State Bar Associations Offer Legal Research as Free Member Benefit
Washington, DC (May 17, 2010) — The Arkansas Bar Association announced today that it has added the Fastcase legal research system as a free benefit for its members, providing millions of dollars worth of subscription access to law for free to its members. Beginning July 1, 2010, Arkansas lawyers can access Fastcase’s suite of smarter research tools – which normally costs thousands per member per year on comparable services – for free by visiting the bar’s website at www.arkbar.com.
The Arkansas Bar Association selected Fastcase to provide the member benefit after a thorough comparison of legal research providers, including Casemaker and Versuslaw, the bar’s current provider. “After an exhaustive review by our online legal research committee, we decided to make the switch to Fastcase,” said Karen Hutchins, Executive Director of the Arkansas Bar Association. “Fastcase provides a very smart set of tools for searching the law, but it’s also very easy to use. I know that it’s going to be a very popular service for our members.”
This exclusive member benefit library includes free online access to the Arkansas law library, with Arkansas cases, statutes, regulations, court rules, and constitutions. The benefit includes all 50 states, as well as all federal caselaw.
Beyond mere scope of coverage, Fastcase’s approach to search is considered by many to be the most technologically advanced in the market, with integrated citation analysis, powerful sorting tools, and interactive graphical maps of search results that find winning results faster.
In addition to becoming the exclusive provider for the Arkansas Bar Association, Fastcase today announced that the Virginia State Bar (VSB) has renewed its Fastcase agreement for another year. The VSB exercised an option in its contract to offer its more than 40,000 members another year of service from Fastcase.
“Surveys in Virginia show that VSB members love Fastcase,” said Fastcase CEO Ed Walters. “The service provides access for thousands of Virginia attorneys who can now provide better value to their clients and perform more pro bono work. I’m a member of the VSB, and across the Commonwealth I hear that Fastcase elevates the practice of law in Virginia, and is an important service provided as a benefit of membership in the VSB.”
Fastcase began providing member benefits to state bar associations in 2005, and since then, it has dominated the market for such member benefit programs, winning competitions in 14 out of 15 states that compared Fastcase as a new member benefit. In addition, four states have switched to Fastcase from member benefits provided by Casemaker (Oregon, West Virginia), LexisNexis (New Jersey), and Versuslaw (Arkansas) — no state has ever switched from Fastcase to another provider. Fastcase has signed member benefit agreements with 18 state bar associations and numerous voluntary and metropolitan bar associations, making the law free for more than 400,000 lawyers around the country.
As the smarter alternative for legal research, Fastcase democratizes the law, making it more accessible to more people. Using patented software that combines the best of legal research with the best of Web search, Fastcase helps busy users sift through the clutter, ranking the best cases first and enabling the re-sorting of results to find answers fast. Founded in 1999, Fastcase.com has more than 400,000 subscribers from around the world. It is the parent company of the Public Library of Law (www.plol.org), one of the world’s largest free legal research sites for consumers and lawyers alike, and the first legal research app for iPhone (www.fastcase.com/iPhone), which is also free. Fastcase is an American company based in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit www.fastcase.com or Fastcase’s legal research blog at www.fastcase.com/blog.
About the Arkansas Bar Association
The Arkansas Bar Association is a private, non-profit, voluntary association of over 4,600 licensed attorneys. For 100 years the Association has made a positive difference in the lives of attorneys and in the lives of the citizens of Arkansas. The Association provides a variety of services to its members and the public, and undertakes projects to improve the justice system in Arkansas. For more information, visit www.arkbar.com.
About the Virginia State Bar
The Virginia State Bar (VSB) was created in 1938 by the General Assembly as an administrative agency of the Supreme Court of Virginia. The mission of the Virginia State Bar, as an administrative agency of the Supreme Court of Virginia, is to regulate the legal profession of Virginia; to advance the availability and quality of legal services provided to the people of Virginia; and to assist in improving the legal profession and the judicial system. For more information, visit www.vsb.org.
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