The best legal research software in 2024

Buyer’s Guides
January 17, 2024
8
min
Lawyers have always needed access to reliable legal research, but where do you begin with the advent of generative AI making this information more accessible than ever before?

This buyer’s guide takes you through the 6 of the best legal research tools to look out for in 2024, let’s dive in. 

What is legal research software?

Legal research software is any tool designed to assist legal professionals in conducting legal research and accessing relevant legal information. 

As recently as a few years ago, this process still relied on using tried and tested textbooks and dedicated legal news resources. Since then, legal technology has come a long way and there’s now a whole universe of dedicated tools to enable lawyers to conduct legal research better. 

The platforms listed below are specifically designed for legal research and each offers the user a specific research experience. There's a tool for everybody, whether you’re a General Counsel, In-House Counsel or in private practice. 

1. Lexis+

LexisNexis has been a staple for lawyers in the US and UK for many years and it has been increasing its digital offering over the past five years. Their online platform, Lexis+ is a subscription-based legal research and practice management solution. 

Lexis+ combines an extensive collection of legal resources integrated with practice management tools. 

It provides full access to UK, US and international case law, legislation and articles in legal journals. The platform also hosts an online version of the Encyclopaedia of Forms and Precedents and Halsbury’s Laws of England.

Features

Key features of Lexis+ include:

  • Email alerts for legislative changes
  • Historic versioning
  • Legislative timelines
  • Links to cases directly for citation 
  • Smart searching capabilities 

On the independent review site, G2 the platform is rated 4.1 out of 5. The main advantage of the platform is listed as its ease of use, however, users note that it is a more expensive option than some other legal research tools on the market. 

Pricing

The price of the software is dependent on the number of users, type of users and subscription term. For example, a small law firm paying for a basic profile will pay $105 a month whereas the premium option for this user is $295 a month. 

It’s also worth bearing in mind that Lexis is known to be more competitive in price than its main competitor (Practical Law). That said, custom plans are also available, so you can build a pricing plan around the features that work for you. 

Lexis+

2. Casetext 

Casetext is an AI-powered legal search engine. Its key AI feature provides deep insight into cases cited in legal documents. Casetext is one of three legal research platforms on this list owned by Thomson Reuters. 

Casetext Research offers full coverage of all 50 state and federal cases, statutes, regulations, and rules In the US, it also offers practice guides. On top of this, Casetext has a compose module feature that allows users track legal changes with practice notes, add citations from legal authorities to documents, and organize arguments into groups for easy access. 

Features

CoCounsel, the AI legal assistant, is a standout feature of the platform. It can search through over 500,000 discovery documents to find the information users need in just a few hours. 

However, this is not its only research capability. Users can also access:

  • A comprehensive library of cases
  • Users can find specific cases by name or citation
  • Labeled results such as motion type and cause of action 
  • Filters based on date, jurisdiction, published or unpublished, party type, motion type, cause of action
  • Drag and drop a document to find on-point results instantly

CoCounsel is a very popular feature on the independent review site G2, with an impressive score of 4.8 out of 5. Users highlight the affordability of the platform and its user-friendly interface.

Pricing 

Casetext is fairly open about its pricing model, with the Basic Research plan starting at $110 per person per year and CoCounsel Core (its higher offering) at $250 per user per year.

The website has a pricing calculator so you can work out the price you’ll pay based on the users you need, though it’s worth bearing in mind that for teams of 10 or more, you’ll need to contact sales directly. 

Casetext

3. Lexology Pro

Lexology is a leading provider of online legal information. The site publishes over 450 articles a day from over 900 law firms and service providers worldwide, across 50 legal practice areas.

Users can subscribe to Lexology’s ‘newsstand’ which delivers customised updates to their inbox daily. It covers key in-house practice areas, as well as those you or your legal team wishes to add. 

Articles are written by law firms and legal experts and then redistributed to users based on their preferences in a daily digest format. 

Lexology also offers a global research hub which allows you to search its extensive archive by work area, jurisdiction, content type or topic. Credible sources and sophisticated search tools ensure you can find accurate answers at speed.

Features

It also works on a subscription basis and boasts several key features:

  • ‘Ask Lexy’, an AI-enabled natural language search tool 
  • Scanner, a regulatory monitoring tool that delivers automated updates daily from hundreds of regulatory sources
  • In-house view, a topical analysis of trends, opportunities, challenges and risks.
  • ‘Who’s Who Legal’, a discovery device for lawyers 
  • Analysis, a daily breakdown of key developments written by specialist editors 

The platform is not present on independent review sites as it is primarily bought as a license for a large number of users. For example, The Law Society offers it to members of its In-house Solicitors Network as a member benefit.

Pricing 

To access the basic version of Lexology you need to register. This gives you free access to current awareness, and you’ll receive a tailored daily newsfeed (with access to the archive). 

There is no information available publicly on Lexology Pro’s pricing. Their website suggests that these will be custom plans built around the experience you or your team require. 

Lexology

4. vLex Legal Research 

vlex Legal Research is a US-based tool that describes itself as a ‘legal research service’. It uses patented software to combine legal research with a web search. It can then provide federal and state case law which can be downloaded to a PDF or printed. 

Fastcase’s search software can also rank the best cases first and allows users to re-sort results to help users streamline their legal research. vLex’s most notable feature is a search bar that suggests cases, documents, books, and journals as you type. 

