Fastcase Public Library of Law, the Web's Largest Free Law Library, Opens to the Public

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Fastcase Public Library of Law offers best starting point for law online. The Fastcase PLoL will provide lawyers and non-lawyers alike a free and user-friendly law resource online.

Just as the Internet has made it possible for people to book their own travel, manage their own investments, and file their own taxes, PLoL will enable individuals to find answers to their routine or small-claims legal questions online - either by themselves or in conjunction with a lawyer

Fastcase today opened the doors to the largest free law library on the Web. The Fastcase Public Library of Law launches as the most comprehensive free resource for legal research online, making it the best starting point for anyone who wants to learn about and use the law.

The Fastcase Public Library of Law (PLoL) is powered by Fastcase, Inc., the premium provider of next-generation legal research. Since its founding in 1999, Fastcase has worked to democratize the law, making it more accessible to more people.

"American law used to be controlled by foreign-owned publishers," said Fastcase CEO Ed Walters. "Over the past eight years, Fastcase has smashed through those bottlenecks with our premium service for lawyers. Now, by launching the Fastcase Public Library of Law as a free service, we are also empowering non-lawyers to learn about and use the law themselves."

Fastcase identified a latent market of non-lawyers who seek access to the law; four out of five people who sign up for a trial of the full Fastcase service are not attorneys. The Fastcase PLoL will give students, small business owners, people litigating small claims, and pro se litigants a free and user-friendly law resource online.

"Just as the Internet has made it possible for people to book their own travel, manage their own investments, and file their own taxes, PLoL will enable individuals to find answers to their routine or small-claims legal questions online - either by themselves or in conjunction with a lawyer," said Phil Rosenthal, president of Fastcase.

In the past, many different Web sites contained pockets of free legal resources. PLoL brings all of those resources together in one place, and adds more than 2 million pages of cases that were previously available only by subscription - making PLoL the best starting point for legal resources online.

Fastcase has made a number of recent moves to democratize the law, including a November 2007 agreement with PublicResource.org to make 1.8 million pages of federal cases available in the public domain. Fastcase included those same cases in PLoL and added an additional 10 years of caselaw from all 50 states - the only collection of its kind on the Web.

Unlike other free resources, Fastcase backstops PLoL, so citations to older cases not in its database appear as links to Fastcase, increasing the size of the PLoL library to virtually the entire American law library. Additional professional research tools are available through Fastcase.com as well.

PLoL features an intuitive interface that works like popular Web search engines, making it more accessible to all researchers. "By listing the most relevant cases first, our PLoL search sorts the haystack, putting needles on top," said Walters. "It makes first-time legal research as easy as using Google."

To ensure that the PLoL remains up-to-date and comprehensive, Fastcase will also update PLoL with new law books as they come out, unlike many services that simply update from court draft opinions online.

For more information about the Fastcase Public Library of Law, or to experience it yourself, please visit http://www.plol.org.

About Fastcase
As the premium provider of next-generation legal research, Fastcase seeks to democratize the law, making it more accessible to more people. Using patented software that combines the best of legal research with the best of Web search, Fastcase helps busy users sift through the clutter, ranking the best cases first and enabling the re-sorting of results to find answers fast. Founded in 1999, Fastcase.com has more than 275,000 subscribers from around the world, and the company recently launched the Fastcase Public Library of Law, the most comprehensive free legal research site for consumers and lawyers alike. Fastcase is an American company based in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit http://www.fastcase.com.

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