April 2015 Bar Bulletin
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April 2015 Bar Bulletin

Ya Gotta Believe: Student's CaseBooker App Takes Off

By Miguel Willis


When I started law school, I had all kinds of trouble finding the book I needed for my first-year civil procedure course. First, the campus bookstore was sold out. Then I found it on Amazon and purchased it, only to be regretfully informed later that it was out of stock.

Finally, I reached out to other law students, who put me in touch with a recent graduate who had it and was willing to sell the book for much less than the bookstore. That's when it hit me: "What if there was an app to let students exchange casebooks to each other on campus!" That's how my startup CaseBooker was born.

The idea became more fully developed when I first pitched CaseBooker at the Seattle Legal Technology Startup Weekend, held last fall, as an "Uber meets Tinder for casebooks." It was there that I met up with entrepreneur Allan Yueng and developer Joshua Frailey, who joined the team.

Although my team and I came in third place during the startup competition, we were determined not to let the idea die. We kept the team together, built some buzz around the idea, and further developed the mobile app.

CaseBooker is a mobile application that allows law students to buy and sell their used casebooks, outlines, and any other supplementary materials to other law students within their law school's campus. CaseBooker allows users to list their casebooks, and once they are sold, the app will connect the seller with the student buyer through the in-app chat feature.

I believe that the current way we buy and sell casebooks is broken. Books are expensive at the campus bookstore and online marketplaces are inefficient. Service fees are kept low on CaseBooker, so there's more cash in law students' pockets. When you remove the hassles of shipping and handling, the process is easier and cheaper for buyers and sellers. No shipping costs, no waiting time.

CaseBooker is also built on the idea of community. Buying and selling casebooks within your law school builds relationships among students and alumni that go beyond a simple book transaction. Supplementing your casebook with study aids and outlines is as easy as the click of a button, and will help students gain a competitive advantage.

My vision is that through CaseBooker, law students around the country will be able to turn to the app to buy and sell their casebooks, while being provided with an unparalleled user experience. My team and I are continually thinking of new innovative features for the app, and want to make the platform more socially integrated for users, one day allowing law students to buy new books directly from the app.

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