Above the Law have penned a good piece on the arrival of Google Scholar’s legal information service
Well worth a read at http://abovethelaw.com/2009/11/google_legal_scholar_lexisnexis_westlaw.php
Google Does Evil to LexisNexis and Westlaw?
Last week Google engineer Anurag Acharya sent a shot across the bow of the multi-million dollar legal publishing business. “Starting today,” he wrote on the Google blog, people will be able to use Google Scholar to “find and read full text legal opinions from U.S. federal and state district, appellate and supreme courts.” And in typical Google fashion, these searches will be intuitive and simple. “You can find these opinions by searching for cases (like Planned Parenthood v. Casey), or by topics (like desegregation) or other queries that you are interested in,” he wrote.
That sounds familiar…. That sounds like a service law firms pay bajillions of dollars for every year. There’s been some speculation across the Web that Google Scholar’s new offering is a red flag for LexisNexis and Westlaw.
Robert Ambrogi of Legal Blog Watch writes:
Inevitably, Google’s announcement leads to another round of predictions that 2012 has arrived for Westlaw and LexisNexis. Scott Greenfield wonders whether the news signals the end of the duopoly. Social Media Law Student says this could fast become the preferred tool for “law students and lawyers of the younger generation (and tech-savvy elders as well).” But Carolyn Elefant says Google is unlikely to replace Wexis for some time to come. “Even as free services launch, the premium legal services still continue to improve,” she writes. “So the gap still remains between legal research haves and have-nots.”
Also they’ve got a little informal survey which we just completed ( 3pm Wednesday 25 November )
The current results are as follows
I’m Cancelling Wexis 5.4%
Google Scholar First Then Wexis Serious Research 42.2%
I’ll Try Research With Google But I’m Not Completely Sold 34%
Google’s Evil Long Live Lexis & Westlaw 6.7%
I Kick It Oldschool &* Send My Paralegals To The Library 6.5%
Lexis and West will look at these figures and say…… "look only 5.4% say they’ll cancel us and the majority of the rest will stay with us."
We look at the figures and say .. umm — 3 days since the announcement and already three quarters of respondents say they will give Google a go .. remembering that the product has only just had a soft beta launch and they haven’t even started tinkering
If I were a Wexis sales bod in the US iId be pulling out the Advil now and preparing for a decade long migraine.. the constant battle to improve my sales figures when there’s less money in the pot due to the recession and the fact that google will slowly eat into my sme customer base as well as make life easier for users. Actually i’d be singing the praises of my sales skills in the legal content sales area and applying for a job at google.