LiveLaw: Is it worth it?

The first time I had come across LiveLaw.in was when I was in 10th grade. I think, I was setting up the desktop for my father and he had asked me to set up legal news systems that would notify him of the latest laws. It had a notification system for desktop back then (it still does I think). After that incident, I conveniently forgot about it (I am ashamed to admit) till my final year in law college.

At that time I was randomly reading up some legal articles off google when I came across an interesting topic on LiveLaw (I think it was some controversial judgment) I immediately pounced upon it and to my pleasant surprise, I was able to read some extremely high-quality work then. Till this point, I hadn’t realized it was a paid service. It was only when the free access period expired that I realized that I needed to buy the subscription plan to get information. So being the stingy person that I am, I didn’t give my coin to them. But then, Corona hits, my regular supply of legal journals stop and I don’t even have the conversation of my peers to stay up to date. Moreover, new drafts of laws are being made and a lot was happening, in short, the world was in chaos.

To stay sane in this environment and to make sense of it, I needed something to tell me what the heck was going on. So I turned to news channels and newspapers. Did I find the information? Yes. Did I find the information I was looking for? No. So, I did what I did best: made a fake account on LiveLaw (I am honest and you should appreciate that). I read it and used it extensively for research purposes. I explored the app and found that the app didn’t have only news but also amazing write-up interviews and other things I will mention shortly. So, finally, on 14th May 2020, I bit the bullet and bought a yearly subscription. (it was 999 INR exclusive of GST) and I am pleased to tell you all that not once have I been disappointed – it was LiveLaw that helped me secure 2nd rank in my CPET (LLM) 2020 exams and I don’t think there is anything more I can say about how helpful it has been to me.

Now, I have told you the story of how LiveLaw helped me but I want you to be the judge of its utility and so I will lay bare the features of both its app and desktop version.

PROS

  • Very clean and smooth interface – comes in both light and dark mode
  • It is divided into the following sections –
    • Top stories – the major headlines and events happening at the time
    • News update – as the name says all news included here with well researched and written items.
    • Columns – The ‘editorial’ section of LiveLaw and my personal favourite. It has magnificent articles by journalists, lawyers, jurists and almost everyone on trending topics or sometimes it is a relaxed reading of someone’s experience in the career
    • Interviews – includes both written and video interview links to famous personalities
    • Lawyers and law firms – articles by lawyers and law firms  are found here – it is usually either a promotional piece where the firm states its recent work (very helpful of corporate lawyers/ aspirants) or just a good old informational article
    • Foreign/ international – not a section I visit much. It includes world news and law changes over the world which is very cool and something I should start reading
    • RTI – Not very sure about this section but essentially updates on popular RTI cases
    • Know the law – An absolute gold mine of legal literature explaining knotty new rules or even the old ones and the philosophy behind it. A must-read since we know the law but very rarely the why of the law
    • Videos – a section that I rarely visit since I have already subscribed to their youtube channel and this section is just an archive of the links to their latest videos – which is usually a weekly round up of High courts or Supreme Court judgments, interviews or explainers
    • Events corner – the name is quite revealing itself. It is the place where the latest events such as competitions and webinars are shared
    • Round up – the section of weekly and monthly  and yearly round-ups of important judgments but in written form (which is excellent)
  • The app has a bookmark function which means I can bookmark an interesting article and read it later.
  • It has the language option of Hindi as well, which is good for those who practice law in Hindi.
  • In the desktop version it has additional categories such as – Law school corner, Job updates, book reviews, sponsored, environment (writes the only environment-specific news and articles) and cartoons
  • It is Ad free on the app, the desktop not so much.
  • Another one of my favourite features is the ‘Live update from court’ I love it and it is so thrilling. The LiveLaw news network shares snippets of the courtroom arguments and procedure in real-time and it is exciting. You can read how lawyers argue, the observations the judges make and they include the clever quips too! I assure you the live courtroom exchange will keep you on the edge of your seat.

CONS

  • I am not a fan of the search function. I feel like it picks up articles only if you correctly remember the order of words. However, the hack I have found to this is to simply google – “LiveLaw” and then add your required keywords. Works like a charm.
  • The desktop version doesn’t have the bookmark function so I don’t like reading it on the web.

Compare the features, don’t take my word for it and decide if you would still like to invest in the app. Choose wisely. My personal opinion is that LiveLaw is worth its weight in gold.

P.S: (Plus it is even endorsed by the Justice in Supreme court.) Till next time, HAPPY HUSTLIN’ HON!

Image credit to Livelaw Instagram

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