Any lawyers or legal practitioners using Obsidian?

I work in-house, and have been playing around with Obsidian in single-player mode for PKM purposes. I confess I have not done much with substantive law. My content so far is mostly notes about status of matters and internal/organizational stuff. (I’ll be buying a commercial license as soon as I can figure out how to jump through the requisite hoops!)

I’m also very interested in using Obsidian to collaborate and publish an internal knowledge base, but I don’t think private sites are yet supported by Obsidian Publish. Here’s my feature request to that end: Enterprisey private publishing.

A good Obsidian web clipper would be a pretty killer feature for lawyers (also everyone else), IMHO. We read and want to save a lot of stuff. Somewhat like @LisaC117, I have used Evernote for that in the past, but I abandoned it years ago.

I’m also using Obsidian outside work to organize my thoughts, collect parts information, etc. for my latest robotics project. :robot:


So as a law firm, we are using the multi-user version and it is very helpful to work, and if anyone wants to know more about it then follow the law firm in dubai.

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you can use obsidian as a case reference management systen too. Here is a proof how i am using obsidian as a case reference management system?


i saw yor YouTube videos a lot. basically i learn obsidian from you. thanks a lot. The desk of a lawyer.

There are many ways lawyers can use Obsidian as primary note-taking appObsidian Note taking.

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I’m a practicing attorney using Obsidian. Right now, I admit that my most common use-case is with Daily Notes, to which I link the day’s call notes, a work log, and some thoughts. I’m not getting a great deal out of the PKM aspect yet, but I do have a “Legalkasten” that I’m building out for concepts, terms, statutes, cases, etc. Part of the problem with going outside the Lexis/Westlaw sphere is that caselaw isn’t static. That means that you can get yourself into trouble if you rely too much on your own database when you should be using the paid databases that include continuous cite-checking features.

Nonetheless, I hate having to take notes on caselaw inside these platforms because the UX simply isn’t very good. My compromise has been to download PDFs, load them into DEVONthink, and then just create links back to the online source for future cite-checking. Of course, as I gradually use Obsidian more and more, I’m hoping to continue to transition more to actual knowledge management rather than the digital file hoarding that I’ve historically done.


@nickmilo, Sir, Thanks. I see your YT vids as well to learn the basics of OBS. I’m excited about Obsidian since I stumbled on this yesterday. I’m a law student I’m using Mediawiki, SimpleMind, and of course the usual Docs file and text files but I find OBS the next big thing. For me, I find this very promising while I study, .i.e. link a particular provision to each element (e.g. elements of the crime of rape) of the article then what other provisions in the law are similar to that element. I can potentially use this in case law where there is a potential related link with each other. @KnownOne thanks for the tip about Scrivener. Someday I will use that if I ever publish my own book related to my current profession as a “realtor” (in US term, I’m not affiliated, hence I can’t use it) but here in the Philippines, I am a real estate broker. (Paksiteer)


I wonder if you could expand more on how you keep “literature notes”? How do you manage to cite from pdf? Much appreciated


When I made that comment, almost a year ago, linking to headings wasn’t a possibility. Now in regards to laws I can just link to a heading that refers to a specific article/chapter/etc. Same goes for notes on academic articles or any short document (short as in, not a book). The first thing I do when creating a new “resource” note is to create headings according to table of contents of the document.

That’s just one way in which Obsidian has evolved. With the Dataview plugin, I can use metadata to sort all different files. Using the Templater plugin, I also have the file metadata as for when I created this file and when I last modified it. I haven’t been making good use of tags yet, but I plan on eventually implementing them to sort through topics.

Once I have the headings in place, I have a structure for the note. Within the heading, I start taking notes in usually bullet points, because that’s easier. Most of my PDFs are formatted in a way that simple copy/paste is a solution when I want to directly cite, but I try not to do that too much (I’m guilty of taking notes by “highlighting”, which isn’t very effective for me).

