A few weeks back I wrote about using subject searching as an electronic research technique. I return to the subject to explore some of the subject searching possibilities in LexisNexis.
In looking at a case in LexisNexis you will have noticed LexisNexis Headnotes. These are not the same as Westlaw’s topic and key number headnotes, although they serve a similar function. With both, certain portions of a case are grouped by topic and subtopic making it easier for a researcher to find similar cases. In Lexis, clicking on “More Like This Headnote” following the text of the individual LexisNexis Headnote allows the user to craft a search for other cases dealing with the original headnote’s legal issue.
LexisNexis also provides subject searching if you don’t yet have a case on point. By clicking on the “by Topic or Headnote” tab (need valid Lexis ID) on the LexisNexis Search screen you are taken to a list of legal topics. From there you can drill down through a topic outline or you can search for a specific topic.
These options are great for beginning your research or for making sure you have been comprehensive. Using keyword searching in addition to subject searching helps rest your research on a surer foundation.