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Not all legal publications are created equally

LexisNexis is the winner

I continuously comparison shop between different legal publications. Axiomatically they should all be equal since they are all based on the same set of laws, right?  But, they are not.

Right now, for the type of law I practice, LexisNexis is hands down the winner. Yes, it is super expensive next to other solutions like Casemaker or Fastcase, but I’m telling you it is super worth it. Between the automation tools, forms, practical guidance, Shepard’s graphical citation checking – oh, and legal research, you can not find a better suite of tools for litigation.

All of these products are, at their core, databases that they sell access to, like an arcade game you have to keep pumping your quarters into. LexisNexis has a bigger database that is more meticulously manicured and updated than lower cost alternatives. It is also much faster and reliable in my anecdotal experience.


Through Reed Elsevier they have really amazing public data offerings too, which is a need to have in verifying complaints for CR11 compliance. For issue spotting, LexisNexis uses a more generic language algorithm that isn’t my favorite. I like using Westlaw’s key system, but the only reason I keep my account open is to keep using @David DeWolf’s Washington Elements of an Action.

Next year, I will tell you if LexisNexis will manage to hold on to the top spot, some other incumbent takes the lead, or a new disruptor emerges. Who knows?

Do you have a question about legal research?