Westlaw Next

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3 Responses

  1. Hillel Y. Levin says:

    Sarah:

    Thanks for pointing this out. As someone who incorporates online legal research into my doctrinal classroom, I’ll have to think about these issues.

    But I have to say that asking law schools to teach legal research in light of corporate pricing schemes may be asking too much, particularly in a world in which lots of law schools don’t do a great job of teaching legal research skills at all, never mind cost considerations.

  2. Civ Pro King says:

    Hillel, my impression is that legal research is the only thing recent law graduates can do comfortably without much oversight. That appears to be the impression of most of my colleagues.

    Sarah, this article appears somewhat bias. I was selected as a pilot user for WestlawNext. I used the free UN and PW for a ton of pro-bono cases. It worked well. The product was marketed to me as an alternative to Westlaw, but not a replacement. It’s good way to survey an area of law for the locus classicus materials. People in academia (and those looking for unturned stones) tend to focus on the exceptions more than the base rules, but that’s only 5% of legal practice. For the rest of us practicing in the real world, WestlawNext is a good second option. So yes, lets teach it to law students.

  3. N says:

    This is an old post but I felt the need to comment. I am a lawyer in private practice, and have always prided myself on my legal research skills. I’m very comfortable with both Westlaw and Lexis. Although I’ve previously been at a large firm, I’m now at a small firm that subscribes to Westlaw.

    About a year ago, I decided to start implementing an ipad into my practice here, which has worked out superbly. The only negative factor: Westlaw. It works horribly and awkwardly on the ipad. When I called Westlaw to report this and to find out if they ever planned on a fix for it, they tried to foist Westlaw Next on me. I was initially interested, only because I assumed that our firm’s very expensive Westlaw contract meant that Westlaw had done what every single other online-based company has done with their loyal customers: created an ipad-specific application to help us continue enjoying their product. I was repulsed, then, to learn that Westlaw had done no such thing.

    Well, they had, it’s just that they wanted my firm to pay them EVEN MORE for the privilege of accessing their product properly on an ipad. In other words, my choices were limited to: very poor, hampered, unevolved access to Westlaw on my ipad even though my firm is paying for a subscription, or supposedly improved access to Westlaw on my ipad for even more money than the current subscription.

    This business practice leaves a very bitter taste in my mouth. I frankly cannot stand Westlaw as a company now, particularly when I view it as a supposed partner in conducting my business as an attorney. It’s obvious that this “partner” will try to rip me off at any opportunity it gets, and that it could care less what my actual needs are. I suspect, with the astronomical progress of informational technology, some day in the future companies like Westlaw will fade out of existence due to their databases becoming obsolete. I will politely applaud.