In this podcast, Brooklyn Law School’s Associate Librarian for International Law Jean Davis shares her observations about the challenges facing law students in using five legal research engines, including the legacy versions of Westlaw and Lexis and the newer versions of WestlawNext and LexisNexis Advance as well as Bloomberg Law. She also provides a flyer that Lexis created to highlight new content and features of LexisNexis Advance. Earlier this month, Davis was a co-panelist in New Generation of Legal Research Databases a program at the American Association of Law Libraries’ 105th Annual Meeting. Other panelists were former BLS Library Director Victoria Szymczak, (now Law Library Director at the School of Law at the University of Hawaii), Jean P. O’Grady, Director of Research Services and Libraries at DLA Piper, Emily Marcum, a law firm librarian from Birmingham, Alabama, and Susan Nevelow Mart, Law Library Director at University of Colorado in Boulder.
The program grew out of last year’s Annual Meeting of AALL and enabled librarians familiar with Bloomberg Law, LexisNexis Advance, and WestlawNext to compare the developments of these research tools and consider the effect these changes have had in libraries. The discussion contrasted the latest interfaces of these services to their classic versions, as well as to each other, examining what worked, what failed, whether “improvements” changed workflow, and whether the changes impacted user preferences.
The panelists delivered the results of a survey on academic, law firm and government adoption of Lexis Advance, Westlaw Next and Bloomberg Law. The survey showed that law schools librarians teach a variety of platforms to train law students. Traditionally, they taught only the Lexis and Westlaw platforms. Now they need to train students on WestlawNext, Lexis Advance and Bloomberg Law. Law firms are concerned about pricing schemes available under both the old and new platforms and the challenges of cost recovery. Government libraries are starting to adopt Bloomberg Law and have seen a strong interest in the product by judges. Executives from the three vendors were present to answer questions from the panel or audience members. For observations about the panel, see the blog post Next Generation Legal Search Engines: Westlaw Next, Lexis Advance and Bloomberg Law: The Good, The Bad and The Baffling on Jean O’Grady’s blog Dewey B Strategic.