Legal Research Blog


Introducing: Mobile Sync from Fastcase

Fastcase’s award-winning mobile legal research app is now synchronized with the Fastcase bar association member benefit along with accounts for law firms and law schools.  Until now, the systems have been separate, so favorites and search history on the phone stayed on the phone while desktop history stayed on the desktop.  Now, with Fastcase Mobile Sync, you can connect your accounts, bringing together favorites and usage history.  Plus, when you save cases on the go, you can access them through your desktop where it’s easy to print, find expanded search information, and access support from Fastcase reference attorneys and technical professionals.

To sync your accounts follow the instructions below:

Log into Fastcase through your bar association, law school, or law firm landing page.  Once logged in, scroll over the Options menu and select Mobile Sync.

Once on the Mobile Sync page, you will be prompted to enter an email address.  This will be your username for logging in using the mobile app.  When you’ve entered your email address, click Go.  We will send an email to this address to confirm that you own it.  The email will contain a link that you must click to complete the sync process.

Tip: If you already use Fastcase for the iPhone or Fastcase for the iPad and are syncing your accounts, please use the email address associated with your preexisting app account.

If you have already established a mobile app account, simply click the link in the email, and your two accounts will automatically link together.

If you are creating a new mobile app account, you will be prompted to enter a password and to confirm your first and last name.  After that, just click Finish, and your existing desktop account will be linked to your new mobile account.

Questions?  Call Fastcase at 1-866-773-2782 or email

Curious about whether your bar association offers Fastcase? Check out a list of our partners here.

Accessing Fastcase When the Bar Site is Down for Maintenance

From time to time, our bar partner sites are unavailable for short periods of time due to maintenance.  However, you can still access Fastcase even if your bar’s login site isn’t available.  Here’s how:

1. Click here.

2. Enter the requested information.

3. When your registration email arrives, click on the link within to activate your account.

4. Go to and enter your username and password.

Once the bar page is working again, login through the bar association.  If you have questions, send us an email at

Lyle Lovett on Expert Customer Service

I went to see Lyle Lovett last night at the historic Birchmere in Alexandria, Va.

And he was awesome.

Lovett travels with some phenomenal musicians, and his set list includes some beloved classics.  It’s a terrific show.  But what makes the show for me isn’t the musicians or the playlist – it’s Lyle Lovett’s interactions with his audience.

He’s engaged. He’s funny.  He’s self-effacing.  He’s genuine.

The musical experience is as much about the music as it is about engagement – a good reminder that content is a service business.

His fans are there to hear the music, of course.  But they could listen to his music on an iPhone for free.  When we go see a concert, we’re not paying for the content.  We’re paying for the experience – of watching with other fans, of engaging with the musician and the music, of sitting 30 feet from the stage.

Concerts are a service business, not a content business.

This ethic animates our work at Fastcase, too.  Ten years ago, there were only two places you could find comprehensive access to the law.  Legal research was an economy of scarcity – an economy of access.  Legal research was a content business.  There were only two places you could purchase access to the content, so they could effectively charge whatever they wanted.  And their push was to expand access to new databases, new content, while the services languished.

Today, there are many places to access legal research content.  (In fact, we’re working to liberate the legal research database so that there will be more competition in the market.)  This is no longer an economy of scarcity – now it’s an economy of abundance.  Today, legal research is a service business; there are many places to find the content, and so publishers in this market must compete aggressively to provide the best service.

At Fastcase, this is a competition we’ve been gearing up to win.  Fastcase’s customer service is unparalleled, with top-drawer reference support, first-ring toll free customer service, free daily webinars, video tutorials, live chat support – the list goes on and on.

We’ve pioneered new ways of delivering the service, through free apps for iPhone and iPad, and innovative partnerships with state bar associations.  We’ve created smarter tools, like Forecite, which looks beyond keyword search to find cases you’d otherwise miss, and our Interactive Timeline, the first data visualization and data mapping tool for legal research.  And we’ve introduced a suite of cloud printing tools, which allow you to print with one click from anywhere on the Web or the desktop.

