Large law firms can use the latest and greatest software and legal research tools largely due to their deep discounts for volume licensing. For the same technology, solo practitioners and small law firms pay higher prices to receive the same benefits or settle for fewer features at a lower price. State bar organizations have an opportunity to level the playing field between large and small law practices by offering low-cost access to technology.
For example, the D.C. Bar now provides members with free legal research tools. D.C. Bar members who practice in the district can use Fastcase to get free access to all D.C. cases and the District of Columbia Code, with handy links to other information like the D.C. Municipal Regulations and Register, and rules of court for the D.C. Court of Appeals and the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. In addition, Bar members receive a special discount: $195 per year for access to a 50-state and federal database of primary law, including cases of the federal district courts and bankruptcy courts. That includes unlimited searching and printing at no extra charge. Without the discount, the Fastcase service normally costs $1,195 per year. That saves Bar members $1,000.
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