Back in October, I wrote a post here about Lexis Advance for Solos, the new, flat-rate legal research platform from LexisNexis for one- and two-lawyer firms. As I noted then, “Lexis Advance for Solos is an advance look at a line of products Lexis will be rolling out for various user groups. While they may not all look exactly alike or share precisely the same features, they will all be built on the same basic platform.”
Today, LexisNexis announced the next group of users who will have an Advance all their own — associates. The company said that Lexis Advance for Associates will be the next tool released on its “New Lexis” technology platform.
Notice that I said “announced,” not “released.” The product is not out yet and will not be until later this year. Clemens Ceipek, the LexisNexis vice president who directs the company’s New Lexis initiative, told me that the company is announcing this now so that customers will know that it is in development and be able to plan for it.
The product is intended to be used not only by associates, but by anyone within a firm or organization who is most intensively involved in performing legal research. Besides associates, that might include law clerks, staff attorneys and law students.
Last Friday, Ceipek and Marty Kilmer, the LexisNexis “product champion” working on the Advance series, gave me a preview of some of the features that will be included in Lexis Advance for Associates.
As with the product for solos, the most significant advance in Advance for Associates is its Google-like interface. Dominating each page is a Google-like search bar, and a single search covers all libraries. The eliminates the need to select sources or libraries before conducting a search. A variety of filters let you narrow searches and filter results.
The new Advance will include access to a broader range of content than does the solos product, with an expanded array of treatises and deeper access to materials pertaining to public records, dockets, verdicts and settlements, and expert witnesses.
In addition to broader content, the new product will include new features. These include the ability to create alerts to notify you of updates to searches or to Shepherd’s.
Pricing of this will be different than for the solo product. Current Lexis subscribers will be able to use the Advance for Associates interface at no extra cost, as part of their existing subscription. That will include the ability to search across all the content included within the product.
While searching will be free across all content, access to that content will not be. If a user wants to retrieve a document that it outside the user’s existing subscription, the user will have to purchase that document.
That said, the system will be set up to avoid surprises. Users will be clearly notified of any documents that require an extra charge before they make a purchase. The notice will provide a summary of the document and state the exact price. If the user wants to hold off on the purchase decision until after conducting further research, the user can add the document to a folder that operates much like a “shopping cart,” holding the document until the purchase decision is made.
The more intuitive interface that characterizes this product and the solos product is the interface that will eventually be universal across Lexis products. In the meantime, the company will continue to roll out versions of Advance targeted to particular user groups. Some groups that may be targeted for their own versions of Advance are law librarians, litigators and transactional lawyers.