Lexis vs. West
Apr 30, 2015
It’s no secret that in the world of legal publishing there are two big competitors, LexisNexis and Thomson Reuters (Westlaw). Both have things they do really well. I’d be lost without California Forms of Pleading and Practice (thank you Lexis)! Then we have gems like The Rutter Practice Guides sets, also known as Rutter Guides (thank you West)! It really boils down to personal preference, or if you’re thorough, you use both in your research.
Lucky for all of us, you can be thorough! We have a wide variety of resources from both publishers in print and online through their online databases, Lexis.com and WestlawNext. I’ve heard it all, (using the databases) “I will only Shepardize using Lexis because West’s Keycite is too confusing.” “I’ve tried Lexis but it’s too hard, I just want to find this form that’s in the book online.” Confession time: I would pick WestlawNext over Lexis.com any day. When we lost Westlaw Classic there were fears and hesitation from staff and patrons, but here we are fully in love with the user friendly interface of WestlawNext. The google-esque search style with ease of narrowing or expanding results, what was not to love?
Showing patrons how to use WestlawNext was a walk in the park. On the other hand, trying to find something in Lexis.com was incredibly painful for me and the patron. There were too many steps and clicks between me and my results. I was completely biased, blinded by comfort, and spoiled by time saving features on WestlawNext. I kept asking when Lexis was going to get on board and update their interface to meet user’s needs, well they did it.
Last year at the AALL conference I experienced the beauty of Lexis Advance, but then sadly was told it would not be released for “patron access” accounts (meaning libraries like ours) until a later time. Well that time is here! Lexis Advance is now available at all of our locations. It has replaced the Lexis.com database. When you first see it, you may be a little shocked and slightly confused, but come explore the features and functions.
Now that the database discrepancy is gone, I can no longer play favorites amongst these two competitors. You can arrive at your own conclusion once you test it out for yourself.
If you’re interested in attending a training or overview of searching techniques and tips for Lexis Advance please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org). We’d love to set up a training session for those of you wanting to learn! You can also take a look at the guides Lexis Advance has created to help in the transition. I invite you to visit us and take the hands on approach, there’s no better way to learn.
Daisy is a Community Engagement and Digital Services Librarian at our Main Library.