Content is a service business, and this service competition is long overdue.  It didn’t exist before, and we’re bringing it.  With more than 500,000 subscribers, 21 state bar partners, and 12 years of innovation under our belts, it’s no surprise that we’re seeing the first service innovations in years from Westlaw and LexisNexis.

You don’t go to a concert for the content – you go for the service.  And you don’t use Fastcase for mere access. You use Fastcase for smarter legal research tools and high-end customer service.

Just don’t ask us to sing “If I Had a Boat.”

The Facebook IPO.

The Facebook IPO may be closer than you think. On Monday the Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook, “had not selected bankers to manage what would be a very closely watched IPO. But it had drafted an internal prospectus and was ready at any moment to pull the IPO trigger.” Facebook had discussed a public float with bankers from Silicon Valley but Founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg has not finalized any plans from Palo Alto. The IPO is likely to stir up controversy as other recent social media IPO’s such as Pandora, Groupon, and LinkedIn continue to trade below their public debut levels. However, with reports of Facebook’s revenue doubling in the first 6 months of 2011 to $1.6 billion the company appears poised to raise an estimated $10 billion on a $100 billion valuation, more than double the valuation of Hewlett-Packard. Based on an internal report back in January Facebook will exceed 500 shareholders this year, and that in accordance with SEC regulations, “it will file public financial reports no later than April 30, 2012.” 

2011 Fastcase Luminary Award Winners

This year Fastcase was the proud sponsor of the National Association of Bar Executives Luminary awards. The Luminary awards are a way to highlight exceptional communications by bar associations nationwide. Every year the Luminary Awards Committee searches the country for top talent based on the insight and guidance of those working in the field. The winners this year were selected based on their innovative and thoughtful work that raises the  barpun intended, in both functionality and aesthetics.

Excellence In Public Relations:

Louisville Bar Association (Small Bar)

Recognized for their rebranded campaign to reposition the bar association as a learning/resource center for the community and to reinvigorate members’ energy and excitement by taking a fresh, modern approach to a century-old organization.

From the Judges: “Great Graphic design. The materials are fresh and appealing. A 30 percent increase in public service program enrollment is impressive.”

Connecticut Bar Association (Medium Bar)

Recognized for its “Spotlight on Civics,” a yearlong civics engagement campaign.

From the Judges: “This is an exceptional example of a comprehensive public relations campaign. From research, to involving all the right players, to materials development and resulting media coverage, just an outstanding effort to increase awareness about the importance of civics education. Well done!”

Virginia State Bar Madonna G. Dersch (Large Bar)

Recognized for its “Spare the Child” video, which educates the public to better understand and navigate the process of family dissolution.

From the Judges: “Great job producing a video that speaks to an issue many families are facing today. The quality of the video was impressive, as was its message. Nothing lacking in this entry.“

Excellence in Marketing:

Tarrant County Bar Association Director of Communications: Pat Leak (Small Bar)

Recognized for special marketing promotion of its annual Bench Bar Conference.

From the Judges: “Very integrated branding effort; I love it when a plan comes together…EVENT SOLD OUT FOR THE FIRST TIME!”

New Hampshire Bar Association Communications Department (Medium Bar)

Recognized for its “Kickstart Your Recovery Campaign for Advertising Development.”

From the Judges: “Making money in this economy is almost a miracle and the two staffers did it. A super (and courageous) idea to cut ad prices, offer more, and then market the heck out it with good looking pieces. A winner in my book.”

Colorado Bar Association Communications & Marketing (Large Bar)

Recognized for its successful Membership Campaign.

From the Judges: “This campaign is the epitome of a well-done marketing campaign. It is extremely well thought out, designed, and effective. Facing the challenge of membership during economic hardship head-on, the bar created a model example program.”

