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.”
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.
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.