the legal information system.” We propose to enlist the law students of America as auditors during the startup phase of Law.Gov, asking students to systematically compare on-line to printed materials. The students would gain reputation points in the registry, which they could use to demonstrate their public service when applying for jobs or clerkships. Would such a system work? When we tour the law schools, we intend to dig in and ask that very question.

Deliverables For the Law.Gov Report

It is our goal to deliver, by mid-2010, a detailed report to policy makers in Washington, D.C., including at a minimum:

Support for the Law.Gov Process

In addition to the support from our co-conveners and their host institutions, support for Public.Resource.Org and Law.Gov have been provided by:

You may find more information about Public.Resource.Org, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, on our “about” page.