My files are named “SURNAME, Title”. My template (inspired by great examples on the Dataview Snippet Showcase) for any resource I find looks like this:

creationdate: <% tp.file.creation_date("dddd Do MMMM YYYY") %>
creationdatetime: <% tp.file.creation_date("HH:mm") %>
lastmodified: <% tp.file.last_modified_date("dddd Do MMMM YYYY") %>
lastmodifiedtime: <% tp.file.last_modified_date("HH:mm") %>
aliases: []
type: book/article/caselaw/notes
author: SURNAME, Name

And then on an Index note I put this, using the Dataview plugin:

TABLE author as Author, title as Title, yearpublished as Year, tags as Topics, source as Source
where type = "book (for example)"
sort author asc

Which shows all the notes that fit that criteria.


Thank you for your thorough reply! Helps a lot! :wink:

I come from a civil law tradition as well, and I am considering obsidian to publish a knowledge base. Can you please tell me how you are dealing with the legislation? I am new to obsidian so please let me know, if possible, all resources you consider useful. Thanks a lot.

@amilcar Hi! Sorry it’s taken so long to reply to this. I’ve been refining my process and now I think I’m at a point where I’m comfortable with the workflow.

I love the idea of publishing a knowledge base. Obsidian is a great tool for linking positive law, case law, principles etc. I hoped to at some point be able to do that, but I realised I can link many different interests that probably wouldn’t be as interesting to other people, so that project’s on hold for now :blush: maybe someday.

If you DO publish, or wish to talk more about this, feel free to reach out! I’m fascinated by all the possibilities.

In regards to how to deal with legislation:

I’m keeping one file per law/rule/regulation. Link to blocks is a very valuable resource to linking back between articles, paragraphs, etc. Another tool is Internal link to Link to Headings, for example, a legislation might be separated into titles and chapters that you format as a heading, making it easy to link in other files.

In order to keep direct quotes separate from my own annotations, I use the Admonition Plugin. However, community plugins don’t work on Publish, so you’d have to accomplish something similar with CSS. People have shared different CSS Snippets with pseudo-admonitions on the Discord server, so you might want to check that out!

One thing that’s useful for me to keep in handy, usually within an “info” admonition or otherwise at the top of the note, is how to cite that resource. Easier than to keep referring back to Zotero!

I use (nested) tags for classification, which is a controversial topic but works for me :wink: For example, I have “t/entity/LLC” which is “t” for Type, “entity” for genre (as opposed to, say, “authority” or “law” or “principle”) and “LLC” relating to a specific sort of entity. The “t” part isn’t really needed but it helps clean up the tag pane. For example, a law regulating LLCs would have both the tags “t/law” and “t/entity/LLC”.

I hope this helps a bit! I hope to eventually do a more detailed write-up if there’s interest.


Just curious whether you have made any headway with this. I am hoping to implement a workflow where I first import PDFs generated via Westlaw, then annotated, into Zotero or Juris-M. Then, using Zotfile and mdnotes, pull those notes into Obsidian. Just curious whether anyone has been able to get caselaw metadata to pull into Zotero.

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Anyone adapted Obsidian to being a Case Management System?

I’m moving all my legal notes to obsidian I use it for research and academy

I’m just starting to use Obsidian and so far I haven’t done much with it. Mainly because I’m still learning to use it, but also because I’m trying to plan how it can be helpful to me. So far I can tell that it will be incredibly helpful with brief writing.

Much obliged for your comprehensive sharing, eheh.

Would love to have a glance at your workflow, another comprehensive sharing.

I’m new to Obsidian, so just wandering around getting new idea to implement :smiley:


I use Obsidian for knowledge management. We are within the civil law tradition, so the sources are mostly statute with commentaries, uniformity decisions or other case law and jurisprudence, but maybe you will found my workflow useful. Also, it is great for final exam, bar exam and consultation preparations especially if combined with Anki.

First, I made a stucture in my vault with separate “I. Practice”, “II. Theory”, and “III. Sources” folders.

The practice folder have subfolders with files dedicated to a specific topic, e.g. case notes, best practices, general informations about organizations, contacts. Anything useful for work, that has significance beyond a daily memo in my diary.

The theory folder have subfolders based on legal branches: public law, private law and special (meaning it has elements of both). It has further subfolders for civil law, commercial law, constitutional law, criminal law, civil procedure, criminal procedure etc. I have built most of these based on lecture notes, textbooks, academic papers and recently my own legal research. I save the sources into the folder for later reference.

