Greg Lambert of 3 Geeks and a Law Blog created an interactive map in March 2010 to illustrate which research services were provided as member benefits of the various state bar associations. But at least eight state bar associations have changed their research subscriptions since that time. Goodson Law Library Head of Reference Services Jennifer L. Behrens has updated Lambert's original map with the current legal research member benefits offered by state bars and state bar associations. View the interactive map below, see the full-size map on TargetMap.com, or download a static version here.
As of October 2013, Casemaker and Fastcase have an even market share of 23 states (the District of Columbia bar also offers Fastcase). Pennsylvania’s bar association continues to provide its members with access to InCite, a research service powered by LexisNexis. Three states (California, Delaware and Montana) do not offer statewide access to a legal research service as a benefit to bar members. (However, several county and local bar associations in California do provide member access to either Fastcase or Casemaker.)
Chart view: Legal Research Services by State Bar Association, as of 10/10/2013
|California||None (some county/local associations provide access)|
|District of Columbia||Fastcase|
Currently, Duke Law students can sign up for free access to Casemaker through the CasemakerX educational platform. Although there is currently no direct access at Duke Law to Fastcase, currently-enrolled law students can join the North Carolina Bar Association for free to enjoy this membership benefit. In addition, Duke students will soon see limited access to Fastcase materials through a partnership with HeinOnline which was announced this summer. As part of this agreement, HeinOnline's research libraries will incorporate links to state and federal case law which are powered by Fastcase; Hein will also integrate Fastcase's Authority Check citation analysis tool, in order to locate additional relevant case law and make note of potentially negative treatment. Although even Fastcase's own documentation admits that Authority Check is no substitute for a premium service citator like Shepard's or KeyCite, this Fastcase enhancement to HeinOnline will undoubtedly aid legal researchers.
For more information about low-cost legal research alternatives, check out the Goodson Law Library guide to Legal Research on the Web or Ask a Librarian.