A LexisNexis press release from earlier this month said that it signed a licensing agreement with American Lawyer Media (ALM) the owner of The National Law Journal, The American Lawyer and several other legal publications, to make its content available through LexisNexis. Starting May 1, 2011, LexisNexis will be the exclusive third party online distributor of ALM's collection of legal content worldwide. For years, this content was available through both Lexis and Westlaw. Five years ago, ALM switched all its content from Lexis to Westlaw resulting in Westlaw’s exclusive rights. Now, it is Lexis that has the exclusive rights. In all this time, ALM's content was available on its Law.com platform. ALM publications also include the New York Law Journal, the New Jersey Law Journal, the Texas Lawyer, the Legal Intelligencer, the Minority Law Journal, Corporate Counsel and Law Technology News and other regional and national newsletters.
From a cost perspective, this switch affects practitioners who can afford to use only a single service rather than both services. It has little meaning for law students who freely access both Westlaw and LexisNexis. Of course, Westlaw and LexisNexis are not free in law school. The Brooklyn Law School Library pays annual subscription fees, at lower rates than what firms pay, so students can access these services. Law students who prefer Westlaw will now have to use LexisNexis if they want to access ALM publications like the NY Law Journal. BLS students can also read articles from the NY Law Journal website for which the BLS Library has a paid subscription. User names and passwords are available at the reference desk.
The National Law Journal has more on the agreement at this link. In the aftermath of the agreement, Bill Pollack, the CEO of ALM, has called for new content on a post at Bill's Blog.