Legal research is a crucial aspect of the legal profession, requiring comprehensive and reliable resources to navigate the intricacies of the law. Two major players in the field of legal encyclopedias are Westlaw and LexisNexis. In this blog post, we will explore the features and advantages of these two major legal encyclopedias, providing insight into how they can enhance legal research for lawyers, legal professionals, and law students.
Westlaw Unraveling the Legal Maze
Westlaw has established a reputation as one of the leading providers of legal research solutions. Let’s delve into some key features and advantages of Westlaw:
1. Extensive Database: Westlaw boasts an extensive collection of legal resources, including primary and secondary sources, encompassing case law, statutes, regulations, legal news, and more. The breadth and depth of their database offer researchers a rich pool of legal information to draw upon.
2. Advanced Search Capabilities: Westlaw provides robust search functionalities, enabling users to conduct precise and efficient searches. Its advanced search features allow users to filter results based on jurisdiction, date, keywords, and specific legal concepts, facilitating focused and targeted research.
3. Citator Services: Westlaw’s citator services, such as KeyCite, are invaluable tools for legal researchers. These services help identify the subsequent history and treatment of a case, enabling researchers to determine the precedential value and current relevance of a legal authority.
4. Editorial Enhancements: In addition to primary legal sources, Westlaw offers editorial enhancements, including annotations, summaries, headnotes, and cross-references, which provide valuable context and analysis of legal authorities. These editorial tools can save researchers significant time and effort in understanding complex legal principles.
LexisNexis Empowering Legal Research
LexisNexis is another heavyweight in the realm of legal encyclopedias. Let’s explore some notable features and advantages of LexisNexis:
1. Comprehensive Legal Resources: LexisNexis offers an extensive range of legal resources, including primary and secondary sources, case law, statutes, regulations, legal journals, and international materials. This comprehensive coverage ensures that researchers can access a wide array of legal authorities from one platform.
2. Shepard’s® Citation Service: LexisNexis’s Shepard’s® Citation Service is a powerful tool that allows users to determine the validity and subsequent treatment of a case. It provides a complete history of a case, including subsequent appellate history and citing references. This helps researchers evaluate the authority and relevance of a legal precedent.
3. Customizable Search Options: LexisNexis provides flexible and customizable search options, allowing users to tailor their research queries based on specific legal parameters and jurisdictions. Researchers can refine their searches using filters such as date, jurisdiction, or area of law, enabling more targeted and efficient research.
4. Practice-Specific Materials: LexisNexis offers practice-specific materials, including practice guides, forms, and analytical resources, tailored to cater to the needs of different legal fields. These resources provide practical insights, procedural guidance, and sample templates, facilitating a comprehensive approach to legal research and practice.
Powerhouses of Legal Research
Westlaw and LexisNexis are both powerhouses in the field of legal research, providing lawyers, legal professionals, and law students with invaluable resources to navigate the complexities of the law. With their extensive databases, advanced search capabilities, citator services, and editorial enhancements, these legal encyclopedias play a vital role in facilitating efficient, accurate, and comprehensive legal research.
While each platform has its own unique features, both Westlaw and LexisNexis are committed to providing reliable and up-to-date legal information, empowering users to make informed decisions and advance their legal endeavors.