The sources folder have notes in relation to the practice and theory folders. If I find a good and reliable publisher, scholar, book, journal I list them. It is so much easier to look here instead of trying to remember, look back my previous sources or use an aggregator.

Trying to keep the formatting simple, I just use # for key concepts and color their nodes in graph view based on their theoretic legal branch. The text is formatted with — for horizontal bars, headings and emphasised with bolds. Easy and effective.


Hey Everyone,
I’m presently a 3L law student and I’ve stumbled upon Obsidian when trying to optimize my note-taking/outlining and I can firmly say that it has absolutely improved my law school experience. I’ve probably spent more time than necessary “optimizing” my workflow but I’m happy to share what I’ve got at the moment and always looking for any

I’m a Canadian law student so I use mostly Westlaw and CanLII for case law. I import them directly to my Zotero folder via the Google Chrome plugin, which nicely auto-populates the case metadata as well (Case name, court, year…). I read cases directly in the Zotero viewer and highlight the parts I’d like to later extract. I have it set up so that each highlighter color is designated for a particular kind of text (e.g. yellow=general text / blue=header / green=block quote). This can be done by going to:
[ Zotero > Edit > Preferences > Advanced > Config Editor > extensions.zotero.annotations.noteTemplates.highlight > “Modify” ] and then pasting the following code:

{{if color == '#2ea8e5'}}
	<h2>{{highlight quotes='false'}}</h2>
{{elseif color == '#ff6666'}}
	<blockquote>{{highlight}}</blockquote><p> {{comment}}</p>
{{elseif color == '#5fb236'}}
	<p>{{highlight quotes='true'}}</p>{{if comment}}<p><blockquote>{{comment}}</blockquote></p>{{endif}}
	<p>{{highlight quotes='false'}}</p>{{if comment}}<p><blockquote>{{comment}}</blockquote></p>{{endif}}

Instructions on how to create/edit code can be found here if you’d like to change up my color system.

I use the “Zotero Integration” plugin to extract the highlights from the case files and import them directly into my Obsidian literature note on the case. I use the following note template for case law:

Zotero: ✅/❌
Reviewed_Date: <%"YYYY-MM-DD") %>
Status: ❌/⌛/✅
Tags: 🌱|🌲
# Case: <% tp.file.title %>
[URL Link]

## Notes

I like the emojis because they are super simple to use and I prefer seeing color as opposed to just “true|false.” I identify “Status” as :x:=Not Read, :hourglass:=Reading, :white_check_mark:=Read. I use the dataview plugin with the following code block to keep track of all pending case law readings:

TABLE Status, dateformat(file.mtime, "dd.MM.yyyy") AS "Last modified"
FROM !"⚖️ Law/Case Law"
WHERE Status = "⌛"

The hourglass symbol can be interchanged with the X or the checkmark to show unread or completed case law readings as well.

I use the “:seedling:|:evergreen_tree:” tags to identify if any further “thought” is necessary on the case. Seedling=Need to think about this a bit more and Evergreen=Done and can be put away.

Underneath the Case Title (Level 1 Header) I include separate tags that may help me locate the case later if need be. I like to use nested tags, so some examples may be “#CivPro/Limitation_Period” or “Tort/Negligence/Causation”.

Then after importing my case law notes my file is saved in a separate case law folder. So long as I’ve tagged it correctly and made sure to include a link somewhere in my class notes then it will not be forgotten or will at least be found if ever required for research.

I hope these workflow tidbits were helpful and I look forward to any suggestions anyone may have! Likewise, if anyone has any questions I’m more than happy to help out if possible.



This is what I came here looking for. I used to use Casemap, but when I switched to Mac I didn’t want to wrestle with Parallels or VMWare Fusion. There’s nothing really comparable for a Mac. (Having said that, if you’re a Windows user, Casemap is worth paying for.)

I have been trying DEVONthink, but the proprietary database system is a complete nuisance if you need your material to be portable. Recently lost TONS of data and work when Apple made some change to iCloud that essential broke DT. I won’t make that mistake again.

I was/am(?) hoping to use Obsidian, but it seems too cumbersome to adopt as a case manager. Too much work formatting, etc. So now I’m not sure what I want to try next.