Home > Uncategorized > Free on your phone

Free on your phone

The American Association of Law Libraries selected an iPhone application as 2010 New Product of the Year.  A pay legal research service, Fastcase, developed the application which is fee to download and free to use.  Currently limited to the iPhone, plans are in place to expand service to the iPad and to Android and Blackberry devices.

The application allows users to search case law, search statutes, or browse statutes.  Searches can be tailored by jurisdiction and by date.  You can search cases and statutes using natural language, citation formats, or terms and connectors.  The application has no built in email or print functions though reviewers report that the iPhone allows them to easily copy and paste entire opinions into an e-mail that they can then send to themselves.  It is unclear how much access the mobile application grants users.  One clear difference though is that whatever secondary sources are available to users of the standard Fastcase service are not available to mobile users.  The ability to freely search opinions  from all 50 states from single source is exciting, even if the capacity is limited.

One thing to keep in mind as you go forward is that many state bar associations and their partners now offer free Fastcase access to their members.  A complete list of participating associations can be found here.

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