Survey Finds Virtual Dead Heat in Lawyers’ Use of Westlaw, LexisNexis and Fastcase

Westlaw and LexisNexis are typically viewed as the dominant leaders among legal research services. But a recent survey found that Fastcase is in a virtual dead heat with Westlaw and LexisNexis among smaller-firm lawyers.

The just-released information comes from a survey conducted in 2016 by law practice management company Clio. The survey asked Clio users what tool they use for legal research. Out of 2,162 respondents, their top-three answers were:

  1. Westlaw, 20.58 percent (445 respondents).
  2. Fastcase, 20.35 percent (440 respondents).
  3. LexisNexis, 20.21 percent (437 respondents).

As you can see from the numbers, this is a virtual tie, with only eight responses separating the top three.

Next in order was Google Scholar, named by 13.6 percent of respondents, and Casemaker, named by 10.22 percent of respondents.

Two important caveats to note:

  1. Clio’s users are primarily solo, small and mid-sized firms. Larger firms are not represented in these numbers.
  2. Clio and Fastcase have an integration which may prompt more Clio users to use Fastcase.

“There’s no ‘big two’ in legal research anymore,” Fastcase CEO Ed Walters said this morning. “From now on, it’s the big three – and Fastcase is still growing.”

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  • myshingle

    The FastCase interface is so much better than LEXIS Advance which is clunky and confusing. At this point, I should just change practice areas and take on something different so I am not captive to the WEXIS duopoly.

    • Bob Ambrogi

      Given your success in your practice area, switching practice areas so you can switch research platforms sounds like the tail wagging the dog.

  • pragmatist3

    What jumps off the page here is not the results of the “survey” but the caveats, which are not mere footnotes but are headlines warning that the ‘survey” has two massive sample bias issues which to my mind render it useless. I have looked for the actual survey and methodology but Clio seems not to have made that available. It would be most useful if they did and that might change my deep cynicism. But as of now as someone who has done work for every major legal information vendor and some of the smaller ones, if asked I would tell them to disregard this effort.