Today LexisNexis announced that it will end access to Lexis.com (classic LexisNexis) for law school users December 31, 2016. In 2017 law school users (students, faculty, and staff) will have access only to LexisAdvance, initially launched by LexisNexis in 2012.
The letter announcing this change from Paul Speca, Vice President for Law Schools, notes that all content from Lexis.com will have migrated to the LexisAdvance platform before this end date.
Though it is a great disappointment to see a wonderful research system begin its retirement so soon, this transition was likely inevitable due to the substantial costs of supporting two separate online research systems. Former Nota Bene blogger Dan Baker forecasted this event in a 2012 post, noting passionately that:
“once Lexis Advance has been shoved down everyone's throats, with its predatory pricing structure, its confusing search syntax, and its "but I thought you wanted millions of documents to sift through when you asked for information on eminent domain laws in Illinois," lexis.com will cease to exist.
Ahead of this retirement announcement LexisNexis did announce some changes to LexisAdvance that will appeal to longtime fans of Lexis.com. Users have long complained that LexisAdvance lacked a functional directory that would allow users to easily select the source they needed rather than explore “everything” as directed in the LexisAdvance search bar. Though it does not provide the level of source detail familiar to Lexis.com users, it operates (and looks) almost exactly like its Westlaw counterpart. Predictive suggestion of source names in the main LexisAdvance search bar has also improved dramatically over the last year, making it easier for novice users to find discrete sources.