Great read over at LOMAP on Research Trails: Breadcrumbs for Recovering (the) Most of Your Research Buck. This is a good follow up read to the post we did here on 3 Geeks asking if a lawyer really needs premium tools like Westlaw to practice. Jared Correia at LOMAP points out that there are a lot of state and local bar associations that provide its members with free legal research tools – in Massachusetts it is Casemaker (same here in Texas). In some other states it is Fastcase. So, if you’re state bar is providing you with access to these services, are you using them?? If not, why? Are you stupid or something??
If you’re one of those attorneys that I mentioned last week that loves to search Google for legal research (probably because it is free and doesn’t get charged to your firm or client), then you owe it to yourself, your firm and your clients to make sure you know what products are available to you. And, if you’re one of those folks that has a free service from your state bar, but plunked down a subscription to another low-cost provider at $1000 to $1800 a year, then let me ask you again… well, you know….
As Jared pointed out in the LOMAP post, sure these aren’t Westlaw or Lexis, but they do offer some powerful researching abilities, and if they are available via your state bar… they cost the same as that silly Google search your attempting to do. Go check out your bar association and see what they have to offer. You might be surprised at how much they have to offer!
[Note: Carolyn Elefant at MyShingle.com has a nice list of Bar Association benefits that they provide their members.]