With the news last week of the merger of legal research companies Fastcase and vLex, it seemed a good time to revisit our 2019 interview with the founders of Fastcase, Ed Walters and Phil Rosenthal. The occasion of this interview was the company’s 20th anniversary, and we recorded it live, on the exhibit hall floor, at the annual conference of the American Association of Law Libraries.

In this interview, Walters and Rosenthal recount how, as two young associates at the law firm Covington & Burling, they came to found Fastcase in 1999. They also recall some of their greatest successes and worst mistakes over the years as founders, and offer their predictions for the future of Fastcase. How do their predictions in 2019 stand up in 2023? Well, you’ll have to listen to find out the answer to that.

Although Fastcase started as a legal research company, in recent years, it had diversified and expanded into areas such as legal analytics, legal publishing, legal news, and even legal document automation. That diversification had already started when we spoke to Walters and Rosenthal in 2019. The year before, they had acquired the legal dockets and analytics company Docket Alarm, and, as you will hear, they were already seeing analytics as a key component of their future growth.

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Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.