Features

Other key features of vLex Legal Research include:

  • Folders to arrange legal information and research within the platform 
  • vLex Cloud, which integrates your knowledge with vLex legal content on a single platform
  • AI analysis, this feature uses automatic linking and document enrichment tools to enable you to find the most relevant legal information with a single search

Pricing

Like many of the vendors on this list, it is available on a subscription basis and a range of features are offered at different price points. These are not publicly available on their website

vLex Legal Research

5. Westlaw

Westlaw is Thomson Reuters’ offering primarily for law firms in the legal research software market and the platform is offered on three price plans, Classic, Edge and Precision. The software is built to give users access to a comprehensive collection of primary and secondary laws for research purposes.

Westlaw also allows users to retrieve the background history of attorneys, judges, experts, and companies. This is one of the most comprehensive tools available, offering various types of plans within each tiered plan. 

For example, there is a tailored Westlaw plan for small law firms, larger private practice, in-house legal teams and General Counsel. 

Features

The main features of these plans are: 

  • Headnotes, summaries of specific points of law addressed in a particular case, written by attorney-editors
  • Notes of Decisions,  brief synopsis’ of important cases to the statute or regulation they interpret 
  • KeyCite, a custom, native citation service instantly verifies whether a case, statute, regulation, or administrative decision has been invalidated

Westlaw is rated highly on G2’s independent review site, scoring a healthy 4.4 out of 5 stars and a leader badge in this category for 2024. Users highlight the easy-to-use interface of the platform. 

Pricing 

Westlaw is very open about its pricing models. These start at $175.95 a month for ‘Westlaw Edge Single State Primary Law’ for Law firms (minimum three months) and peak at $566.10 a month for ‘Westlaw Edge Premium’ for General Counsel. 

All this information is available on their pricing page

Westlaw Precision

6. Practical Law

Practical Law is Thomson Reuters in-house legal offering and their third legal research software on this list. It is advertised as an ‘online legal know-how resource’ 

Practical law gives you access to 23,000+ easily searchable resources to quickly help users with new or unfamiliar legal matters. The platform also boasts 650 full-time legal editors located in a wide range of global jurisdictions across 28 different practice areas. 

Users can expect to find thousands of peer-reviewed resources, such as practice notes, current awareness and standard documents to help in-house lawyers work smarter and advise with confidence.

Features

Practical Law, like the rest of Reuters offering, is not short on standout features. We’ve picked a few of them here: 

  • Legal updates, a weekly or monthly subscription to legal updates in your practice area
  • Dynamic search, a search feature that combines artificial intelligence with editorial knowledge
  • What’s market, a feature that allows users to search, analyze, and compare deals and public filings summarized by our experts

These features are split across three key categories; time-saving, visualization and content coverage - suggesting these are the issues they’re trying to resolve. The platform is rated a respectable 4.3 out of 5 on G2

Pricing

Practical law is a fairly expensive solution starting at $632.70 per month for one basic General Counsel user. This price tag rises to $1,571.30 for their highest offering for General Counsels. 

This is more than just a legal research platform, so that’s worth keeping in mind while researching solutions. 

Practical Law

7. Bloomberg Law 

Bloomberg law is a comprehensive legal analytics and research tool that brings together tested news sources, expert analysis and intelligence. 

The platform is a strong option for in-house counsel, as it focuses on ensuring in-house teams can stay current on issues that are relevant to the C-suite. This means in-house counsel can focus on mitigating risk and ensuring compliance for the whole business. 

Features

Bloomberg excels when it comes to answering basic legal questions, researching precedents to support complex decisions, and monitoring news-related trade sanctions. 

It also features a docket alert feature, which allows users to track pending cases in another court, which could be useful for those needing case management. 

Key features of Bloomberg law include:

  • Database.  Bloomberg Law's key feature is an interactive database repository. Users note that it is easy to search and tag historical documents using Bloomberg, making it simpler to keep track of cases.

  • AI-based research capabilities. Bloomberg Law features an AI-based which allows them to get the best results. This includes daily news and alerts and law firm client alerts to keep you informed about the industry.

  • Case law database. Bloomberg Law has a complete case law database, document searching of state and federal dockets, as well as easy case tracking. 

Pricing

Much like Westlaw, Bloomberg offers different pricing plans and tailored versions depending on the nature of the user. For example, it caters for:

  • Law firms 
  • In-house counsel
  • Law Schools
  • Small and mid-size law firms 
  • Government

Pricing plans are not readily available, but you can request a demo of the platform to find out Bloomberg Law’s pricing. 

Bloomberg Law

Ready to do more with legal technology?

If you’re already using legal research technology to make sure your drafting is robust, then Juro could be for you. 

Juro's AI assistant leverages the latest generative AI to help you create and amend contracts while setting guardrails for your drafting, instantly draft contract language and revise and refine clauses. Not to mention the fact that you turn around contracts up to 90% faster using AI assistant. 

If you think this could be for you, why not request a demo below?

Book a personalized demo

Find out what all-in-one contract automation can do for your business

Liked what you read? Stay in touch for all the latest insights.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
To learn more about the use of your personal data, please consult our readable Privacy Policy

Instantly book a personalized demo

  • Schedule a live, interactive demo with a Juro specialist

  • See in-depth analysis of your contract process - and tailored solutions

  • Find out what all-in-one contract automation can do for your business

4.8
4.8

Schedule a demo

To learn more about the use of your personal data, please consult our readable Privacy Policy.

Your privacy at a glance

Hello. We are Juro Online Limited (known by humans as Juro). Here's a summary of how we protect your data and respect your privacy.

Read the full policy
(no legalese, we promise)