Review of LexisNexis vs Westlaw

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Review of LexisNexis vs Westlaw

Review of LexisNexis vs Westlaw

Due to the different features and search functions of each site, when comparing LexisNexis vs Westlaw, it impossible to say which company is better. It all depends on your legal firm’s requirements such as: practice areas, client needs, user preferences, search requirements and pricing. We will take a look at each of these factors below:

Practice Areas

Both LexisNexis and Westlaw provide a wide range of legal cases. Westlaw claims to have three times as many state and federal appellate briefs as their closest competitor. LexisNexis claims to be faster at indexing their material and have 148 more years of Florida Attorney General Opinions than Westlaw.
However, there are some key differences. For instance, if you want to search for patents, you might wish to choose LexisNexis which has its own section for patent law, whereas Westlaw deals with more administrative and practical law.

Comparing LexisNexis vs Westlaw with Regards to Client Needs

Each company will have a variety of packages to offer you, depending on your needs, so it is worth taking the time to speak to them and ask for a quote.
For instance, if you are doing research on behalf of your academic institute and want to use the Westlaw form within your intranet, Westlaw may give you the ability to integrate their Westlaw search forms under your institute domain name.

Comparing LexisNexis vs Westlaw with Regards to User Preferences

Review of LexisNexis vs WestlawSome users will like to see precedential cases:
• Lexis Nexis has a Legal Issue Trail which enables you to see which cases cite your case, as well as the cases that your case cites under their shepardizing function. You can see this as a graphical representation under some plans. You can also do a search for all landmark cases.
• Westlaw allows you to check for key citations using their keycite function. For more information check out this article –

Many users will prefer the search functions of one company more than the other. LexisNexis will allow you to pre-filter cases, whereas Westlaw will allow you to prefilter and postfilter.

Comparing LexisNexis vs Westlaw Search Functions

LexisNexis offers legal students and professional a reliable legal search. One user said ‘For someone comfortable with legal searches using commands like /p or /25, Lexis Nexis is a better search engine that enables you to search more precisely and narrow down your findings faster. I also find Sheppards more reliable than Westlaw’s KeyCite.’


You can search for keywords/topics that are:
• Everywhere
• Citations
• Party Names
• Legal Topics
• Summary
• Judges
• Attorneys
• At least 5 occurrences

You can also prefilter your search by searching for:

• Federal and State Cases
• Shepard’s Citations
• Landmark Cases
• Supreme Court Briefs
• Federal Statutes, Codes and Regulations
• Law Reviews
• Legal Reference
• Patents
• Tax Law

You can also search using Boolean terms to narrow down your results. E.g. You can add segment search terms such as court(eighth) in Lexis Advance.

However, there is no way to filter your results after the search except by date.

LexisNexis vs Westlaw


A study based on over 100 reviews found that users favored Westlaw more in terms of how it met their requirements, ease of use and setup.  One user said, “Westlaw is the easier to use for plain keyword searches and for more natural language type searches.”

Using Westlaw you search via

  • Text
  • Keywords
  • Party Names
  • Citation
  • Legal terms

You can filter via:

  • Key numbers
  • Court Orders
  • Statutes
  • Regulations
  • Administrative Decisions
  • Practical Law
  • Secondary Sources
  • Forms
  • Briefs
  • Trial Court Documents
  • Expert Materials
  • Jury Verdicts and Settlements
  • Proposed and Enacted Legislation
  • Proposed and Adopted Regulations
  • Arbitration Materials

Westlaw also allows you to filter for a particular court, for example, Ohio Eighth District, whereas Lexis Advance only filters for court level – ie. appellate courts.  You can add segment search terms such as court(eighth) in Lexis Advance.

You can also search using the key numbers.  This is similar to using a duey-decimal library search allowing you to narrow down particular topics or areas of law and then filter further to find particular cases of interest.

Comparing LexisNexis vs Westlaw with Regards to Pricing

Both companies offer law students free access and free trials for everyone else.


Westlaw is the more expensive of the two, with prices ranging from $300 – 500 per month.

You can request a quote by filling in the form at

You can also choose the transaction pricing type: hourly search or per search.

  • Each plan operates under the “pay-as-you-go” premise. Under the Hourly plan, customers pay for their use of the services based on their total time online and charged at a per hour rate. Under the Per Search plan, customers pay for services based on each search performed and charged at a per search rate.
  • Online Time. The charge for Online Time, calculated to the nearest second, is $60.00 per hour.
  • Online Time includes connect and network time. Subscriber is responsible for all local telephone charges.
  • Documents viewed and downloaded incur extra charges.


You will notice that Lexis Nexis does not give out pricing plan information.  This is because every law firm has different needs when it comes to legal research.

LexisNexis does offer a Research Tool for Solos which is $175 per month.  This is specifically meant for either a solo legal practitioner or two-lawyer firms.

Check out the list of discounts and fees at

What people are saying about Price Points

  • “Lexis was willing to come down from $440 to $300 but only after you tell them that you’re not renewing the contract.”
  • “Used to pay $500 a month for my state and fed case law with Westlaw. Now I get same from Lexis for $180 a month.”
  • “At one time, I paid $740/month for Lexis. Then, I went over to Westlaw. The services were greatly reduced. Westlaw cost me $300/month. Once that subscription ran out I went back to Lexis for $330/month. Now, I am with Jenkins Law Library.”
  • “For $160/YEAR I get unlimited Fastcase and 20 minutes of Lexis per 24 hour period. I used to use Lexis by credit card for various libraries for a specific amount of time. Lexis by credit card has been discontinued.”

The customers of LexisNexis and Westlaw include:

  • Fortune 500 corporations, other businesses, law firms of all sizes, law schools, universities, colleges
  • In-house Lawyers
  • Academics
  • Federal Administrative Agencies
  • Federal Judiciary
  • Librarians
  • Offices of General Counsel (OGC)
  • Press and Public Affairs Offices
  • Legislative Branch
  • Intelligence Community (IC)
  • Defense and Military

FALR Review of LexisNexis vs Westlaw

FALR is the Florida Administrative Law Review, publishing Florida caselaw onto our online search engine database and paperback newsletters for our list of subscribers.

LexisNexis has purchased our comprehensive caselaw database on:

  • Environmental Land Use
  • Tax (State of Florida)
  • Utility

Westlaw has purchase our comprehensive caselaw database on:

  • Utility only

However, both LexisNexis and Westlaw use the DOAH database for Administrative caselaw.

After doing a careful review of the DOAH database, we have concluded that it is incomplete, since it does not publish Final Orders along with the Recommended Order.  We do not publish anything that is incomplete.  All our cases come complete with the Final Order.

For a comprehensive online legal search, we recommend you try out our FALR Search here.

online legal research database

Do you live in Florida?

If you practice law in Florida, you should check out the FALR legal search engine.  We offer online legal database search at a fraction of the price of lexisnexis or Westlaw.  Check out some of the features here.

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