The Library has added two new databases that students will want to acquaint themselves with as they prepare to look for jobs and get ready to practice: Law360 and Fastcase.
Law360 is a collection of subject-specific legal news databases that covers a variety of different practice areas (antitrust, ERISA, and patents to name a few), industries (such as consumer goods, healthcare, oil & gas), and jurisdictions. Users can receive daily emails with the latest news in their field(s) of interests, and track the latest major lawsuits in different industries.
Job seekers will be especially interested in tracking news from 28 federal agencies and 1000s of law firms and corporations. Tracking a particular law firm will alert you whenever they’re mentioned in a Law360 story or serve as counsel in a lawsuit tracked by Law360. This is a great current awareness resource, and one that many students are likely to find being used in firms in which they might practice.
Students can access Law360 on- or off-campus, the latter by logging into the school’s proxy server.
Fastcase is a low-cost legal research database. It offers users the ability to search state and federal case law and statutes, as well as administrative regulations, constitutions, court rules, and some newspapers.
Many state bar associations, including the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA), provide free access to Fastcase as a benefit of membership. (Fastcase also has iPad and iPhone apps, which are free to use, but do not offer as robust a platform as laptop or desktop.)
Fastcase does not have a citator like Lexis’s Shepard’s or Westlaw’s KeyCite, but it does find other citations to a case within the database. Fastcase does not analyze cases to determine whether they have been followed, criticized, overturned, etc. Many firms are now subscribing to Fastcase, and requiring that initial case law and statutory research be done there before moving on to Lexis or Westlaw.
We hope access to these resources will be helpful to you. Please come see a librarian if you have any questions about Law360, Fastcase, or other databases.