Excellence in Website Design

State Bar of Arizona receives a Luminary Award from the President of Fastcase Phil Rosenthal.

Fairfax Bar Association (Small Bar)

From the Judges: “Overall the site has a very clean look to it (and just to try it, I looked at it on my iPhone & it was so easy to read & move around – great job!) and easy to navigate. Excellent use of featured content sections on the homepage to highlight services and content.”

San Diego County Bar Association (Medium Bar)

From the Judges: “Overall the website is really clean, with great use of white space, while still getting the massive amount of information that all bar associations seem to have across to the audience. I REALLY like the upcoming calendar of events on the right-hand side of the pages, and the CLE calendar is pretty integrated & it’s great that you can add the event into your outlook calendar.”

State Bar of Arizona Rick DeBruhl (Large Bar)

“Nicely organized, attractive site. Very nice handling of the site’s dual audiences —members and the public. Compelling visuals and type with an easy-to-navigate structure; has zero visual clutter, a strong hierarchy and no information overload to slow access to the content; good color contrast.”

Excellence in Electronic Publications

Contra Costa Bar Association CCCBA Communications Committee & Kerstin Firmin (Small Bar)

From the Judges: “Wow! This publication could easily hold its own with the largest bar associations. The fact that it cost $800 to produce is astounding. The design is very appealing and is a really interesting example of how to make a blog more magazine-like. This nomination truly deserves an award and it would be a benefit to the NABE community at large to see it.”

Denver Bar Association Communications & Marketing (Medium Bar)

“Nice design. They did a nice job of mixing in information beyond just bar news in the issues that I browsed. I liked the writing tips from a Hollywood scandal.”

Colorado Bar Association Communications & Marketing (Large Bar)

“This e-publication is a clear winner, and I can think of no improvements. The articles are written by lawyer volunteers (great for increasing a feeling of ownership of their bar) and of good quality. The masthead is magnificent, beautifully bridging between the solo state of mind and the big city feel of a bar association. Love the tagline: Practice as One; Connect as a Community.”

Special Publications

Oakland County Bar Association (Small Bar)

Recognized for the Military Veterans Speaker’s Bureau.

From the Judges: “Very worthwhile project and one that can easily expand! Great use of resources in keeping it primarily web-based. Informative, nice & clean. Good logos/colors. Easily met objectives.”

Indiana State Bar Association (Medium Bar)

Recognized for the Indiana State Bar Association Young Lawyers Section.

From the Judges: “Solid product with a lot of good information for the public. Interior has clean, easy-to-read layout. Good, helpful information and great topics — perfect for its audience.”

State Bar of Arizona Communications Staff (Large Bar)

From the Judges: “A lot of information packed into a four-page annual report. Great idea to use snapshot format —gets right to the point. Clean layout. Great job! It paints a great picture of the bar and demonstrates to members the bar’s commitments for the coming years.”

Regular Publications

Wyoming State Bar Sharon Wilkinson (Small Bar)

From the Judges: “A very attractive publication! Great use of technology (drop shadows, etc.) and elements are extremely consistent throughout. Loved the 1st Feature pages!! Excellent effort by small staff.“

San Diego County Bar Association (Medium Bar)

Recognized for The San Diego Lawyer publication.

From the Judges: “This is a nice, creative pub — from the photo gallery pages that use volunteer photographers to the covers that creatively highlight bar members doing work that fits with Bar initiatives. Staff are obviously taking a lot of time to create such a consistently attractive magazine. It reminds me of the city itself: warm, bright and airy. Very well done. “

Pennsylvania Bar Association The Pennsylvania Lawyer Staff (Large Bar)

Recognized for The Pennsylvania Lawyer publication.

From the Judges: “This is a very attractive, colorful publication features a clean design that nicely complements its blend of advocacy articles, informational pieces and the occasional lighter feature. Not only does this excellent publication actually make a profit, it does so with a minimal number of staff members. Superior work!

The Winners!

The Winners: