Legal research company Casetext discusses Lexis’ new pricing model for small firms in this blog post. With the rising popularity of Casetext, Fastcase and other cheaper online legal research options, Lexis is loosening up on its unpopular selling practices.

From the article:

Traditionally, the legacy legal research providers negotiate each legal research contract in secret, requiring you to sign an NDA about the pricing and other terms of your contract. They do this to extract that maximum price from you possible. If you don’t know what the market rate is, they’ll keep on upping the price until you cry “uncle.” You might end up paying twice as much as a peer for exactly the same service and coverage, and you’ll be none the wiser.

According to publicly available data regarding LexisNexis and Westlaw contracts, the same service can range wildly—we’ve seen contracts from $1,200 to $14,000 per year per attorney for very similar plans.

Most attorneys absolutely hate this business practice. It’s unfair and done solely to take as much from you as possible….

That last part is an understatement. I use Casetext and Fastcase because of Lexis’ and Westlaw’s business practices. I’m not a fan of their contract term requirements or their practice of trying to jam a renewal on the back end. I doubt I’m alone.

Here is Lexis’ new pricing plan. State and federal case law is $115 per month plus a $25 per month administrative fee with a 3-year contract. The last time Lexis quoted me a price on this plan a couple of years ago it was around $200. The administrative fee reminds me of hotel resort fees, which aren’t exactly popular.

Casetext is $95 per month with no contract. Fastlaw is free through the Mississippi Bar. They work fine.

  • Daniel Ware

    The problem with the cheaper search is lack of headnotes, which I still like, and you can’t easily determine if the law is still good. Have these problem been fixed on these services?

    • Philip Thomas

      Yes on whether law still good on Casetext.