All About LexisNexis


LexisNexis, one of the world’s best known information database companies, sometimes seems to have as much information at its disposal as Google. It’s Yahoo Finance profile describes more than 5 billion documents from some 34,000 sources of information.

The big difference between LexisNexis and Google, though, is that access to the wealth of information at Lexis Nexis is going to cost you. But there are certainly times when it’s worth it. And there are also some tricks for teasing out a few free nuggets of information from the Lexis-Nexis’ goldmine.

LexisNexis actually contains dozens of discrete databases and services, but it’s major offerings are:

* legal information (legal cases, rules and regulations, lawyer profiles, patents, taxes, law publications)

* news archives (newspapers, magazines, newsletters, etc, some as far back as 1970’s, but mostly more recent vintage)

* business information (directories, credit reports, executives, etc).

By the way, LexisNexis also provides numerous services, such as document drafting, but the emphasis here is on information access and research tools.

Freebies: Yes, you can get something for nothing at LexisNexis, but it takes a bit of doing. LexisNexis has a Pay-as-You-Go page, where you can set up an account with a credit card, and then buy individual articles and other information at a few bucks a pop. It’s a convenient, useful and not very well-known way of accessing their content. If you sign-up, you can then search their content at no charge, and get bits and pieces of information back for free…you only pay if you then go ahead and access the full article. It’s well worth the hassle.

The legal side of LexisNexis has a site called LexisOne aimed at small law firms that provides some free legal research tools, including case law, legal forms, and lawyer directories. I especially like Zimmerman’s Guide, a multi-purpose legal research tool, with pointers to many valuable sources of information.




Some other links of interest on LexisNexis (which, by the way, is sometimes simply called Lexis or Nexis):

* Wikipedia’s entry on the company history and services.

* An interesting, embarrassing, scary security lapse suffered a few years ago, where LexisNexis (whoops!) lost personal information on tens of thousands of people.

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