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WI State Bar Releases CLE Books UnBound

Earlier this week the State Bar of Wisconsin launched its new Books UnBound product - a subscription-based online library of State Bar of Wisconsin CLE Books (the "brown binders").

According to the State Bar, Books UnBound is not intended to replace the print books, but rather to provide greater flexibility for members to conduct legal research. Books UnBound will replace access to the CLE books through Loislaw, however CLE content will continue to be available, with updates, to Loislaw subscribers until the end of their contract terms.

There are two subscription options available: individual access and firm access (pricing based on the number of lawyers in a firm or a branch ) Subscriptions for individuals or firms are available for single titles, a limited number of select titles (individual access only), and the entire Books UnBound™ library*.

Access to Books UnBound is through Wisbar.org. Attorneys login using their regular Wisbar login (i.e. their State Bar member number). Non-attorney staff must register for their own non-member ID number and password. Law students receive free access to Books UnBound by registering as Law Student Associates with the State Bar.

A free trial is available. Visit the product page of the title you wish to see, and select the Free Tour link to get free access to the first chapter of each book.

Below is a screen shot of the new interface.

I really like the look and feel, but the search options are very limited. There doesn't seem to be an advanced search option nor were there any search tips listed on the Help page. I tried searching for a few phrases in quotes and threw in some Boolean operators, but got not results which was disheartening since I know that there were matches in the text.

Also, I don't see any way to search multiple titles at once but this could just be because I'm looking at the free trial version. This is a feature that I use all the time with the CLE books on Loislaw and I'd hate to lose it

All in all, though, it's a nice product. With a few search enhancements, it could be very sweet.