State Rankings

In order to get a more holistic view of the state of the publication legal information on the web, information collected about publication practices was collated and assigned a score.  States were given one point for each of the following publication practices in their case law, statutory codes and regulations:

  • The online version of the legal information was the official version.
  • The legal information was published in HTML.
  • There was an archive of the legal information available in some form.
  • There were no use restrictions placed on the legal information.
  • There were no claims of copyright – explicit or implied – on the legal information.
  • The state was the publisher of the legal information.
  • There were no disclaimers to the accuracy of the information.
  • The ability to search the information was made available.

The other six Barriers to Access as described in this report – cataloging, citators, context, conveyance, cost and currency – were either universally exhibited, impossible to quantify or, as in the case of cost, so rare as to make inclusion in the rankings meaningless.

Given the above scoring mechanism, the highest score possible was 24.  However, the highest score achieved was 18.  The top performing states were Oklahoma, Indiana and Illinois.  The lowest score was 8 by Georgia.   The average score of states was 13.94 and the median was 14.  The highest score in any category of law was 7.  The most open publishers of case law were New York, Illinois and Oklahoma.  The top scoring publishers of statutory law were Delaware and Louisiana.  And the most open publishers of regulations were Idaho and Washington.

A color coded map with state scores as a list of all state total scores appear below.   A spreadsheet with full ranking data and scores for case law, statutory codes and regulations can be found on Google Docs.

Copy of Map of the United States (Multi-colored)

State Total Score
Illinois 18
Indiana 18
Oklahoma 18
Delaware 17
Louisana 17
Utah 17
Florida 16
Missouri 16
Montana 16
Oregon 16
Rhode Island 16
South Dakota 16
Texas 16
Washington 16
Idaho 15
Iowa 15
Minnesota 15
Nevada 15
New York 15
North Carolina 15
Pennsylvannia 15
Wisconsin 15
New Hampshire 14
New Mexico 14
Ohio 14
Vermont 14
Wyoming 14
Alaska 13
Colorado 13
Connecticut 13
Kansas 13
Kentucky 13
Maryland 13
Mississippi 13
Virginia 13
Arizona 12
California 12
Hawaii 12
Massachusetts 12
Michigan 12
Nebraska 12
New Jersey 12
North Dakota 12
Tennessee 12
West Virginia 12
Alabama 11
Akansas 11
Maine 10
South Carolina 10
Georgia 8