I just saw the press release from LexisNexis announcing the addition of American Lawyer Media (aka ALM) content to the Lexis service. As a single-service shop (we only have Lexis), I have to say that I’m a bit confused. First this content was available through both Lexis and Westlaw. Then came the Westlaw “exclusive.” And now the Lexis “exclusive.” All the while, it remained available through ALM’s Law.com platform.
I used to compare the ALM access situation to my iPhone. If I wanted it bad enough, I would use the service it was on. Like AT&T, people complain about the service but didn’t have much of a choice. It was either go through Westlaw or through the google-type search engine on Law.com. Readers of my prior blog posts can guess which one I went with. I was willing to endure being inundated with results over the alternative.
ALM does have great content and I am pleased that it is available on the Lexis platform. Being able to run targeted searches on this content will be a wonderful change. However, I’m not so pleased that, after purchasing it in print and through Law.com (not to mention getting premium access to their surveys), I’ll have to pay a third time to get it from Lexis. I think the best solution would be to follow the iPhone lead and make their content available at least on both of the top two platforms.
  • First of all… I have to say that is a great picture of you Mark!!

    One of the issues that I think a lot of law firms might have about this move (exclusive 3rd Party license) is that it seems that the Wexis players are lining up to cut deals with 3rd party content providers and move them back and forth from one player to another in order to create a "poison pill" effect. Firms will be reluctant to go with a single-provider if they cannot be certain that the content they negotiate with a single-provider won't be there in a year or two.

  • Well, I'm not happy with Lexis today either. I received an email informing me that it will no longer offer its service of purchasing research by credit card for a certain period of time.

    This seems to be a way to put the screws to small law firms that do not need Lexis on a daily basis and only wish to purchase on an on need basis.
    Hopefully, Fastcase and LoisLaw will come up with a decent work around for Shepards.

  • Anonymous

    I wouldn't worry about the Westlaw offering. Thomson-Reuters can now produce content that far surpass ALM's (which has gutted their own editorial offering because of the disappearance of classified advertising) without paying them for it and implicitly said to Lexis."if you want it … have a go." Because it is Thomson's own content, they can use that content in any number of ways. In addition, Thomson Reuters has already begun poaching the best reporters from ALM.

  • I wonder if you have American Lawyer an ALM publication)in contract on Westlaw and have it set up as an alert on WL will it go away now that it is exclusive to Lexis? Furthermore, will it automatically be included in my Lexis contract? If not that's a problem because I will have to either get the print subscription back or negotiate it into my Lexis contract. Ughhh!!

  • Anonymous

    I think a good model for this is the Financial Times. You pay once for access to the content (to FT directly) and then can get it from them directly or through whatever third party they have an agreement with (and you pay the third-party nothing). It's in FT's interest to make agreements with as many third parties as possible, and this benefits all of us.

  • Thea Warner

    I think that Greg is right on the money (re the "poison pill" effect – not sure about the likeness of the photo 🙂

    We no longer have Millers on Insurance because Westlaw purchased it from LexisNexis. Westlaw only offers Millers as a part of a large group of databases.

  • Anonymous

    Another issue that is hard for me to swallow is the fact that prior to Lexis losing ALM content to Westlaw, many law firms had negotiated and paid for ALM content to be included in their contracts. Then it was removed when Westlaw became the exclusive provider. Lexis did not reimburse most firms for the lost content, instead they hyped "a lot of other great things they were adding" in its place. Now that Lexis has it back they want to re-sell it to us? That is wrong.

  • Anonymous

    This kind of switcheroo really annoys me. We are right now trying to choose a single source and this back and forth of resources makes it tough to make a decision.