In February 2005, the Virginia State Bar (VSB) Council approved plans to offer all Virginia lawyers free access to an online legal research program through a portal on the VSB's website. Then-Chief Justice Leroy Rountree Hassell, Sr., considered access to an online research tool a high priority for Virginia attorneys and urged the VSB to provide this kind of service. On June 13, 2005, the Virginia Supreme Court adopted a formal Rule of Court directing the VSB "to contract to provide online computerized legal resea1·ch services to its members."1 In February 2006, the VSB gave its notice of intent to award a contract to Fastcase, which is headquartered in Washington, D.C. Twenty-four other bar associations provide Fastcase to their members. Other specialty groups, such as the Cincinnati Law Library, the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, and the Social Law Library network in Boston, offer Fastcase access as well. State technology experts at www.virginia.gov worked with the VSB to set up a secure, members-only, sign-in procedure for access to Fastcase on the website. This sign-in method will allow possible future access to other online member services.

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