“Hey! You Sunk My Battleship!”: Another Article about New Platforms for Legal Research

The ABA Journal is predicting a “battle” will soon be breaking out on a computer screen near you. This article has screen shots of both WestlawNext (which seems to be the official new name) and New Lexis, and also includes a discussion of Bloomberg Law, FastCase and Google Scholar.

A battle like this makes me think of the game Battleship, so let’s place our pieces on the grid.  Westlaw and Lexis are the “aircraft carriers” worth 5 points each. They have so much ammunition, its hard to conceive of bringing either one down.

Bloomberg Law strikes me as a “submarine” worth three points. They have been stealthy thus far, and very little is known about them. What are their true intentions? Are they really in it for the long-term?

FastCase is a “patrol boat” worth two points. They scoot around the periphery, taking pot shots at the big guys. Believe it or not, they’ve been around for 10 years. Is their business sustainable in this new environment?

To me, Google Scholar could be a “destroyer” worth three points or another “patrol boat” worth only two. Google demands attention, since it is the place that most attorneys start their research anyway, now it just has better content. Will the new content make Google an even more viable choice?

What an exciting time to be involved in legal research! I look forward to the next few months, when we will learn more and more about the new Westlaw and Lexis platforms.

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