/ June 30, 2009

Law Technology News: "Fastcase has the clear edge."

Law Technology News today ran an in-depth comparison of Fastcase and Casemaker – the two most popular legal research services offered by state bar associations – and concluded that although both are valuable, “Fastcase has the clear edge.

The point-by-point comparison, by legal journalist Robert J. Ambrogi, goes feature-by-feature through the two services. On searching, he concludes that;

“Fastcase and Casemaker both describe their search interface as intuitive. Indeed, both are easy to use. But Fastcase is the more intuitive one, largely because of its Google-like simplicity.”

Which is exactly the point. At Fastcase, we’re working hard to build tools that are easy to use, but also very powerful. One way we do that is to integrate lots of useful data and citation analysis into search results. Ambrogi notes this when comparing the display of search results on both services:

In their displays of search results, Fastcase provides more information and more flexibility. The Fastcase default is to list results by relevance, much as Google would. With a quick click, you can re-sort the results by name or decision date. With another quick click, you can narrow results to a specific jurisdiction. . . . The Fastcase results page displays the name of each case, its relevance ranking, how often it has been cited, and a paragraph excerpt. You can change whether this shows the case’s most relevant paragraph or its opening paragraph. A button next to each case lets you easily add it to a print queue.

The review highlights some great features that are unique to Fastcase, like our patent-pending Interactive Timeline that creates visual maps of search results, permanent URLs that allow you to save and share search results and cases, and Fastcase’s e-mail a case features as differentiators.

But in the end, he concludes (perhaps with a nod to Wimbledon), “Advantage, Fastcase“:

A bar association that offers its members either of these services is giving them a valuable benefit. While both offer comparable research libraries and search tools, Fastcase holds the edge in ease of use and intuitiveness of its features.

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