October 4, 2010
Watch Out WLN, Fastcase, Casemaker, Loislaw, Here Comes Lexis Advance for Solos
On 3 Geeks, Greg Lambert does an excellent job at describing Lexis Advance for Solos, the first release of the from-the-ground-up new Lexis Advance platform. Future market segment versions to come. Lexis Advance for Solos is a web-based interface delivering LexisNexis content in XML markup language over a .NET architecture.
Like Greg, I was impressed after reviewing the product demo last week. Pricing is right -- Lexis Advance for Solos offers an attractive flat-rate monthly price, starting at $175 per month for one attorney, and $140 per month for the second attorney with one, two, or three-year licensing options -- particularly for what one is getting. All primary legal sources, plus comprehensive Shepards in a more user-friendly display, LN Court-Link content, and more. A selection of LN's most frequently used secondary sources displayed with easier internal navigation at no cost during the introductory offer is available based on one's selection of available licensing options. I would like to see more state-focused practitioner secondary sources for this particular market and, perhaps, we will.
Something like 1,200 LN staffers worked on the project; a job very well done. Adoption will not be frustrated by the sort of marketing and pricing scheming we saw with the release of WLN. Like Greg (and quoting from his post):
I was relieved and impressed that LexisNexis would come right out and say "this is our price." This isn't just the "street value" of the product, it is the actual "take it or leave it" price. Local sales reps do not have any authority to negotiate pricing (up or down). Again, after dealing with the WestlawNext pricing issues, and then having the sales force turned loose on the law firms with orders to basically "get as much as you can from them," this was a huge relief to hear that LexisNexis wouldn't be taking this type of approach on its new platform.
Lexis Advance for Solos is targeted to compete in the solo-"duo" market with Fastcase, Casemaker, Loislaw and yes WLN, which may be that service's current largest subscriber base if we include very small firms. Like Greg, I think LN has a winner: excellent selection of resources and tools, user-friendly features and attractive predictable pricing is key to this market segment. See his Lexis Advance for Solos: What It Is... What It Does... And, Yes... Even What It Costs for a detailed overview of this new service. See also Sean Doherty's LexisNexis Rolls Out Lexis Advance for Solos on Law.com. [JH]
I gave up on Lexis Advance for Solos after a short test-run, as there were too many problems to make it worth continuing to explore.
First, the text of footnotes does not appear automatically. Instead, you have to click on a footnote number, upon which the text of the footnote appears in a pop-up bubble. This feature makes it tedious to copy cases and paste them into a Word or WordPerfect document (nor was there a stand-alone option to do so). Also, the name of the case is, in essence, separate from the body of the case, making it even more of a hassle to copy cases into text.
When you want to search two terms that are within a certain number of words of each other, you must type "near/#" rather than just a slash and the number. Also, when you put in an improper search (such as by omitting the word "near"), you get a boilerplate error message that does not tell you that your improper search was the cause of the error.
Finally, there are no options to set up preferences. As an example, I wanted to have my cases come up so that they are easily copied into a text document, which would mean that footnotes would appear in the body of the case rather than in bubbles.
There are, to be sure, some nifty features, some of which I probably would have eventually used. However, I generally like to keep things fairly simple, and it doesn't appear that doing so was possible.
Posted by: Anonymous | Nov 2, 2010 11:46:11 AM