by Karen Helde
I’ve been investigating apps for the iPad-toting attorneys in my office. One legal research app has really impressed me with its coverage (national), interface (clean) and cost (free!). Fastcase is the app you’ll wish you had on your desktop–and if you happen to be a member of the Oregon Bar, you do (see the OSB site for more information). It’s a great option when you want to take a quick look at a case or statute without incurring client charges. The interface is intuitive and streamlined, with no cluttered screens to navigate or commands to memorize. You can pull up state and federal cases using keywords or a citation. Too many hits in your search result? Narrow the field by jurisdiction or date, or change the sort order to browse more efficiently. The US Code and most state statutes are available too–get what you need by browsing, searching, or a entering a citation. Tap “Save” if you pull up a document you want to refer to later.
The basic Fastcase app is free to download and use, and works on iPhone or iPad. You’ll need to register for an account, but it’s painless. I’m not the only librarian to be impressed. The Fastcase app won AALL’s New Product of the Year Award in 2010.