As recently reported in NW Lawyer, the Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) is now offering its members access to Fastcase. This is a legal research platform in addition to the already offered Casemaker. Please find both platforms here.
WSBA has contracted with Casemaker for over 13 years in order to provide its members with a free legal research tool. The Board of Governors recently requested WSBA to conduct a review of other available research platforms. The organization did, and at the recommendation of WSBA’s Practice Management Team, WSBA is now providing its members with access to both Casemaker and Fastcase.
What is Fastcase?
Fastcase is an innovative legal research platform that helps its users research smarter. WSBA will be the 32nd state bar association to offer the Fastcase platform. Some of the platform’s features include:
- Bad Law Bot: This is an algorithm that alerts users when cases are cited with negative citation language. The alerts help identify criticized or overturned cases.
- Forecite: Forecite helps uncover important cases by suggesting additional results outside the scope of a user’s search terms.
- Data Visualization tools: Fastcase offers unique visual tools like an Interactive Timeline and semantic word clouds. These help researchers see search results in new ways, by showing cases across a timeline, demonstrating connection between cases, and identifying key terms used by those sources.
Why Both Fastcase and Casemaker?
WSBA provides three main reasons for providing free access to both Fastcase and Casemaker. These are:
- Enhanced interests in cultivating competent legal professionals;
- Promotion of quality legal services; and,
- Flexibility to lawyers.
As WSBA reports, please note that up to 11 percent of malpractice claims can be traced to an attorney’s failure to understand or apply the law. With the WSBA now offering two research platforms, the hope is that the organization’s members will have the ability to discover better research methods and practices – that work for them and their practice.
Currently, 30 percent of WSBA Casemaker users also state that they use the search platforms of LexisNexis and Westlaw. One of WSBA’s hopes with Fastcase is that lawyers now have an alternative and supplemental research tool to Casemaker. And, unlike LexisNexis and Westlaw, it’s free of charge.
New Research Tools, but the Same Gold Standard in Attorney Placement
Granted, as time passes new research tools become available to attorneys. This is a good thing. But, one other awesome thing to note is that QUID PRO QUO has been in the business of placing lawyers in excellent and rewarding positions for almost 30 years now. We love to keep our candidates updated as to news that helps. And, we are also completely excited to do what we can to help our candidates find their next best job and legal position. Please never hesitate to contact us if we can assist you in any way.