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Fastcase is a legal research software company based in Washington, D.C. Quietly it has been building market share in the legal research market for lawyers, with more than 600,000 subscribers.
Fastcase's legal research service is poised to make some major changes in the way that lawyers access the law. It sorts results algorithmically, like Google, bringing the best results to the top. But more than that, it incorporates citation analysis right into the results, so you can see which cases are most cited. The service also allows customized results -- users can sort results a dozen ways to emphasize what's important to them.
The service is also the first to move legal research beyond the tired "search-results-document" paradigm, with cool data visualization tools that create beautiful, four-dimensional maps of search results. The most important cases jump off the pages in these maps -- just one of many interesting tools that make Fastcase a smarter alternative for legal research.
This is a paradigm shift. In the past, the emphasis in legal research was on taxonomic or editorial tools that helped lawyers or legal researchers find the most important cases, kind of like Yahoo's categories helped people find pages on the early Web. Fastcase allows users to organize the law with search tools and intelligent algorithms, much like Google did in the Web. And like Google, once people use Fastcase's search tools, they find it difficult to go back to the old, pre-chewed editorial indexes of traditional legal research.
In February of 2010, Fastcase introduced the first legal research application for the iPhone (www.fastcase.com/iPhone) -- which is free to download and free to use (free registration required). Apple has ranked the app as one of its featured "What's Hot" applications, and it has been one of the most dowloaded free reference apps in iTunes. Fastcase released the first iPad app for legal research in July 2010 (www.fastcase.com/iPad).
More information and a free trial at www.fastcase.com, or on the Fastcase Legal Research Blog at www.fastcase.com/blog.
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