It’s Last Rites for Lexis.com, As LexisNexis Sets Date for Shutdown

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Prepare last rites for Lexis.com. The legacy legal research service will be leaving this world at the end of 2017.

This week, LexisNexis began notifying Lexis.com customers that it will be shutting down the service over the next 12 months and moving them to the newer Lexis Advance research platform.

“By kicking off this process now, lexis.com customers will have adequate lead time before their upgrade,” Jeff Pfeifer, vice president of product management at North American Legal Research Solutions at LexisNexis, said in a statement. “Throughout the next 12 months, we will work closely with lexis.com customers so they are fully aware of what’s changing and when, understand who their contacts are and what resources are available, and to ensure they are trained on Lexis Advance.”

It was five years ago this month that LexisNexis formally launched Lexis Advance as its next-generation research service. Since then, the company has continued to build out and refine the newer platform, including rolling out a major redesign of it two years ago.

But like someone who just can’t give up a comfortable but time-worn piece of clothing, many lawyers have stuck with the older system, comfortable in its interface and seeing no need to change.

This has required LexisNexis to operate and maintain two separate systems with very different architectures. No doubt, the company would substantially cut costs and gain in efficiency by shutting one down.

This was the same issue Thomson Reuters faced after it launched its next-generation WestlawNext but continued to operate its older service, which it renamed Westlaw Classic. In May 2015, it announced that it would shut down Westlaw Classic as of Aug. 31, 2015. Later, it renamed WestlawNext with the no-longer redundant moniker Westlaw.

As I reported here recently, Fastcase is also simultaneously running both its legacy research platform and its new Fastcase 7 platform as it gives users time to gradually make the transition. But it is avoiding the dual-cost issue because it first re-engineered its legacy platform to run on the new version’s search engine.

Lexis.com was launched in 1997 as the company’s first internet research service. The product was initially called Advantage for the Web and was designed for solo lawyers. Later that year, it introduced a broader service at the lexis.com domain called Xchange which combined legal research with other features such as discussion forums and secure document exchange.