It’s no surprise (but still often a shock) that upon graduation you lose the LexisNexis and Westlaw access that you’ve become accustomed to over the past three or four years. Six months after graduation you lose access to Bloomberg Law. Yet you still have to do legal research in order to practice law. How do you do that?
One option is to pay for access to LexisNexis, Westlaw, or Bloomberg Law, and many people do. However, there is another option. One of the perks that you get with membership in the Georgia Bar (along with free parking in the State Bar parking deck) is free access to Fastcase, a legal research service with access to both state and federal cases, statutes, regulations. Fastcase also offers Authority Check, which can help with locating citations to cases.
Fastcase released its iPhone and iPad apps in 2010, and this week launched the first legal research app for Android. What’s more, these apps are free for anyone to use. You have to register, but registration is free and not limited to subscribers or members of the state bar. The early reviews are in, and they’re pretty positive. If you have an Android device (or iPhone or iPad), go and check it out – it’s free, and it’s a great way to start becoming familiar with a resource that you’ll get upon graduation (and passing the bar, of course)!