Did you know that all Fastcase users have free and unlimited access to reference support through Fastcase? Fastcase has a terrific team of research support staff comprised of technical professionals and research attorneys who are here to help you run searches and find the most relevant cases.
Denise Lauretti is the Senior Reference Attorney on the Fastcase customer support team. She has her J.D. from Boston College and twenty years of practice experience in Massachusetts and New Hampshire doing insurance defense work. She joined Fastcase as a senior reference attorney in January and oversees the Fastcase customer support team in Washington, D.C. We recently sat down with Denise to talk about how she and her team help Fastcase users every day.
FC: This is a time where legal technology is changing really quickly. What do you think the biggest challenges are right now in legal research?
DL: One of the greatest challenges is opening the field to more experienced lawyers who feel technology has passed them by. I hear from attorneys every day who felt that books were still the standard for research. Often, this is because traditional search engines are not as user friendly for someone new to the idea of online research. Fastcase’s intuitive interface makes the transition easy for those attorneys. The training offered is accessible and easy to use. Results are easy to understand and incorporate into every day practice. Additional tools such as the iPhone and iPad apps allowing access on the fly are important in today’s law practice.
FC: Is there such thing as a typical research question from a member?
DL: A user will call and say "I've been researching for three days, and I'm out of ideas. I don't know what else to do." More often than not, because we work with Fastcase every day, we are able to run a couple of searches and get them point them in the right direction. We are also able to suggest additional searches that may be helpful in narrowing down results going forward. We always encourage members to call us back if they need more help later. It's an ongoing process.
FC: These aren't the kind of things that many experienced attorneys learned in law school, right? Keyword (Boolean) search hasn't been around that long?
DL: We had a week of training with Boolean searches during my first year and then used books. Even when online search options became available, training on the system was short and the support system was frustrating. Books were always the backstop. Fastcase’s engine, which returns results in the order in which they are likely to be useful is an innovation designed to streamline that process. The search tips that appear on the search pages are extremely useful for those of us less familiar with the Boolean search.
FC: How do you and your team help make time spent researching more efficient?
DL: We regularly help members get started with research, especially when they are moving into a topic that is unfamiliar. In speaking with members about the task at hand, we also have the opportunity to suggest time-saving tools that will aid in finding the right document faster. We know that for members, time is money – we aim to help save both.
FC: Thanks Denise!
Users may contact Denise and her team from 8AM to 8PM Eastern, Monday – Friday.
Phone: (866) 773-2782
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Next time you need help finding something, call us. 1-866-773-2782.